Published: March 11, 2019


In 1981 when Israel officially annexed Syria’s Golan Heights after occupying it following the Six Day War, the United States under President Ronald Reagan voted unanimously with the UN Security Council to condemn the Israeli theft of around 1,800 square kilometers.

On December 15 1981, The New York Times reported:

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.

Since that time, the situation has changed dramatically in Israel’s favor.

Last November, the US voted with Israel against a UN resolution calling for an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan. The resolution was passed by a 181-2 margin with only the US and Israel voting against. The US had abstained on previous resolutions calling for Israel to leave the Golan Heights.

The record shows and the late IDF boss Moshe Dayan admitted Israel had engineered numerous provocations in a demilitarized zone on the Golan border of Syria prior to the war.

This led to retaliatory strikes on Israeli kibbutzim and moshavim near the border which in turn prompted a response by Israel. In addition to its strategic significance, the Golan Heights has a bounty of fresh water. During the invasion and occupation of southern Lebanon, the Israelis planned to steal water from the Litani River and divert it to Israel.

The Golan figures into the plan for a Greater Israel envisioned by David Ben-Gurion and other leading Zionists. According to Ben-Gurion, the frontiers of a future Israel would reach

to the north, the Litani river, to the northeast, the Wadi ‘Owja, twenty miles south of Damascus; the southern border will be mobile and pushed into Sinai at least up to Wadi al-‘Arish; and to the east, the Syrian Desert, including the furthest edge of Transjordan. (Nur Masalha, Expulsion of the Palestinians).

There is, however, a more practical and less ideological reason for annexing the Golan Heights—oil.

In early 2013, Israel granted the American corporation Genie Oil and Gas a permit to explore for oil and gas on a 153-square mile radius in the southern part of the Golan Heights. Genie Energy is advised by Dick Cheney and its shareholders include Jacob Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch.

Bestselling author and strategic risk consultant F. William Engdahl writes in Golan Heights, Israel, Oil and Trump:

As I noted in a piece published on NEO [New Eastern Outlook] in 2015, Genie Energy is no “penny stock” run-of-the-mill oil company. Its board of Advisors includes Dick Cheney. It includes former CIA head and chairman of the above-mentioned Foundation for Defense of Democracies, James Woolsey. It includes Jacob Lord Rothschild of the London banking dynasty and a former business partner of convicted Russian oil oligarch, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Before his arrest Khodorkovsky secretly transferred his shares in Yukos Oil to Rothschild.

In 2015 it was announced a large oil deposit was discovered in the Golan. It is estimated the reserve contains billions of barrels, enough to satisfy Israel’s energy needs for decades. That same year drilling began north of Nahal El Al near Moshav Natur, a former kibbutz on the southern Golan Heights.

Earlier this month several Senate Republicans, led by failed presidential candidate Ted Cruz and the notorious neocon Tom Cotton, introduced resolutions calling for the US to officially recognize Israel’s annexation of the Golan, although the presence of vast oil reserves is not mentioned, not by Congress or a stenographic corporate propaganda media. There is a strong consensus on both sides of the aisle. Democrat House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer supports recognizing Israel’s “right” to keep the Golan and its reserve of oil.

On March 7, World Israeli News reported Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad warned Kristin Lund, head of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, that “Syria will attack Israel if it does not leave the Golan Heights.”

According to World Israeli News,

[M]ultiple Israeli political leaders have responded to Syria’s historic claim to the Israeli-occupied Golan and willingness to go to war over it. While speaking on a visit to the Golan Heights, Blue and White party politicians Gabi Ashkenazi, Yair Lapid, Benny Gantz [who may replace Bibi Netanyahu] and Moshe Ya’alon vowed, ‘It is ours and it will stay ours’—certainly a dominant sentiment that cuts across Israeli party lines.

Resolutions introduced by staunchly pro-Israel advocates in the US Senate follow a pattern. Venezuela, with the largest reserves of oil in the world, and Iran, with oil reserves coming in third behind Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, are now suffering under US-imposed economic sanctions.

The Trump administration argues Venezuela is a brutal socialist dictatorship and Iran is secretly building nuclear weapons and testing missiles that will be used against Israel.

All of this is window dressing for the real objective: neoliberal control of significant oil reserves and other strategic resources. Iran and Syria understand this and are determined to protect their national sovereignty and natural resources from the violent, resource-gobbling machinations of the United States and its apartheid client in the Middle East.

Syria Notifies Israel It Will Attack If IDF Doesn’t Leave Golan Heights

In a surprising and provocative ultimatum, Syria has notified Israel through United Nations diplomatic channels that it is prepared to go to war if Israel does not leave the Golan Heights.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad reportedly sent the message through the head of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), Christine Lund, this past week, according to a World Israel News report and later picked up other major Israeli sources, including The Jerusalem Post. “Syria will attack Israel if it does not leave the Golan Heights,” Mikdad told the UN representative.

Mikdad further warned Lund that Syria will respond with force should Israel continue its attacks on Syria, which have occurred more than a dozen times over the past year, but which seem to have recently paused following Russia’s announced delivery of the advanced S-300 anti-air missile defense system to Damascus late last year.


Israeli forces at border fence along Israeli-occupied side of the Golan Heights and Syria, via Reuters.

“We will not hesitate to confront Israel,” Syria’s Mekdad said. “We are also not scared away by its [Israel’s] supporters who are helping to perpetuate the occupation of the Golan,” he added.

Damascus’ firm warning appears a response to a controversial bill recently under renewed consideration by US Congress, co-sponsored by Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton, and Democratic Rep. Mike Gallagher, which aims to give formal US recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights region.

Meanwhile, multiple Israeli political leaders have responded to Syria’s historic claim to the Israeli-occupied Golan and willingness to go to war over it. While speaking on a visit to the Golan Heights, Blue and White party politicians Gabi Ashkenazi, Yair Lapid, Benny Gantz and Moshe Ya’alon vowed, “It is ours and it will stay ours” — certainly a dominant sentiment that cuts across Israeli party lines.

“We will increase the numbers of residents in the Golan, sending a resounding message to all – we will never relinquish the Golan Heights,” Gantz said, according to The Jerusalem Post. “We will enlist the support of the US and the international community to promote Israel’s interests on our northern border,” he added.

This comes after last month the Syrian Army solidified its hold over its side of the occupied Golan after last year defeating al-Qaeda and ISIS groups who had held the Quneitra area for years prior during the Syrian war.

The Jerusalem Post reported at the time (Feb. 13):

The Syrian Army has sent troop reinforcements to a base in the Quneitra area bordering the Golan Heights, according to the Lebanese Al-Masdar News website. The report came just 24 hours after Syria placed its air defenses on high alert across the western part of the country. This is reportedly the first time Syria has reinforced the border since beginning its military operation in the Quneitra area.

The Assad government had long blamed the Israeli Defense Forces of allowing and facilitating the presence of al-Qaeda and ISIS terrorists on the Syrian side of the Golan border area prior to the the Syrian Army liberating Quneitra.

According to a 2017 Wall Street Journal report Israel and Saudi Arabia had aligned to fund and supply radical groups across the Golan border from the opening years of the conflict.

At that time the WSJ had confirmed the already “open secret” of “Israel supplying Syrian rebels near its border with cash as well as food, fuel and medical supplies for years, a secret engagement in the enemy country’s civil war aimed at carving out a buffer zone populated by friendly forces.”