Way back when the United Nations marked the border between Israel and Lebanon, after Israel’s withdrawal in May 2000, the Shaba Farms were said to be part of Syrian territory, and that Israel need not withdraw in the absence of an agreement with the Syrians. Well, it seems that the United Nations has changed their mind and attributed this to faulty application of geography in 2000. Haaretz reports that Israel has been instructed by the United Nations to remove any Israeli presence in the Shaba Farms region and turn them over to UNIFIL to hold as international territory while the confusion is worked through. Government officials in Jerusalem said the United Nations cartographer handling the matter in recent months has determined that the area is indeed Lebanese. Haaretz also wrote that the officials added that Syria and Lebanon also agree that the area is Lebanese. Therefore, the UN has said there is no reason for Israel not to relinquish control over the area.The final coup de grace comes as France and the United States also ratchet up their pressure on Israel, in the belief that a withdrawal from the Shaba Farms will strengthen the government of Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora.
My initial reaction is, “Not this song and dance all over again.” Why is it every time there is a disputed area between Israel and any of her neighboring countries, the World immediately demands that Israel relinquish the property? They do this even if they must declare that their initial “official” survey showed the land to belong to Israel or was gained by Israel from another of her neighbors. In this case, the Shaba Farms had been deemed to have been part of Syria and not Lebanon. This was based on virtually every map of the area since the founding of Syria and Lebanon and would have remained thus if only Israel had not occupied the Shaba Farms in her defensive wars. Sometimes it appears that any claims made against Israel, especially if it is territorial, automatically are accepted as verified, thus pressure is immediately applied upon Israel to comply with the demands against her. A few acres here, a hector there, this small piece, that unimportant strip, and soon you have no more Israel and no more Jews without firing a shot. Is the whole world blind not to see this, or is their collective vision so myopic, or are they simply turning away intentionally ignoring the obvious.
There is one claim that is used only to take land from Israel and is never allowed to allow land to be gained by Israel. That claim, which is actually valid and true, is Israel has no real boundaries as most countries have. Israel only has armistice lines drawn after the 1948 War for Independence (read as fight for life and limb against all odds). These boundaries were reapplied after the 1957 Suez war where Israel was allied with Britain and France. Israel was even willing to return to these boundaries, now called the Green Line or the pre 67 boundaries, in exchange for peace with her neighbors. This never happened. For a lot more, read The Myth of a Greater Israel. Examples of this policy that any land dispute must fall against the Israeli claim is even evident within the Israeli courts who almost always side with any Palestinian claim against an Israeli. Perhaps this is the World telling Israel, your courts do not protect your property, why should we be any different. It is an argument that Israel would be well advised to give some deep and serious consideration.
Enough on that tangent and back to the item at hand. I would like to predict, almost guarantee, that if Israel is forced or especially if she voluntarily turns over the Shaba Farm region to either the United Nations or Lebanon, then soon Lebanon, with Syria’s blessings, will claim the northern half of the Golan Heights region to include Mt. Hermon, strategic location overlooking all the lowlands on all sides of the borders. Of course if we wait then Lebanon may virtually be a protectorate of Syria by then. Surrendering this vital region of the Golan Heights would threaten the Israeli hold on any part of the Heights. But red line or not, you can be assured this is the next step in the plan to weaken Israel by challenging her borders.
Wake up Western World, the attacks and pressures placed on Israel are not separate from the War on Terror being waged against the rest of us. Wake up Europe and the United States, as there is no knight in shining armor that will lead the Palestinians and Southern Lebanon to a peaceful existence with Israel. The savior who will bring peace and stability to these areas in and around Israel will not be Abbas nor will it be the Jordanians nor will it be Egypt, nor will it be Saudi Arabia. At this time we should view Israel as being in a prolonged low-grade war of attrition with all of her neighbors and beyond. We need to realize that Israel’s enemies sworn to her destruction are the same who work for our destruction. Every time the United States or European powers side with the Muslims to pressure Israel into more concessions our enemies laugh at our naiveté. They view our willingness to abandon the interest of our ally Israel as a sign of our lack of convictions and strength. When we talk of a united front in the War on Terror, we need to include Israel as a front, a vital front, in this conflict. Anything else shows weakness, lack of resolve, and fracturing cracks in our armor. We cannot afford such disarray and weakness.
Beyond the Cusp