Photo Credit: Dr. Rafael Medoff
Dr. Rafael Medoff

Fifteen countries illegally occupying other countries’ territories have denounced Israel for refusing to surrender the Golan Heights. It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry – or perhaps just turn the page.

The current president of the United Nations Security Council, Chinese ambassador Liu Jieyi, recently chaired a closed meeting of the 15 council members and announced afterward that they share a “deep concern” about Israel’s position that it will not retreat from the Golan. They insisted that Israel’s presence on the Golan is illegal.


Ambassador Jieyi represents a Chinese regime that has been illegally occupying Tibet since 1950. China also illegally occupies various islands in the South China Sea, including the Paracel Islands, which it seized from Vietnam in 1974, and the Scarborough Shoal, from which it has blocked Phillippine forces since 2012.

Who are the other Security Council members who are so “concerned” about Israel controlling the Golan?

Among the permanent members of the Council, there’s Russia, which occupied a large portion of Ukraine just two years ago. There’s France, which occupies assorted islands in the Indian Ocean (near Madagascar) and Antarctica. And there’s Great Britain, which occupies a long list of small territories around the world, of which the Falkland Islands are the best known because of Argentina’s unsuccessful 1982 attempt to oust the islands’ British occupiers.

Among the non-permanent current members of the UN Security Council angry at Israel there’s Spain, which occupies the Canary Islands (near Morocco), as well as the cities of Ceuta and Melilla and seven other enclaves on Africa’s northern coast.

There’s Angola, which since 1975 has been occupying the territory of Cabinda. Somebody should ask the spokesmen for the Front for the Liberation of the Cabinda Enclave and the Republic of Cabinda Government in Exile what they think about Angola’s concern regarding the Golan.

Don’t forget Malaysia, which occupies North Borneo, a territory the Philippines claim as its own. Not to mention Venezuela, which occupies Ankoko Island against the wishes of neighboring Guyana. Or Japan, which occupies the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, despite the protests of Taiwan and Communist China. Or Egypt, which occupies the Elba Mountains and the Hala’ib Triangle, territories that are claimed by Sudan.

The only Security Council member that tried to inject even a modicum of reason into the Golan Heights discussion was the United States. Although State Department spokesman John Kirby reiterated the standard U.S. opposition to Israeli administration of the Golan, he at least he acknowledged that “the current situation in Syria makes it difficult [to change the status of the Golan] at this time.”

That, perhaps, is the most important point to be made in this discussion. If Israel were to do as the UN Security Council is demanding, the Golan Heights would be in the control of the genocidal Assad regime or the equally genocidal forces of ISIS.

Anyone who does not appreciate what that would mean for Israel should read Hugh Nissenson’s classic Notes from the Frontier, a poignant chronicle of the months he spent on a kibbutz near the Syrian border in 1965 – that is, when the Golan was in Syria’s hands.

“The Syrian mountains [of the Golan] are about a thousand feet above us, and their fortifications on the slopes completely dominate our settlements,” a kibbutznik explained to Nissenson shortly after his arrival. “They shell us anytime they like, and there’s nothing we can do about it…”

Keeping in mind that Assad and ISIS possess weapons far more dangerous than those of 1965, it’s hardly surprising that Israelis are not anxious to return to the days of being attacked “anytime they like” and being unable to do anything about it.

Today there is something Israelis can do about it. They can stay right where they are and ignore the occupiers who hypocritically complain about others’ occupations.


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Dr. Rafael Medoff is founding director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, and author or editor of 18 books about Jewish history and the Holocaust.


  1. You’re lying. Malaysia had administered the North Borneo since 1963. And before that, local leaders were accepted the Malayan proposal, with some conditions like the autonomy in immigration, judiciary and civil services.

    And for the Phillipines’ claim, you should now that the Phillipines annexed the Sulu Sultanate during American occupation. And at the beginning of the formation Malaysia, the Phillipines rejected the Malaysian sovereignty on North Borneo, but later accepted. However, I don’t know why the Phillipines want to claim it back.

    Only the hypocrite shouts the hypocrisy of the others. Right, Dr. Rafael?

  2. Since China invaded Tibet in 1950, 1 million Tibetans have died because of the invasion. The Chinese destroyed almost 3000 monasteries and outlawed Tibetan customs and religion. Tibetan women have been forced to undergo abortions and sterilizations. Tibet has been divided up and renamed and resettled with ethnic Chinese. The world has been shamefully silent on what has happened to Tibet. This is what OCCUPATION looks like.

  3. I see at least one mistake in the list of occupied territories. The Canary Islands, despite their proximity to Morocco, have never been part of it and there is no trace of any Moroccan or Arab presence before the colonization of Spain nearly 600 years ago. You could compensate that error with the occupation by Spain of Olivenza, a city which belonged and is still claimed by Portugal.

  4. That’s his point. These countries are hypocrites. Kinda like all the Muslims who fill their Facebook pages with their hatred and racism against Israel while their co-religionists slaughter hundreds of thousands around the globe, while their countries discriminate against non-Muslims.

  5. so lets go to 1913 and from this date who was Syria who was Iraq who divide this lad into own and occupied Jude & Samara who accoupied this land who was Jordan who divide this land all this middle east land was OWNED by the 5 criminal families that own until today financed all the BAD senseless wars around the world and middle east see all the world countries in UN who accoupied what other land super power will hold on Israel is a super power will hold on golan forever and ever

  6. When you say such a nonsense as "Spain, which occupies the Canary Islands (near Morocco), as well as the cities of Ceuta and Melilla and seven other enclaves on Africa’s northern coast.”, you just show your total ignorance of history. You become as illiterate as the ones who claim Jews stole Palestinians land.
    To start with, Canary Islands are part of Spain since 1493, a year after Spain became the first modern state in Europe. It is part of Spain actually, and funny enough, it has always been, while Menorca, one of Baleares Islands which are close to Spain, has been for a nearly a century British. If Spanish people “left” Canary Island they would be uninhabited except for the Germans and British who use to retire there, because there are no “natives”
    Ceuta became under Spanish control in 640, during Muslims domination in Spain it was under several Spanish Caliphates rule becoming part of Granada’s kingdom, and in 1415 it was conquered by Portuguese; when in 1578 the king of Portugal, Sebastian I died with no sons and therefore both kingdoms became unified under Spanish crown it became part of the unified kingdom. When in 1640 they became separate kingdoms again, Ceuta’s population VOTED to remain Spanish, achieving the title of the “most loyal”. It resisted both the sieges of moors and British. It has NEVER been part of Morocco, a country, by the way, which didn’t exist until XVII century, that is, a long time after Ceuta became part of Spain.
    Melilla was part of Spain since 1556 and before it was part of a Spanish duchy since 1497 and before, since the X Century, it was part of Spanish Caliphate of Cordoba. It has never been, either, part of Morocco.
    The populations of Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla consider themselves Spanish and nothing more, as they have been for the last 5 centuries at least. These provinces are not colonies and have never been, and Spanish people consider people from those territories as Spanish as people from Madrid.
    As you may ignore, Spain is not the only country which has its territory split between two different Continents; it also happens in: USA, Russia, Turkey, Italy, Japan, Australia, Indonesia, Norway, South Africa, Colombia, Denmark, Chile, Greek, Armenia, Georgia, Egypt, Yemen, France and Portugal amongst others
    I guess before stating such a drivel you should study a bit of the history of the country, because despite I agree with you in the main idea of this article, your statement discredits all what you’ve said.

  7. Izzuddin Lukman 500 years ago? Some went to the Ottoman, some went to the Netherlands, some escaped to “New World”. You think that the laws imposed on them by the Ottoman were humane? They still had special laws and pay special taxes. But I’m sure that’s better than being tortured by the Spaniards. Speaking of Ottoman, where are the Christian Greeks in Turkey? Evicted? Forced to convert? All gone. How did a largely Byzantine culture get completely erased by Islam? Not by Muslim kindness. And how is it that there were only a million Jews in Muslim countries in 1948- nearly all of them forced to escape to Israel. After 2,000 years, you would think that there would have been millions upon millions living among the “welcoming” and “friendly” Muslim regimes. Btw, are there Jews in your country?

  8. America is occupied by descendents of Native Americans, like myself. You're ignorant of the historical relationship between Natives of West America, and their alliance against the genocidal Spanish, Dutch, and French that enslaved my anscestors, while blaming the British for their atrocities.

  9. Russia should keep quiet, France having destroyed Europe along with Merkle are an antisemitic disgrace. (second time around). None of these countries have a leg to stand on and should keep their mouths securely shut. Much of the political endeavours these days are for power and fame, nothing to do with commonsence or protection of the human race. Millions have died, are dying and will die, because of politicians with their personal agendas.

  10. Israel is such a small part of the planet, and tiny peice of the world, sensible politicians, and there are many, should be disgusted with themselves to continue to fight against such a tiny group of people.

    Just recently a baby was born in Malta with deformed heart valves, not one doctor or hospital in the world would help, (they said the risk was to high) EXCEPT ISRAEL, they took the baby transported across land and air and operated on the child SUCCESSFULLY. Israel constanty provide technology, health care, food, water., turning deserts into an oasis.,

  11. Oh, then, how about the Arabs who forced to leave by Israeli army and militia during 1948 Arab-Israeli war? For my country, we didn’t have Jews (maybe only small percentage) bit we have Chinese and Indians, and many indigenous people in Sarawak and North Borneo (we called it Sabah).

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