Seeing is believing.
It’s a most non-diplomatic methodology. It renders moot all discussions of right and wrong, of ownership, of peace negotiations, of advanced weaponry — and of skiing. It’s the Israeli method of persuading open-minded visitors of Israel’s wisdom in keeping the Golan Heights.
Right and wrong? As in, who owns the Golan Heights? To which country was this territory assigned in the post-WW I divvying up of the Middle East into artificial nations? To which race, ethnicity, nationality, religion did this territory belong to historically, before WW I? All such questions — moot.
Ownership? As in, before the Six Day War of 1967, did not Syria own the Golan Heights? Did Israel not conquer this territory in 1967 and take it away from Syria? All such questions — moot.
Peace negotiations? Some years back, around the turn of the century, were not Israel and Syria’s previous dictator, Hafez al-Assad, in informal peace negotiations? Did not certain Israeli leaders at least tentatively entertain the idea of a “land [Golan Heights]-for-peace” deal with Syria, which, in the end, Assad rejected? All such questions — moot.
Advanced weaponry? Is it not true that Syria, due to its civil war, has received advanced weaponry from Russia and Iran that could be deployed to the Golan Heights? Is it not true that the weapons Syria once possessed have long been surpassed for lethality, range and sophistication? All such questions — moot.
Skiing? Is it not true that the Golan Heights includes Mt. Hermon, which provided Israelis with a ski area for the first time? Do not Israelis love to ski on the Golan Heights? All such questions — moot.
So, what is this magic methodology that renders all these questions moot? The visit. Israeli politicians, diplomats and military people do not talk to US Congresspeople, European diplomats and others about the Golan Heights. The Israelis take them there and add one single sentence: “From these heights, Syria shelled our farms below for 19 years, and there wasn’t a thing we could do about it.”
Seeing is believing. To see the scene, to visit the Golan, is to verify the one single sentence. Nothing else needs to be seen or said.
If you’ve seen the Golan Heights, you too get it. Seeing is believing. There is no defense, short of all out war, against Syrian bombardment of Israel. It doesn’t matter which country the Golan was assigned to after WW I. It was used for attacking Israel. Ditto, for historical ownership. Ditto, for peace negotiations. No peace agreement with Syria could assure peace for Israel. Just look at what’s happened in Syria since negotiations. Dominated by Iran, the Golan would be even more enticing for war against Israel. Advanced weaponry? None needed. Unsophisticated guns rained down their terror on Israel because even they could not be countered short of war. Skiing? OK, it’s nice. It’s not why Israel keeps the Golan Heights. Golan Heights = security. Period!
Thank you, President Trump, for acknowledging this irrefutable reality.
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