I just came back from 3 wonderful days of vacation in the
We enjoyed the wide open spaces, the stunning nature trails, the flowing water in the streams and waterfalls...
Who could ever dream of giving this away to
But apart from the stunning natural landscapes, there are at least three very good reasons why Ehud Olmert would be wise not to negotiate at all on the fate of this land.
1. Emotional. There is a national consensus about it. As Nadav Shragai wrote in a Haaretz article a couple of weeks ago: “The Golan is a lot more "Israeli" than "Syrian." It has been Israeli for 40 years, double the time it was in
... For the past two generations at least, the Golan became ingrained in our consciousness as an inseparable part of the state... It doesn't take a poll to know that the Israeli public is tied to the Golan, loves it and senses through healthy intuition that it is part of it.”
2. Historical. I’m not sure why we talk about ‘returning’ the Golan to
In Biblical times too, the Golan was always part of
3. Security. In 1992, before the elections, the late Yitzhak Rabin declared, “As for the future, it is inconceivable that even in peacetime we should go down from the Golan. Whoever even thinks of leaving the Golan wantonly abandons the security of
He acted a little differently after his election but the facts remain:
1. The 400 square mile area is of supreme strategic importance.
2. Its high ground provides early-warning capability. Without it,
3. The Golan dominates the
4. There are only two natural terrain bottlenecks through which tanks can advance. These ‘choke points’ are defensible and indeed
5. If the Golan were in Syrian hands, they could overrun
6. Over one third of
In short, whatever way you look at it, Ehud Olmert should make it clear that any peace negotiations should be conditional on one thing: The Golan Heights are not for sale.