Israel once again fails to respond to the lethal terminology
January 2, 2007

By Jerome S. Kaufman

Once again Israel is falling into its usual trap – ignoring the insidious nature of Arab propaganda terminology. Despite the quickly discredited Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group report, Israel will once again be under the gun to retreat from the Golan Heights and the associated Sheba Farms. The false terminology “Israeli-occupied territory” once more rears its ugly head – in this case, referring to the Golan and Sheba Farms, rather than Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The result of the failure to vociferously object to this terminology may well result in equivalent disasters.

Israel again refuses to re-affirm its superior political and historical claim to this land. The facts are as follows. The Golan and associated Sheba Farms were a part of the Hebrew nation long before the British and the French divided up the Middle East to suit their own colonial ambitions and create the nations of Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and boundary lines that never existed before! The British and French did re-create, under the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations Mandate, a homeland for the Jews on both sides of the Jordan River, as it had existed in biblical times. But, these boundaries were quickly decapitated.

It so happens there was a Jewish presence in the Golan dating way back to the Second century BCE! The ruins of the ancient Jewish village of Katzrin was located in the central Golan, some 13 km. northeast of the Sea of Galilee. Archeological excavations traced the development of the village from the Roman period (3rd-4th centuries). The archeological remains of a synagogue were discovered in 1967 during a survey in which an ancient gravestone bearing the Hebrew inscription, Rabbi Abun was found.

The Sheba Farms area is itself, a vital defensive part of the Golan. It is a located at the junction of Syria, Lebanon, and Israel on the slopes of the Golan Heights and overlooks several Israeli towns including Qiryat Shemona. It is about 10 miles square with an altitude up to 6,170 feet and was captured by Israel from Syria during the 1967 Six Day War. The area has never been a part of Lebanon. Israel rightfully considers the Sheba
Farms to be part of the Golan Heights and extended Israeli law to the region in 1981, in an action that the U.N. Security Council declared null and void and without international legal effect.

The controversy over the Farms again arose in 2000 when the United Nations certified that Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon was complete and need not include the Sheba Farms since they were never part of Lebanon. Nevertheless, Hezbollah (since May 2000) has used Israel’s refusal to withdraw from Sheba Farms as an excuse for its continued attacks against Israeli civilians.

As to Lebanon itself, the Syrians make no pretense as to its existential validity. In August 1972 Syrian president Hafez al-Assad said, “Syria and Lebanon are a single country.” Lebanon never has appeared as an independent state in the maps within Syrian textbooks. The area has always been designated as a part of Greater Syria. Nevertheless, the Arab League backed Lebanon’s claim with a communiqué issued at the Arab League’s 13th session in 2001. It asked for “complete Israeli withdrawal from all occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, from the occupied Syrian Golan Heights to the line of 4 June 1967 and from the remaining occupied Lebanese territory up to the internationally recognized borders, including the Sheba farmlands.

Hezbollah’s spokesperson Hassan Ezzedin was even more explicit in his declaration of purpose stating, “If they (the Israelis) go from Sheba, we will not stop fighting them. Our goal is to liberate the 1948 borders of Palestine and send the immigrant Jews back to Germany or wherever they came from.”

So, who cares about Israel’s historical, legal and biblical claim to the Golan, the Sheba Farms, Judea and Samaria (West Bank) – the entire land of Israel for that matter – certainly not the Arabs and certainly not the Europeans and certainly not the misguided American State Department so successful in perverting successive American administrations.

And, the Arabs, on literally thousands of occasions, without any equivocation, have stated their primary goal is the complete elimination of the Jewish state and the murder of as many Jews as possible in the process.
So what Israeli, what Jew in his right mind would continue to surrender territory of any kind and be thus directly complicit in obtaining his own demise?

Well, unfortunately the current Prime Minister Olmert appears to be of that mind, as does much of the Israeli population and the far greater number of the uninformed, could care-less Jews of the Diaspora. What then is the only hope for Israel and Diaspora Jewry? Our only hope, as usual, remains the supreme G-d that gave us the land in the first place.

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