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Under cover of war, Israel expands its occupation of Syria

Israeli protesters at a Jerusalem Death to Arab rally [file photo]
Israeli protesters at a Jerusalem 'Death to Arabs' rally [file photo]

In many ways, the war in Syria has been a gift to Israel. For reasons quite similar to the US, the government in Tel Aviv has an interest in helping to prolong the war for as long as possible. Mostly crudely expressed by the poisonous anti-Muslim demagogue Daniel Pipes as “support whichever side is losing in the Syrian civil war,” this is a classic divide-and-rule imperial strategy.

The Syrian government is an oppressive state which abuses human-rights. It is also a state which is independent of US designs on the region, and often acts in downright opposition to them. The most obvious example of this is the government’s longstanding logistical support for the armed wing of the Hezbollah movement, the main force in Lebanon’s resistance to Israel. Hezbollah fighters are supporting the regime of Bashar Al-Assad in the war.

For this latter reason, both the US and Israeli governments are happy to let the fighting continue for as long as possible, since it means that Syria is less of a threat to the US and Israel’s regional dominance. A side benefit of all this for Israel has been to allow it to increase and further entrench its occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights.

This is a region of south-western Syria, which has been occupied illegally by Israel since the war of 1967. Although the Israeli occupation of Palestine’s West Bank and Gaza Strip is fairly well understood by now, the occupation of the Golan Heights gets less attention.

In 1967, when Israel occupied Gaza, the West Bank and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, it also invaded Syria’s Golan Heights. More than 130,000 native Syrians living in the area were either transferred forcibly from their homes, or compelled to flee by the threat of the war. This represented most of the population of the territory.

Israel then set about destroying villages in the Golan. Within a month of the occupation, Israel began building settlements on the rubble; these were and are all illegal under international law. The Syrian inhabitants of those villages were forbidden by Israel from returning to their land. The situation in many respects is very much like Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948, albeit on a smaller scale.

In 1981 – in defiance of international law and the UN – Israel annexed the Golan, designating it to be part of itself according to its own laws and practice. This is a move that it has not made in the West Bank and Gaza, because it would come under immense international pressure to grant the 4.5 million Palestinians in those occupied territories a vote in the Israeli parliament. This is something that Israel, the so-called “Jewish state”, will never countenance, unless it is compelled to do so by outside pressure.

Since then, Israel has increased its occupation of the Golan incrementally. During the current war in Syria, Israel has commenced exploratory drilling for oil in the territory. The parent company of Afek, which is carrying out the drilling, includes on its advisory board former US vice-president Dick Cheney, media tycoon Rupert Murdoch and Larry Summers, the former secretary of the US treasury.

Last week, it was reported in the Israeli press that Tel Aviv has authorised the construction of 1,600 new houses in the illegal settlement of Katzrin. According to Al-Marsad, a Syrian Arab human rights centre in the occupied Golan, the settlement is built over the destroyed Syrian villages of Qasrin, Shqef and Sanawber.

Al-Marsad explains that “due to [Israel’s] discriminatory land, housing and development policies, Syrian residential areas [in the Golan Heights] are severely overcrowded. As a result of severe restrictions imposed by Israeli planning committees, it is close to impossible for the native Syrian population in the remaining Syrian villages in the occupied Syrian Golan to obtain building permits.” This reflects the situation in, for example, occupied Jerusalem, where Palestinians are rarely granted such permits. “As such,” says Al-Marsad, “the Syrian population is forced to build homes without building permits, as this is the only way to meet their housing needs. Consequently, Syrian home owners run the risk that their home could be destroyed: as was the case with Mr Bassam Ibrahim whose home in Syrian village, Majdal Shams, was demolished by the Israeli authorities last month. Currently, the Syrian owners of between 80-90 houses have been notified that their homes are also due to be demolished.”

The war in Syria remains a convenient cover for Israel’s occupation of this much-neglected region of Syria to continue unabated. Much like its occupation of Palestine, Israel’s occupation of Syria must come to an immediate end.

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  • Fasdunkle

    “In many ways, the war in Syria has been a gift to Israel”

    It has certainly been a gift to those who make a living from anti-Israel nonsense

    • Charlie Andreasson

      You are funny, my dear brother. As soon as there is criticism about Israels occupation and colonization you call it “anti-Israel”. As if Israels existence is dependent on those crimes. Relax, it will still be an Israel the day it redraws to the internationaly recognized borders.

      • Lonny

        Another idiot.

        One tiny Jewish country where Jews have lived for 3500 years. 21 Arab countries. 57 Islamic countries spread from the Middle East and into large chunks of Africa, Asia and Europe… but the Jews are the “colonizers and occupiers.”

        The only time there were no Jews “occupying” the West Bank was when Jordan cleansed them all from 1949-67. Explain how Jews lost the right to live there.

        There’s no crime for Jews to live there. The crime is in you Jew-haters wanting them cleansed.

        There are no internationally recognized borders. Name the year where your hallucination about borders took place.

        • TRG-42

          Lonny, dont start your post by your signature, finish it by this Another idiot, which I admit you truly are.

          • Lonny

            Look! Fuqqstain’s best insult is, “I know you are but what am I?” That doesn’t surprise me.

      • Helen4Yemen

        Did the colonized Palestinians consent to have their land divided and
        given to foreign Jews from Europe? Who are these white Europeans
        on Arab land? Why are they in Palestine when they no more have
        excuses to go back to their lands in Germany, Poland, Russia, Lithuania
        and so on.

        • Lonny

          RacistTwat can’t name one fraction of a second at any point in history when the land belonged exclusively to Palestinian Arabs. Jews were also Palestinians. And it wasn’t up to the Arabs to approve of Jews forming a state in the part of Palestine where Jews were the majority. The Arabs chose war and lost. Don’t want the consequences of losing a war? Don’t start one.

        • Mike Abramov

          This article is about Syria and the Golan Heights and not Palestine.

          • Helen4Yemen

            I have no interest to dialogue with one who resorts to insults – learn manners – bye!

          • Lonny

            RacistTWAT has no interest in being anything other than a Jew-hater. Imbecile doesn’t think her racism is insulting.

          • Saeed Daoud

            No,the problem is you’re an idiot,cant debate the issues on their merits,and resort to insulting people you don’t agree with.Give it a rest and troll elsewhere,People are sick of you ,already.

          • Lonny

            Sorry, phuqqstain… the issues aren’t her racism.

            It’s not a matter of “disagreement.” It’s a matter of her being a racist. And look at you, phuqqstain, you support her. Do you engage in discussing any aspect of the Israel/Arab conflict? No. So, why don’t you take your holier-than-thou stupidity and shove it alongside your head.

            I know what you’ll do… you won’t attempt to discuss the issue. You’ll continue supporting the racistTwat’s racism.

          • Mike Abramov

            Helen – I find your depositions so amusing that I cannot resist putting you in your place. When you tell me you are no longer a racist, come back to me.

        • Lonny

          Sorry, racistTWAT. Jews didn’t need the consent of Arabs to establish a state on the part of the territory where Jews were the majority.

  • TRG-42

    Mossad was the mastermind behind the invasion of Syria, similarly to the operation Brush Fire, which aimed at ovetrhrowing Saddam Hussein by invasion of Iraq.

    • Lonny

      Jew-haters are morons.

      • TRG-42

        some jews are worse than morons, zionazis.

        • Lonny

          Something only a racistCUNT would say.

          • TRG-42

            poor lonny boy, pathetic creep.

          • Lonny

            Funny jihadi blower. Go blow another jihadi.

          • TRG-42

            you truly are pathetic lonny boy, go back to kibbutz kindergarten and suck your thumb.

          • Lonny

            Says the racist fuqqstain who whines, “I know you are but what am I?” when he figures out I helped him look like the idiot that he tries to be.

            Go back to Iraq and suck off another jihadi.

          • TRG-42

            wrong address, Baltimore is where I live, Lonny the loonie.

          • TRG-42

            By the way Loonie, I’m MD, Over, OUT, you are not worth my time, no matter how easy it is to see that you’re worthless piece of camel turd.

          • Lonny

            MD = Dumb motherphukker, but the idiot interchanged the D and the M.

            If you’re an MD, why didn’t you use the preposition “a” in your sentence?

            You said, “you’re worthless piece,” it should be “you’re a worthless piece… ” See how stupid you are, Doctor Jihadi Blower?

          • TRG-42

            Over, out, Loonie boy.

          • Lonny

            Yep. Dr. Jihadi Blower has another appointment with an entire cell of jihadis. Blower doesn’t want them exploding prematurely into his face.

          • Lonny

            Jihadi blower is too stupid to understand what “go back to” Iraq means.

            Let’s do this more slowly… Leave Baltimore, go back to Iraq, and suck off another jihadi.

    • Mike Abramov

      Absolute BS. I do not know what planet you live on, but stop reading comic books and get in to the real world.

      • TRG-42

        Victor Ostrovsky, a former Mossad katsa outlines very well the operational patterns used by Mossad, very easy to recognize when they are involved. Mike, try reading something else in addition to Donald Duck, nevermind that this must be exceedingly demanding for you, taking into account your low IQ.

        • Lonny

          RacistCUNT is unaware that every country has its spy agency.

        • Mike Abramov

          Operational patterns? So, what country in the world plays by the rules. Hezbollah? Hamas? ISIL? Syria?….need i go on.

          I am a veteran at this game mate so you cannot intimidate me. Your type are the ones that walk away from me when I start a conversation with pro-Palestinians. Gutless.

          • TRG-42

            go ahead MF

          • TRG-42

            so, not playing by the rules means that ‘Mossad operation Brush Fire was about driving Iraq to chaos, creation of ISIS and using it to make false flag terror strike in Paris , for instance. All Mossad operations intended to incite islamophobia and hatred of Arabs in Europe.

          • Lonny

            Jihadi blower sure has freaky conspirIDIOCY theories between those moronic ears.

            Dippy can’t find it in him to blame terrorists for terrorism… Idiot has to blame it on Mossad.

          • Mike Abramov

            Idiot – you are in the Sates and I am in Europe.

        • Saeed Daoud

          CHECK OUT CHRISTOPHER BOLLYNN’S EXPOSE ON 9/11,ALL THE DIRT ON THE SHITRAELI’S

          • TRG-42

            Thanks Saeed, will check it out.

    • Helen4Yemen

      The Iraq war was all about Greater Israel
      Source: Haaretz – March 4, 2003

      “In the course of the past year, a new belief has emerged in the town: the belief in war against Iraq. That ardent faith was disseminated by a small group of 25 or 30 neoconservatives, almost all of them JEWISH, almost all of them intellectuals people who are mutual friends and cultivate one another and are convinced that political ideas are a major driving force of history a partial list:

      Richard Perle,
      Paul Wolfowitz,
      Douglas Feith,
      William Kristol,
      Eliot Abrams,
      Charles Krauthammer”

      • Lonny

        RacistTWAT, how much Iraqi land is Israel inhabiting?

        Iraq was all about Saddam Hussein attacking and annexing Kuwait.

      • TRG-42

        Helen, right on coin, thanks. If you do not know Ostrovsky’s books, I highly recommend them both.

        • Lonny

          I recommend you go see a proctologist for your hourly cranial extraction procedure.

  • Mike Abramov

    When I first started reading this article, I thought that Asa Winstanley had suddenly become a reformed and open-minded man. It didn’t last. Despite his criticism of Syria and Hezbollah, in no time he is moaning that the Golan Heights.were acquired by the Israelis in 1967 (before he was born) and the Golan Heights is Syrian.

    I am sorry that Syrians were uprooted from the Glaln Heights, but Jews have had to put up with being uprooted for the last 1,500 years.

    The Golan Heights has been a strategic lookout for Hezbollah and the Syrian Army for years. It is now the look out for ISIL encroachment. Has anyone not noticed that ISIL keeps well away from the Israeli border but instead attacks the undermanned Kurds?

    • Lonny

      Syria actually grabbed a part of the Golan Heights in the 1948 war. The rest of the Golan Heights weren’t originally part of Syria when the Mandate of Palestine was first created. The British and French negotiated that part later as part of Syria. Also, Syria had been using the Golan Heights to fire sniper rifles at Israelis from 1948-67.

      • Saeed Daoud

        i TOLD YOU TO STFU ,WITH THAT b,s. ,your obfuscations regarding land confiscation as a resultcolonial deliniation will only lead to more ostracisation and is only a smokescreen,you A-hole .what you mean to say is after 48 ,the fit hit the shan after your terror campaign against the british first and later palestinians your subsequent land grab changed all the borders.Yours kapo,don’t blame the Syrians for your shite,We got no problems with the syrians,they’re our brothers,lebanese,jordanians,egyptians too,it’s you that doesn’t belong,it’s you that is the jackal ,the smile stealer,the sun blocker,the life draining mosquito ,it’s because of you no”one can play outside, you suck as a people,the zionists,the ones who pretensd theyve always been there,actually i take it back there are jewish people who have real roots in Palestine,they lived amongst Palestinians and they would have nothing to do with the likes of you and your fellow ziocorpse.GO TO HELL,SINCERELY.

        • Lonny

          Oh look! Diqqbreath is back, blathering nonsensically again!

          Land confiscation? Tell us when there were no Jews living on that land, other than when Jordan captured and cleansed the territories from 1949-67.

          The Arabs were the ones who started the terrorism, fuqqface… Check out all the Arab riots from 1920, 1921, 1929 and 1936-39. You whine like the bîtch that you are about Jewish terrorism, but that only lasted from 1937-48. It started in response to Arab terrorism and the Jews themselves outlawed it. Sniveling qumguzzler whines more about that than 96 years of Arab terrorism which has been steady for the last 96 years and has been ingrained in their culture for the last 100 years.

          Maybe the Syrians shouldn’t have joined the “let’s wipe out the Jews” party if you were just going to bawl your crybaby eyes out after losing multiple times.

          You suck jihadis… and not just as a people, but you blow goats and camels as well.

          Jews as a whole have roots in Palestine. They are the actual and original Palestinians, fuqqpuppet. Arabs are from Arabia.

          Go suck off another camel, qumface.

    • Saeed Daoud

      YOU CONSTANTLY EXPAND BORDERS TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THE NEW ENEMIES YOU JUST MADE BY TAKING THEIR LAND TO have a strategic lookout point ,fool – you cannot live peacefully so you will perish an unsustainable albatross on the people of the world ,whose artificial life support became untenable after leaching the lifeforce of it’s host!

      • Mike Abramov

        A very poetic reply.

        YOU CONSTANTLY EXPAND BORDERS TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THE NEW ENEMIES.

        Egypt was given back the whole of the Sinai Desert thanks to the cessation of hostilities between Israel and Egypt.

        There is an open border between Israel and Jordan.

        Gaza was given back to the Palestinians in 2005. They immediately blew up the synagogues.

        My friend, Israel does not want to spend 40% of it’s GDP on defense, but has to. What the Arabs want is the demolition of Israel in a great jihad. Then, another jihad will arise from the fight for power between the Sunni and Shi’ite. Allah U Akbar in your language.

  • Beer Baron

    The leap of logic required to swallow this argument is staggering. It is truly nonsensical.

    So is Israel supposed to return the Golan Heights to HEZBOLLAH or ISIS?