Reuters today printed an article on Israeli National Security Adviser Uzi Arad's take on Syria and the annexed Golan Heights:
"If there is a territorial compromise, it is one that still leaves Israel on the Golan Heights and deep into the Golan Heights," Arad said, noting also the plateau's water resources.
Let's remember some of the contemporary history of the Golan Heights. On April 24, 1920 The Golan was declared a part of the Jewish Homeland by the Balfour Declaration's Mandate For Palestine (Palestine back then referred to Jews more often than Arabs). A couple years later due to political pressures of the time, Britain cut off Trans-Jordan and the Golan from the land West of the River Jordan (Which included all Green Line Israel, West Bank and Gaza). The Jews did not like this, but accepted this for the sake of preserving their rights to at least some of the land. This proved to be a bad precedent as Britain again began to whittle away at the "gift" they were preparing to give Israel until they gave only half of Green Line Israel.
If you find someone's property and return it to them, is it really a gift? If someone found your lost collection of expensive watches and returned only one would you merely be grateful or ask where the other watches were?
After various Syrian attempts to illegally interfere with Israel's water supply during the 1960s, in 1967 Syria threatened to attack Israel using the Golan as a launching ground even before the Six Day War began. Israel later won the Golan in the war. Israel deliberated long and hard, until 1981 before annexing the Golan. Israel depended on it too much, and Syria, frankly, no longer deserved it.
My question is what has changed since then? The new Assad is more verbally abusive against Israel than his violent father was. That's all that's changed.
While PM Netanyahu is opposed to territorial compromise of the Golan, a year ago, Syrian head Assad considered the possibility of some territory remaining in Israeli hands, whether or not that is the current stated foreign policy of Syria. It is important to openly express support for Bibi's policy of no territorial compromise on the Golan so that it is clear to everyone that Israel, not just Bibi, is unwilling to support laying the foundation of a new war in the Middle East.
In further comments published on Friday, Arad said he could not rule out some form of Palestinian state emerging in the next few years -- he mentioned 2015 -- but said that it would be a "fragile structure. A house of cards."
Message to PM Netanyahu. If you and your staff believe that a Palestinian state would be unstable, then why pursue a Palestinian state at all when there are safer ways out there? As I mentioned earlier, the current stated plan for peace with the Arab Palestinian refugees is a prescription for a subsequent war. Your people need you to stand strong.