Manfred and Anne Lehmann Foundation

Did You Ever Look at Syria's Map?

Every day you read about new approaches to reach Hafez el Assad of Syria and achieve the "breakthrough" that poor Secretary of State Warren Christopher and President Bill Clinton so desperately need to improve their tarnished standing in the world. After their failures in Bosnia, Haiti, Somalia, Japan, North Korea, China and Cuba, they are saying to themselves, how about kicking the Jews in the pants to get a quick foreign policy "victory?"

Assad, being wooed with such intensity, is of course playing coy, daily raising his ante. Fearing a Likud victory in two years, he has demanded that Israel withdraw from every inch of the Golan Heights within two years (before the 1996 elections in Israel)! The image of Bibi Netanyahu as prime minister motivates Assad more than all the sweet talk by Christopher, Dennis Ross and Co.

But what is the controversy over the Golan Heights all about? If you look at the map of the entirety of Syria, you find that the Golan only takes up a microscopic part of Syria -- one-half percent to be exact.

The Golan -- promised to the Jews in the Torah since Abraham's days, where the territory is either Called Bashan or Golan -- was always a barren, unpopulated area until 100 years ago. It was only in 1874-75 that Moslems -- expelled from the Caucasus after Russia's occupation of their homeland -- were settled on the Golan by the Ottoman Empire under the Ottoman Colonization Plan of the time.

These expelled Russian Moslems are called the Circassian Moslems. (This plan also settled Bosnian refugees in the Carmel area, the Galilee and the plane of Sharon and Caesaria, after Bosnia and Herzegovenia were turned over to Austria.)

So why is Assad insisting on a return of the Golan? Because without it, Israel becomes militarily greatly weakened, if not impotent. Since the Golan holds 30 percent of Israel's water supply, Syria can also force Israel, G-d forbid, to die from thirst, especially after Peres and Beilin agree to give away -- in addition to the water supply of the Golan -- the 60 percent of Israel's water supply in Judah and Samaria to Jordan and the PLO. If you ask them -- What will the Jews of Israel drink? -- their answer: We will bring in bottled water from Turkey. Since Turkey is a Moslem country, threatened by fundamentalism, you can see how precarious Israel's lifeline becomes.

But as long as Peres can gain the coveted Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo from his Norwegian friend, he does not seem to care what becomes of Israel. No wonder that Moshe Sharet, the former prime minister of Israel, said in his autobiography, "If Peres ever gets a ministerial post, I will tear kriah (the sign of mourning) over the fate of Israel..."




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