I suppose this is an Israeli leftists attempt at accountability/whitewashing for land theft and ethnic cleansing in Syria’s Golan at the time of the Six Day War.. Which I firmly believe should be returned to Syria proper. And repopulated with Syrians.
As opposed to Palestinian refugees, the fate of the Syrians expelled from the Golan Heights by Israel in 1967 was covered up and hidden from public awareness. Even today, most Israelis believe the area was largely empty of Syrians, and anyone who may have been there fled voluntarily.
Among the Syrian refugees fleeing their burning country to the European countries that were kind enough to open their gates, there are those who belong to a second generation of refugees. The first fled in 1967 when the Syrian Golan Heights were conquered (stolen/annexed) by the Israeli army. In contrast to the refugees in the West Bank and Gaza, the story of these refugees was blotted out of the Israeli consciousness. The facts disappeared, their story was hidden, obscured and vanished from view — as if it had never happened.
In the late 90s, I was sent by an Israeli television program to document the story of the Druze residents of the Golan Heights. I was asked to look at why they kept their allegiance to their Syrian homeland and refused to accept Israeli citizenship, despite the many benefits granted them by Israel. In the course of the investigation I was surprised to come across a completely different story. It turned out that in 1967, when the Six-Day War broke out, the Golan Heights were populated by Syrian citizens, of whom the Druze who remained were but a minority. I looked for corroboration in history books, but the Syrian inhabitants simply vanished. Only a single encyclopedia entry mentioned the fact that before the Israeli conquest the population of the Golan Heights numbered more than 100,000.
Control the information: Control reality- Is information really unimportant?
Actual, factual and true information is very important. In fact truth is so rare and priceless that it’s very nearly impossible to find. Like a rare gemstone, requiring mining conducted more deeply and broadly in hopes of uncovering some priceless treasure. This Israeli centric article, is not the truth, it is an attempt at truth while still obfuscating reality.
In the course of the investigation and filming, we heard from former IDF soldiers who fought in the Golan Heights, from members of kibbutzim and villages in the Jordan Valley as well as from the Druze themselves. They all told the same story: the Golan Heights, which in the Israeli consciousness was perceived as having been empty and devoid of people, was in fact populated — just like the West Bank when it was conquered. The report was filmed and edited, but just as the promo for the program was being broadcast, the head of the Arab affairs desk demanded that we stop the broadcast for fear of being ridiculed. He stated that there had never been civilians in the Golan Heights except for the Syrian armed forces, the proof being that “everyone knows this.” (Everyone knows this- Appeal to popularity or bandwagon. Very much like the AGW cult’s over reliance on this logical fallacy )
|Druze villagers threshing corn in Majdak Shams, Golan Heights, 1967|
At the onset of the 1967 War, the Golan Heights were home to between 130,000-150,000 inhabitants. The majority of them were civilians who lived in 275 towns and villages. The largest town was Quneitra, the main city of the district, where a quarter of that population lived — a minority of whom were military personnel and their families.
During the course of the battles, as the Syrian army withdrew, about half of the civilians joined the retreat to seek shelter from Israeli bombardments, waiting for a ceasefire that would allow them to return to their homes. But those who remained behind the ceasefire line were not allowed to return. Later, those Syrian refugees who tried to return to their homes were declared infiltrators; they were sometimes fired upon by Israeli soldiers in order to scare them, (in order to kill them and scare others who may try to return- like I said this is a whitewash, still) while those who succeeded in crossing the border were sentenced and detained.
Reminds one of the actions of the Kurdish militias present day in northern Syria.. History repeats because no one pays attention
After the fighting was over, there remained in the Golan Heights tens of thousands of people, about half of them Syrian inhabitants. They were all expelled, with the exception of the Druze. The civilian population, consisting mostly of Sunni Muslims, among whom there were a few thousand refugees from the 1948 War, as well as some Circassians and others, was transferred across the border in an orderly manner.I have serious, very serious doubts that the Syrian were “transferred across the border in an orderly fashion”- It’s much more likely they were forced to flee with their lives and little more.
As you will read, the next paragraph contradicts the claim of an “orderly transfer” and reinforces the forced to flee with their lives which makes much more sense
“Ex-combatants and residents of the Jordan Valley who came to the Golan Heights after the cessation of hostilities testified about soldiers who were seated behind tables taken from houses close to the ceasefire line, and forced the Syrian residents to sign documents stating that they were voluntarily leaving their houses and moving to Syrian territory.
“It can be assumed that the lists testifying to the silent transfer that took place in the Golan are hidden somewhere in the military archives, which will not be opened to the public for many years for reasons of state security. After the end of the fighting there was widespread plunder, but no acts of slaughter were committed....”
No acts of slaughter, my arse! I don’t even believe that claim at all. So they plundered and the people they found hiding they didn't rape and kill? Or torture and kill? Not credible. Not credible at all...
“Convoys of military vehicles entered Quneitra with a message transmitted over loudspeakers warning the residents that they had to leave or else they could come to harm. After they fled, the beautiful city with its historic buildings stood empty for a time before it was razed to the ground. Dwellings, commercial centers, movie theaters, hospitals, schools, kindergartens, cemeteries, mosques, and churches were completely demolished by the Israeli military’s artillery fire and aerial bombardment”This spin doctor would have me believe that all these buildings were emptywhen Israel razed them? I don’t believe it. This is not Israel’s normal behaviour.
A claim, as you will read that is clearly contradicted in the next paragraphs:
“The village dwellers who clung to their houses and were afraid to come out were also commanded to leave and march to the other side of the border. In subsequent days, bulldozers and tractors from the Jordan Valley were brought to the Golan Heights, and in an unparalleled lightning operation, destroyed all the villages, save for some buildings left standing for military training purposes.
Within a short span of time, the world of tens of thousands of people collapsed: educators, medical personnel, officials, managers, merchants, and farmers lost their land, their houses, and all their belongings. An old woman, whom all witnesses remembered well, remained in one of the villages for a few years until her death.
At the time, Israeli leaders claimed that it was their intent to control the Golan Heights temporarily (LIE) and that they would be returned when a peace agreement is signed. In practice, no more than one month after the war, Israel established the first Jewish settlement in the Golan, Merom HaGolan; its settlers expropriated not only land, but a huge quantity of livestock and cultivated fields. Two years after the war, the government of Israel approved a plan that included the annexation of the Golan and populating it with Jewish settlers. In 1981, the Knesset passed the “Golan Heights Law” which officially annexed the Golan Heights to the State of Israel. Today the Jewish population there consists of 22,000 settlers living in 32 settlements.So it is today:
Israel’s new occupation zone in Syria
I've covered on many occasions here at the blog Israel's diabolical actions in Syria's Golan attempting to steal yet more Syrian territory
"Perhaps the most woefully under-covered fact of the war in Syria has been Israel’s role, and the fact that it has been supplying armed groups allied with Al-Qaeda.
The Golan Heights is a part of Syria that has been occupied illegally by Israel since 1967; the Zionist state annexed the territory in 1981. This colonial aggression is not recognised internationally.
The UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) keeps track of violations of the ceasefire in the Golan Heights. UNDOF’s reports have for years now shown that Israel is in regular contact with armed rebel groups, including some in those areas which were at the time held by the official Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria.
Israel’s official, stated, strategy in Syria is to “let both sides bleed” in order to prolong the war for as long as possible so as to weaken Syria and its allies, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Iran.
The latest UNDOF report confirms that Israeli aid to armed extremists in Syria is on the rise. “Relative to the previous reporting period,” it reads, “there has been a significant increase in interaction between” Israeli soldiers and “individuals from the Bravo side,” code for the ostensibly Syrian-controlled side of the ceasefire line. “UNDOF observed 16 interactions between” the Israeli army “and unknown individuals… occurring on four occasions in February, three in March, eight in April and on one occasion in May.”
The report documents how “unknown individuals, armed and unarmed, accompanied by mules, approached the [Israeli army] position and were met by and interacted with [Israeli army] personnel. In some instances, personnel and supplies were observed to have been transferred in both directions. On all occasions, the unknown individuals and mules returned to the Bravo side.”
A recent investigative report by the Lebanese journalist Nour Samaha shows that Israel is now pushing as much as “$50,000 a month” into a new rebel faction which is “in possession of only light weaponry, so [its fighters] act predominantly as border guards and patrol the area they’re in.” Samaha’s source for this was a rebel one. According to her investigation, Israel has a direct financial relationship in this way with somewhere between 300 and 1,000 rebel fighters. The report also names the new group’s leader as “Abu Suhaib Al-Joulani”, (Jew lani, Jew land? ) clearly a nom de guerre"
|The border between Israeli occupied Golan Heights and Syria|