The Struggle For Peace in the Middle East Continues. .
. The Golan region, whichlies between Israel and Syria, has been a place of much heated contention formany years. While the Middle East does seem in constant disarray, recent reportsare showing that Syrian people are not worried over the recent delays in peacetalks. Certain things are for sure though: Israel realizes it must return toSyria some of the Golan region, which it has controlled since the 1967occupation took place during the Six-Day War. Under recent United States’sponsorship, talks have only one month ago resumed and are still stalled for themoment, but it appears that both Israelis and Syrians are prospective that anagreement will be reached. It seems that the area’s inhabitants are movingfrom warring to negotiating.Order now
The Golan Heights could be described as a desolateyet scenic stretch of land. The state of Israel was officially established in1948 with a northeastern border enveloping the Sea of Galilee and shadowing thewestern edge of The Golan, a steep ridge belonging at the time to neighborSyria. The Golan Heights is about a 460 square mile area that is now occupied bysome 17,000 Israelis and nearly the same number of Syrian Druze who have nevergiven up their nationality. In 1995, Israel led many to believe that they wouldwithdraw from Golan in exchange for peace agreements and specific securityarrangements. The United States, realizing an opportunity to further stabilizethe situation in the Middle East in the interests of the world economy, haveceded a certain compromising attitude with Syria.
Contrary to past relations,Syria has hailed the U. S. efforts at the negotiation table, citing the U. S.
asbehaving less like a mediator and more like a partner with each of the disputingparties. I believe it shows that the U. S. recognizes the strife endured by theSyrians in the loss of this territory even though it happened over thirty yearsago. The Syrian government-controlled media has duly noted the recent Americanactions.
Syria has long awaited the chance to more directly enlist the U. S. government in resolving the issues. One Syrian media official commented, “Inour political view, this means the U. S. A.
is serious about reaffirming itscommitment to achieve a comprehensive and just peace. ” This is an example ofthe U. S. admitting its belief that Israel must give some to get some, even if itmeans giving something important back to once vehement enemies. Some of theissues at hand, on a more local level, include Syrian requirements for awithdrawal of Israel forces occupying southern Lebanon by July 7 of this year.
Syria itself has 35,000 troops stationed in Lebanon. If forced to withdraw fromLebanon and the Golan region, Israel demands that Syrian support for themilitant Shiite Muslim group Hezbollah cease immediately. Northern Israel hasbeen subject to a multitude of attacks by Lebanese Hezbollah, including bombingsand rocket attacks. In addition to more peaceful relations, Israel is expectinga more diplomatic relation with Syria in an attempt to avoid a ?cold peace’situation. Finally, there is the issue of the Sea of Galilee and who will retaincontrol over the major water supply in the region. Many countries suffer fromcyclical water shortages and Israel wants a guarantee that no interference withthe sea and the Jordan River system will occur once withdrawn from the GolanHeights.
With so much at stake, proper security will be required to oversee thephased withdrawal. Recently, Israel opted for a proposed early-warning radarsystem to be built in the Golan, and Syria has agreed to this so long asAmerican civilians man the site. Trade agreements are also at stake between thedisputing countries, as well as border control and movement across the restatedborder. This ever-evolving situation is a perfect example of how a relativelytiny stretch of land can affect the global peace process. To the people directlyinvolved, who live in the area, it’s all a matter of what government loyaltiesgo to, and pursuit of a way of life. Peace in this region though, could be astepping-stone toward ending a seemingly eternal struggle between the Arab andJewish populations occupying the region.