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April 25, 2014 / 25 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Golan’

Disputed Territories: The Census of 1967

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

After the Six-Day War, Israel counted the populace of the territories it had taken over in the recent war. On October 3rd 1967 the Central Bureau of Statistics  (CBS) published its initial findings – so the document we’re presenting today was actually never classified at all. We’re posting it here not because it’s been secret all these years, but simply because we’re not aware that it’s online. So now it is.

The document starts out by explaining its methodology: a one-day curfew was placed on each of the various areas, and hundreds of Arabic-speaking census-takers tried to reach every single home (except what they called the ‘wanderers’, presumably the tent-living Bedouin). Every family filled out a form and received a form of confirmation; 20% were asked to fill out comprehensive questionnaires. Since the populace expected potential benefits to accrue from being counted, the CBS reported that compliance had been very high.

The census was taken in August (beginning on the Golan Heights) and September.

On the Golan 6,400 people were enumerated, 2,900 of them in Magdel Shams.

In northern Sinai 33,000 people were counted, 30,000 of them in El-Arish; the Bedouin of the vast Sinai desert were not counted.

In Gaza the census found 356,000 people, about half (175,000) in refugee camps.

On the “West Bank” there were about 600,000, not including East Jerusalem.

(The population of East Jerusalem has been counted, since the Six Day War, in the column of Arabs in Israel, not in the occupied territories. This creates some amusing results, most noticeably when western media outlets who would never accept Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem routinely count its Palestinian population as part of the 20% of today’s Israeli population who are Arab; present-day demographic statistics routinely double-count the 300-plus Arabs of East Jerusalem as being both part of Israel’s Arab population and the population of the West Bank.)

Beyond the simple numbers, the editors of the report point at a number of possible explanations for the numbers. In Gaza, the Egyptian data from 1965 had about 100,000 additional people, or 25% more than the Israelis counted. Since only a few thousands left as a consequence of the war, and many of them were Egyptians from Sinai and not Gazans, the report assumed someone had been inflating numbers, perhaps by failing to register deaths.

The Jordanian numbers from 1961 were also larger than those identified here, and the editors felt this probably expressed a significant phenomenon of migration during the Jordanian period and after the Six Day War.

The populace of all the territories was very young, children between 0-14 making up the largest group in all areas. the editors were struck, however, by the imbalance between young men and young women; their conjecture being that the relative lack of young men reflected large-scale emigration of laborers.

Visit Israel’s Documented Story.

Land for War

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

President Obama’s recent charm offensive in Israel apparently had two aims: First, to lull Israel into forfeiting timely military action against Iranian nukes in the hope that Obama will act instead; and second, to convince Israelis that now is the time to revisit the land-for-peace formula.

For years, the conventional wisdom — among Israel’s peace camp and its proponents abroad (Obama included) — has been that if Israel just relinquishes enough territory to its enemies, peace will arrive. But on most of Israel’s borders, history has revealed the naïve folly behind an idea that could just as aptly be called “land-for-war.”

Consider Syria. From 1948 to 1967, the Syrians regularly fired artillery shells from their dominant positions on the Golan Heights down at Israeli border communities and Fatah used the territory to launch terrorist raids into Israel, until Israel captured it in 1967. But since the U.S.-brokered talks between Israel and Syria began in 1999, peaceniks have posited that a full withdrawal by Israel from the strategic plateau in exchange for peace with Syria involved a risk worth taking. Their rationale was that — in an era dominated more by aerial threats (jets and missiles) than terrestrial ones (soldiers and tanks) — the territory was no longer vital to Israeli security and could be traded for a double boon: peace with Syria and elimination of Iran’s greatest strategic ally.

Current events reveal the deeply flawed assumptions underpinning the land-for-peace-with-Syria paradigm. No Israeli territorial concession is needed for Iran to lose its only Arab ally; the Syrian civil war will ultimately accomplish that. Basher Assad’s regime will eventually fall because the daily slaughter of one’s own people (with over 70,000 dead) is unsustainable when each atrocity can be instantly uploaded to the Internet. Whoever replaces Assad will be no friend to those who armed, funded, and prolonged his massacres: Iran and Russia. Iran and its proxy Hizballah have also been substantially involved in fighting the rebels on the ground, and thus will be distanced from postwar Syria far more than any Israeli-Syrian peace could have separated Iran and Syria.

More importantly, the land-for-peace formula with Syria would have transferred the strategic territory from Israel to an Alawite-led regime reviled by the mostly Sunni rebels who will eventually overthrow it and likely disavow its commitments — including any peace deal that might have been reached with Israel.

Indeed, the Syrian rebels already control much of the 200 square miles comprising the Syrian side of the Golan Heights (where they recently kidnapped 21 U.N. peacekeepers stationed there) and have openly threatened to attack Israel next. Israel comprises about 8,000 square miles. If those same rebels were on the 500 square miles constituting the Israeli side of the plateau thanks to an earlier “peace deal,” Israel would be that much closer to the errant projectiles of Syria’s civil war, and that much more exposed to whatever terrorist attacks on Israel the Syrian jihadist fighters plan after finishing Assad.

Hence, Israel’s tangible security asset (earned with the blood of its soldiers in the Six Day War) would have been traded for “peace” with Assad, but land-for-war with Syrian Islamists is what Israel may have received just a few years later.

Indeed, “land-for-war” has a compelling record. In 2000, Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon and in 2006 was attacked from there by Hizballah. It was only the force of Israel’s military response in the war that followed — rather than any territorial concession — that prevented any subsequent cross-border attacks by Hizballah, although the terrorist group still pursues murderous plots abroad, including in Europe (which still cowers from labeling Hizballah a terrorist organization).

Since Israel left the Gaza Strip in 2005, Palestinian terrorists have launched almost 10,000 rockets from there at Israeli civilians (most recently on three days of last week and during Obama’s visit to Israel, violating yet another cease-fire agreement). Since the 1993 Oslo Peace Accord requiring Israel to hand over parts of the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terrorist attacks have killed over 1,000 Israelis.

The 1994 Jordan-Israel peace involved very little land (and heavily depends on survival of the Hashemite Kingdom), so the best precedent supporting the land-for-peace model is Egypt, which agreed to peace with Israel for return of the Sinai Peninsula. That cold peace has held since 1979 mostly thanks to over $60 billion of U.S. aid to Egypt and an unpopular, secular autocrat (Hosni Mubarak). After Islamists hijacked Egypt’s 2011 revolution, the future of the Egypt-Israel peace is less certain, although Egypt now has so many economic and political problems that foreign military adventures seem unlikely.

UN to Adopt Syrian Text Damning Israel for ‘Violating Human Rights’

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

At the UN Human Rights Council on Friday, Syria accused Israel of violating the human rights of children in the Golan, while diplomats met in another chamber on the same day to discuss a Syrian-drafted resolution, to be adopted next week, entitled “Human Rights in the Occupied Syrian Golan.”

There will be five other resolutions targeting Israel, and about the same number combined covering the rest of the world.

While this year Syria did not officially present the text, its delegate sat on the dais next to his Pakistani colleague who chaired the session on behalf of the Islamic group. Not a single diplomat called out the sheer lunacy of the exercise. Rather, the EU commented that it was “committed to the protection of all, including those in the occupied Golan.” It was willing to “constructively engage on the text,” even as it noted that its proposals last year were not implemented.

Egypt said it aligned itself with the Islamic group.



Later in the day, UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer took the floor in the plenary. Here are his notes:

Mr. President,

This Council is charged with promoting and protecting the guarantees enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Today we ask: is the Council fulfilling its mission?

Let us consider the most basic right: the right to life.

As we heard this week from Amnesty International, Saudi Arabia is preparing imminently to execute seven alleged child offenders including Sarhan Al Mashayekh—who was also sentenced to be crucified over three days. Why is the Council refusing to address this in any resolution, urgent session, or even debate? [Ed. note: the Saudis executed them today by firing squad.]

Three other countries known to execute juvenile offenders are Yemen, Sudan and Iran—yet none of these situations is being addressed by any resolution.

And while there is a resolution on Iran, it is silent on child executions—and indeed the text is devoid of any documentation whatsoever of the regime’s other massive abuses, including against women, religious and ethnic minorities, and dissidents.

Finally, the Council must do far more about the thousands of children subjected to violence and death in Syria.

Now, today we just heard from the Syrian representative about human rights in the Golan Heights. This was a transparent attempt to change the subject from the dire, catastrophic human rights situation in Syria.

Sadly, this has been going on for decades. The United Nations has allowed Syria to present itself as a champion of human rights.

Indeed, a resolution was circulated today—presented by Syria—the same one that has been adopted each year by this Council, on purported human rights violations in the Golan Heights.

This text embodies all that is wrong with giving Syria a free pass. Year after year, the UN enabled Syria to portray itself as a champion of human rights.

- While Hafez al-Assad was murdering 20,000 people in Hama, in 1982, Syria was sitting here, as an elected member of the human rights commission. Two years later, it was reelected.

- A year and a half ago, Syria was elected to two human rights committees of UNESCO.

- A few weeks ago, Syria was elected Rapporteur of the decolonization committee dealing with human rights.

Mr. President,

Let us be clear: the situation in Syria today was allowed to develop, and the Syrian regime was allowed to remain in power, in part because the United Nations granted false legitimacy to this murderous regime.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Seeing to the Needs of IDF Soldiers (Sponsored)

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

As snow began to fall in the Jerusalem area Wednesday afternoon, an IDF soldier placed one last call. He explained that there were over 2,000 soldiers stationed near the northern border, in response to the civil war raging in Syria. The soldiers were freezing, living in makeshift quarters and in desperate need of gloves and thermal underwear as soon as possible. He explained that he had approached other organizations who support the IDF and they flatly turned him down, each one explaining that their budgets were being used for “other things.” He was desperate and didn’t know where else to turn.

David Landau, the Director of Standing Together, listened to the soldier explain the situation. Only hours ago he was sitting in his warm home, watching the news of the impending storm while his Facebook page filled up with photos and weather-related anecdotes. But now he realized there was work to be done.

Since making aliyah over thirty years ago, Mr. Landau has spent countless nights delivering packages as gestures of gratitude to the young soldiers on duty in order to make their service more pleasant. In 2003, he founded Standing Together to expand this mission and to enable others to express appreciation to these heroes throughout Israel.

Standing Together typically delivers late-night snacks to soldiers stationed at checkpoints and bases throughout Israel. With two mobile canteens – dairy and meat of course, which Mr. Landau calls “hospitality trailers” – that are laden with equipment and food, he brings volunteers, tour groups, and visiting families to the soldiers so they can help distribute these tokens of appreciation.

IDF soldiers recharging their cell phones, among other things, at the recharging station during Operation Cast Lead.

In times of crisis though, the mission of the organization changes. During the Lebanon War in 2006, Mr. Landau’s frequent trips North provided soldiers with socks, which had become a scarcity. During Operation Cast Lead in 2009, the trailer’s electrical recharging station gave soldiers a chance to speak with loved ones back home. Most recently in Operation Pillar of Defense, it was the Standing Together trailers that sometimes brought soldiers their first meal in a day.

“It isn’t that the IDF is unprepared or disorganized, chas v’shalom [“Heaven forbid” -Ed.]” Mr. Landau explained. “The IDF faces very real threats from our enemies who surround us, and that’s where the money goes.” So while thermal underwear might seem like a trivial expense in a budget that measures in the billions, given the choice between that or ammunition, the IDF has to choose the latter.

Mr. Landau takes pride in the fact that Standing Together is so agile, delivering pizza one night and personal essentials the next day. “Larger organizations can reach more soldiers at once, but it takes time for them to get moving. We can reach the soldiers much more quickly. And we do it much more personally,” he added, grinning. When asked about the administrative overhead for the organization, he explained that because they were funded by charitable donations, 100% of the funds donated for specific causes – such as the cold weather clothing campaign – go towards that campaign. He draws no salary from the organization.

Mr Landau assured the major that he would be able to get warm winter clothing to his soldiers and hung up the phone. Within hours, Standing Together’s online campaign to purchase military-approved special gloves (thermal fleece with trigger-finger slits, pictured above) and thermal underwear for these soldiers was underway. The speed and generosity of the response to the campaign was overwhelming, and the first order for gloves was placed.

To donate to Standing Together for the Golan Winter Clothing campaign, visit http://www.stogether.org/golanwinter

Syrian Gunfire on the Golan

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

For the second time today, gunfire from Syria crossed the border into Israel on the Golan Heights.

An IDF vehicle was nearly hit. No injuries were reported.

UNCONFIRMED: Syria Attacked Israeli Bases on Golan

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Unconfirmed reports from Arab media: Syria has attacked Israeli bases in Golan in retaliation to the aggression on Gaza. Unconfirmed. Investigating…

Update: As this report from the Arab media cannot be confirmed at this time, we are assuming it’s false.

Syrian Rebels, “Eagles of the Golan”, Take Over In Syria-Israel Demilitarized Zone

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Syrian rebel soldiers calling themselves “Eagles of the Golan” have taken over Beerajam and Bariqa in Southern Syria, in an area which serves as a demilitarized zone between Israel and the country to the north.

The area around Kuneitra was likely taken because of an armistice forbidding Syria from engaging in military activity in the six-mile-wide area along Israel’s border, providing refuge to rebels not obligated under that law.

Israel has not taken an official position on the months-long civil war.  However, Eagles of the Golan, which is largely comprised of Al-Qaida operatives, has said that it will turn its sites on Israel after it defeats Syrian President Bashar Assad.

On Tuesday night, France became the first Western country to recognize the new opposition.

The Syrian Arab Red Crescent said that more than 2.5 million people have been displaced since the fighting began in 2011.

The UN has said it will provide aid to half a million people by the end of the year, including basic necessities such as blankets, warm clothing and cooking supplies.

IDF Tanks Shell Syrian Positions after Mortar Shell Lands on the Golan

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Late Monday afternoon, Israel time, a mortar shell hit an open area in the vicinity of an IDF post in the central Golan Heights, as part of the internal conflict inside Syria, causing no damage or injuries.

In response, IDF soldiers fired tank shells towards the source of the fire, confirming direct hits.

The IDF has filed a complaint with the UN forces operating in the area, stating that fire emanating from Syria into Israel will not be tolerated and shall be responded to with severity.

Yesterday, a mortar shell hit an IDF post in the Golan Heights adjacent to the Israel-Syria border, also as part of the internal conflict inside Syria. In response, IDF soldiers fired warning shots towards Syrian areas, as well as an advanced Tamuz rocket, and the IDF filed a complaint through the UN forces operating in the area, stating that fire emanating from Syria into Israel will not be tolerated and shall be responded to with severity.

Last Sunday (November 4), Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz toured the Golan Heights together with commanders of the Gaash Formation, which is responsible for protecting the region around the Syrian border. “This is a Syrian issue that could become our issue,” the Chief of Staff then said of the ongoing fighting in Syria, instructing forces in the field to remain alert in protecting the Golan Heights and preventing violence from spilling across the border.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/idf-tanks-shell-syrian-positions-after-mortar-shell-lands-on-the-golan/2012/11/12/

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