Last week, parallel bills were introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate that would formally acknowledge Israel’s claim to the Golan. Zvi Hauser explains that such a move is justified politically, strategically, historically, and morally:
Iran’s presence in Syria is a done deal . . . The border between Israel and Iran, between the West and radical Islam, now passes through the Golan Heights. Iranian militias, looking a lot like Hizballah, are digging into bases on the border with the Golan, the Shiite population in the area grows larger, and rocket supplies threaten the Israeli residents of the Golan Heights and the eastern Galilee. The Iranian leadership clearly realizes that the way to challenge Israel’s security isn’t necessarily by [conventional] warfare but by asymmetric conflict, deploying terrorist organizations and militias that spark skirmishes along the border and attack the civilian population. . . .
Jewish history in the Golan began as soon as the Israelites entered the land of Canaan, as the book of Joshua tells us. . . . Jewish settlement in the Golan grew and thrived in the end of the 6th and the beginning of the 5th centuries BCE with the return of the Jewish exiles from Babylon. In 67 CE, three years before the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Second Temple, the Golan witnessed the battle of Gamla, which was part of the Jewish rebellion against Rome. . . . Archaeological digs in the Golan have thus far revealed the remains of 25 synagogues that operated between the Jewish rebellion in the 1st century CE and the Muslim conquest in the mid-7th century CE, as well as evidence of numerous Jewish villages and communities. . . .
Syria controlled the Golan for 21 years—as opposed to 52 years of Israeli control. In those 21 years, it encouraged terrorist organizations to use the entire Golan as a base of operations for terrorist attacks against Israel, ceaselessly bombarded communities around the Sea of Galilee and close to the border, used the Golan as a strategic base from which continuously to threaten Israel, [and] attempted to divert the Golan’s water sources, hoping to deny Israel vital waters it needed for drinking and agriculture. . . .
There is no other horizon for the Golan Heights save for the Israeli horizon.