Friday, December 14, 2007

December 14th 1981 (25 years ago)

25 years ago, on 12/14/1981, the Knesset passed a law annexing the Syrian Golan heights to the state of Israel. This is a known fact, right? But it is very interesting how history gets written sometimes, specially when you read the NY Times article relating the news on that day.

JERUSALEM, Dec. 14 -- The contested Golan Heights formally became part of Israel today as Prime Minister Menachem Begin pushed a measure through Parliament to annex the strategic zone along the Syrian border. Officials said the new measure provided that ''the law, jurisdiction and administration of the state shall apply to the Golan Heights.''


The Reagan Administration said the annexation of the Golan Heights was inconsistent with the Camp David accords. A White House spokesman said the United States had been given no prior warning of the move. (Page A11.) (In Damascus, the Syrian Government called the Israeli action a "declaration of war" and asked for a meeting of the United Nations Security Council. Page A12.)


It was Syria's hard-line stance that Mr. Begin cited as an immediate reason for his action. He quoted a report in the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai Al Amm on Sunday that President Hafez al-Assad of Syria had expressed the determination to refuse to recognize Israel "even if the Palestinians deign to do so."

The assassination of President Anwar el-Sadat of Egypt is also seen as a factor, and the annexation as an attempt to test the new Egyptian Government of President Hosni Mubarak on its commitment to peace. The Egyptian Ambassador to Israel, Saad Mortada, objected to the move, but said the peace process would continue.

Mr. Begin initiated the annexation move after his release today from Hadassah Hospital, where he had been recuperating from a broken thigh suffered in a fall Nov. 26. He convened a Cabinet meeting in his home, and the ministers reportedly followed his lead without substantial dissent.

Parliament, with Mr. Begin attending the session in a wheelchair, was then asked to compress the three readings, votes and committee hearings required of all legislation into one evening.

The whole procedure,which took just six hours, was a display of Mr. Begin's political power and the disarray of the opposition. Mr. Begin said Israel had avoided consulting with the United States because to do so, to receive a "no" from Washington and then go ahead, "would have been much more serious" for American-Israeli relations.

"I say again to our American friends, we shall continue to be allies," the Prime Minister said, "but no one will dictate our lives to us, even the United States of America."

I don't know for you, but when I read this today, I was shocked on how the future of thousands of people was addressed. It is a shame, and this is not hatred because I believe that even some of the Israelis would feel the same if they knew this and I know of some who do. Israel is a democracy, but does a parliament hold enough power as to make such decisions??? And even if they do, how can it happen this way?

1 comment:

Unsure said...

No shame... this is how diplomacy and power politics work, in Israel and elsewhere.