The U.S. Should Recognize Israeli Sovereignty over the Golan

Israel seized the Golan Heights—an area whose Jewish history goes back to biblical times—from Syria during the Six-Day War and formally applied Israeli law there in 1981. While the U.S. has from time to time encouraged or pressured Jerusalem to enter negotiations for returning the territory to Damascus, any such idea, given Syria’s current state of affairs, is at present a nonstarter. Therefore, argue Moshe Ya’alon and Yair Lapid, it’s high time for Washington, and the rest of the world, to recognize Israeli sovereignty there:

The Golan Heights is . . . a mountainous region of around 695 square miles in the north of Israel. It’s worth noting, of course, that [the region] is entirely unrelated to Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians. Not a single Palestinian lives there. . . . The Syrians . . . ruled over the Golan Heights for only 21 years, from 1946 and 1967. During those years they turned the Golan into a military base, rained rocket fire on the Israeli communities [below], and tried to divert Israel’s critical water sources. . . .

In the 51 years [it has controlled the area], Israel developed the Golan Heights and turned it into an impressive center of nature reserves and tourism, with high-tech agriculture, award-winning wines, a flourishing food-tech industry, and in-demand boutique hotels. The Druze population of the Golan Heights, who make up about half the population, were granted all the same rights as all other citizens of Israel. . . .

On the other side of the border, life went in the other direction; in the past seven years President Assad has massacred over a half-million of his own people and [caused] the displacement of eleven million more. He let the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Hizballah, the largest terror organizations in the world, into Syria. He encouraged Shiite militias from Iraq and elsewhere to flood into his country. . . .

The man who didn’t hesitate to use chemical weapons against women and children continues to demand the Golan Heights in the name of “international law.” The fact that anyone in the Western world still takes that argument seriously is worse than naïve—it’s insane. Does his monstrous behavior have no cost? . . . The international community, led by the United States, needs to do the simple thing: to announce that they see the world as it is.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Bashar al-Assad, Druze, Golan Heights, Israel & Zionism, Syrian civil war


Israel’s Covert War on Iran’s Nuclear Program Is Impressive. But Is It Successful?

Sept. 26 2023

The Mossad’s heist of a vast Iranian nuclear archive in 2018 provided abundant evidence that Tehran was not adhering to its commitments; it also provided an enormous amount of actionable intelligence. Two years later, Israel responded to international inspectors’ condemnation of the Islamic Republic’s violations by using this intelligence to launch a spectacular campaign of sabotage—a campaign that is the subject of Target Tehran, by Yonah Jeremy Bob and Ilan Evyatar. David Adesnik writes:

The question that remains open at the conclusion of Target Tehran is whether the Mossad’s tactical wizardry adds up to strategic success in the shadow war with Iran. The authors give a very respectful hearing to skeptics—such as the former Mossad director Tamir Pardo—who believe the country should have embraced the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Bob and Evyatar reject that position, arguing that covert action has proven itself the best way to slow down the nuclear program. They acknowledge, however, that the clerical regime remains fully determined to reach the nuclear threshold. “The Mossad’s secret war, in other words, is not over. Indeed, it may never end,” they write.

Which brings us back to Joe Biden. The clerical regime was headed over a financial cliff when Biden took office, thanks to the reimposition of sanctions after Washington withdrew from the nuclear deal. The billions flowing into Iran on Biden’s watch have made it that much easier for the regime to rebuild whatever Mossad destroys in addition to weathering nationwide protests on behalf of women, life, and freedom. Until Washington and Jerusalem get on the same page—and stay there—Tehran’s nuclear ambitions will remain an affordable luxury for a dictatorship at war with its citizens.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, Mossad, U.S. Foreign policy