The Golan Heights - A Perfect Example!

Ben Packer,

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Ben Packer
Originally from Petersburg, Virginia, Ben Packer moved to Israel in 1999, where he served in the IDF's Givati Brigade in the Gaza Strip. Ben served as a Rabbi on campus at Univ. of North Carolina and at Duke Univ. Ben now serves as Director of the Jerusalem Heritage House ( and Co-Director of Young Jewish Conservatives ( He lives in the Old City of Jerusalem with his wife and 6 children....

There has been alot of discussion recently about Israel's presence in the Golan Heights. As I'm sure many are aware, Prime Minister Netanyahu decided earlier this week to hold the weekly cabinet meeting in the Golan Heights. This was in response to reports that the United States and Russia were pushing a deal to end the civil war in Syria that included Israel retreating from the Golan Heights. At the cabinet meeting, Netanyahu declared:

“I chose to hold this festive meeting in the Golan Heights in order to convey a clear message – the Golan Heights will always remain under Israeli control. Israel will never withdraw from the Golan Heights.” (full article here

Of course not such positive responses were quick in coming from world "leaders":

-"Every administration on both sides of the aisle since 1967 has maintained that those territories are not part of Israel," US State Department Spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

-According to Haaretz, Germany was the first country (How ironic is that?!!) to respond to Netanyahu's declaration at a cabinet meeting held on Sunday in the Golan Heights.. Martin Schaefer, spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry, said Israel's unilateral annexation of the territory is against international law.

-The Secretary General of the United Nations, Bankie Moon, also criticized Prime Minster Netanyahu's statements on Israel's continued control of the Golan. 

In response to the harsh criticism, Israelis contiuned to live well in the Golan under full Israeli sovereignty, as did the non-Jewish legal residents there as well. NOTHING CHANGED!! AND NOTHING IS GOING TO CHANGE! The fact that the world does not accept this - DOESN'T MATTER! 

In many ways the situation in the Golan provides us with a perfect preview to what is likely to happen in Judea and Samaria as well. 

Just like things within arab-controlled area (Syria) deteriorated rapidly and became a hotbed for terror and worse (putting it quite mildly), the same thing could happen in Jordan and other surrounding arab countries. Just as ISIS and Al-Qaeda could be in the Golan right now if Israel had retreated, so too could they be in Judea and Samaria if we, G-d forbid, were to retreat from there. 

But more importantly, Israel unilaterally declared sovereignty over the Golan all the way back in 1981. The negatives? Hard to think of any. Its all good. (How many Druze residents of the Golan do you think long to be in Syria right now?!!). The world doesn't accept it = the world's problem. 

So if Israel were to declare sovereignty over Judea and Samara, what would happen? To see, just head over to the Golan and check it out. You don't need permission from Germany, the US or the UN to go, that's part of the greatness of real sovereignty. Prosperity and development are available to all! Security and rule of law are the norm. 

Chag Kasher v'Sameach from Liberated Jerusalem (the world doesn't recognize this either, but that also doesn't matter!)

Ben Packer

Old City, Jerusalem