Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Golan Promise (1981)

1981 Dry Bones cartoon - Reagan is surprised by a previous U.S. Presidential commitment to Israel on the Golan Heights..
With all the talk about Israel giving the Golan Heights back to Syria "in exchange for peace" I decided to search the Dry Bones archives for cartoons about the Golan and about Israeli "concessions for peace".

I was shocked to discover a fact that everyone (your faithful servant included) has forgotten. Following the 1973 Egyptian Yom Kippur War surprise attack on Israel, the Israelis pushed the Egyptian invading force out of Sinai.

In the ensuing "search for peace", America put heavy pressure on Israel to withdraw from the Egyptian Oil fields in Sinai.

What I (in 2008), and apparently President Ronald Reagan (in 1981) forgot was that Israel had received something tangible from the Americans in return for the unilateral withdrawal from the oil fields:

"the tangible benefit for Israel from its agreement to a unilateral withdrawal from the Egyptian oil fields was a presidential letter from President Ford concerning the vital importance of Israel holding on to the Golan Heights, which Israel had taken from Syria in 1967 following 19 years of Syrian shelling on Israel’s northern communities from the towering Golan Heights, and Syria’s incessant attacks from the Golan on the Sea of the Galilee – Israel’s only fresh water resource, from where Israel’s National Water Carrier pumps water to the whole country." -more
In the letter, Gerald Ford, 38th President of the U.S. gave an assurance that
"The U.S. will support the position that an overall settlement with Syria in the framework of a peace agreement must assure Israel's security from attack from the Golan Heights. The U.S. further supports the position that a just and lasting peace, which remains our objective, must be acceptable to both sides. The U.S. has not developed a final position on the borders. Should it do so it will give great weight to Israel's position that any peace agreement with Syria must be predicated on Israel remaining on the Golan Heights." -more

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