Golan Heights

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak recently stated that had Syria recognized the State of Israel, the Golan Heights would have been returned to them a long time ago.  He added that since the Syrians had rejected the Israeli offer, the inevitable result is that the US recognized Israel’s sovereignty in the Golan Heights.  Indeed, since 1981, when the area was annexed by the State of Israel, the Golan Heights has been a pivotal part of the Jewish state.  The time has come for England and the rest of the world to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Great Britain’s Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s recent condemnation of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights goes against the historical reality.  Before the Tribes of Israel entered the Land of Israel following the death of Moses, the tribes of Menashe, Gad and Reuven had already liberated a land known as Bashan from the Amorites. Bashan comprises the Golan Heights of today. Archaeological evidence proves that the Jewish people lived in the Golan Heights during both the Maccabees and Bar Kochba Revolts.   During the Talmudic era, Jewish communities in the Golan Heights also flourished.  In fact, archaeologists have uncovered at least 34 synagogues in the Golan Heights dating from the late Roman period through the Byzantine era up until the Arab conquest of the Holy Land. Indeed, the Jewish community in the Golan Heights dates back to antiquity.

At the same time, the Golan Heights has a sizable Druze community, of whom only 3-4% are bribed by the Assad regime into objecting to Israel’s annexation of the area.  Mendi Safadi, who heads the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights, proclaimed that these Assad supporters only represent a fraction of the community and that most Druze community in the Golan Heights despise the atrocities committed by the Assad regime especially in the wake of the Suwayda massacre, where 258 Druze were slaughtered and 14 Druze women and children were abducted after Assad withdrew his protection from the community for they refused to turn in Druze draft-dodgers.

Safadi declared that “the Golan Heights are liberated from the oppression of the Assad regime; if we give the residents of the Golan Heights a choice, they will certainly choose to remain under Israeli rule.”   Given this, England’s opposition to Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights goes against the democratic wishes of the Druze community in the region.

Furthermore, as Safadi proclaimed, there are important strategic considerations that England must take into account: “Trump’s decision is vital and correct considering that Iran is deploying opposition groups on the Syrian side that will terrorize Israel.”  He noted that his Golan Heights declaration “will prevent the forces of evil from legitimizing acts of terror along Israel’s northern border.”  Should England follow in America’s footsteps, such a statement will be even more powerful.

Therefore, the time has come for England to support democracy abroad in the same way that they promote democracy at home for the days of colonialism have long since passed.  The time has come for England to recognize the wishes of the people who actually live in the Golan Heights and their vital right to live in peace and security.  It is pivotal that England recognizes that both the Druze and the Jews who live in the Golan Heights want to live in Israel, the Middle East’s only democracy, rather than under a brutal tyrant, who massacres, rapes, tortures, terrorizes and commits democide and other crimes against humanity against his own people.  Indeed, the time has come for England to stop rewarding Assad for massacring his own people and to join US President Donald Trump in recognizing Israeli sovereignty in the region.

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Rachel Avraham is the President of the Dona Gracia Mendes Nasi Center for Human Rights in Middle East (under formation) and is a political analyst at the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights, which is run by Mendi Safadi, Israeli Communication Minister Ayoob Kara's former chief of staff. In addition, she is a counter-terror analyst at the Islamic Theology on Counter-Terrorism, a think tank run by British Pakistani dissident Noor Dahri. For over 6 years, she is a Middle East based journalist, covering radical Islam, terrorism, human rights abuses in the Muslim world, minority rights abuses in the Muslim world, women's rights issues in the Muslim world, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Jewish Diaspora, anti-Semitism, international affairs and other issues of importance. Avraham is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media," a ground breaking book that was endorsed by former Israel Consul General Dr. Yitzchak Ben Gad and Israeli Communications Minister Ayoob Kara.