"Secrets of the Golan"
by Barry Chamish
In January 1996, the business magazine section of the Tel Aviv-based daily newspaper Globes published a four part series revealing a profoundly important fact that was unexplainably ignored: Israel has legal title over a large chunk of the Golan Heights and Western Syria.
In the 1890s, Baron Rothschild purchased 20,000 acres of Syrian land owned by the Ottoman
Empire. In 1942, the Syrian government illegally confiscated the land. The Baron transferred the deeds to the Jewish National Fund (JNF) in 1957. In 1992, the deeds were moved to the Prime Minister's Office where they are stored today. After I read the series, I called a contact in the JNF, Bunny Alexandroni of the public relations department. She said she'd look into the matter and called me back. She informed me that she couldn't comment on the Globes series but asked me to meet her at her office. An appointment was made and she told me that her boss, the director of her department, would talk to me if I agreed not to publish his name. After so agreeing, I entered his office and he invited me to be seated. He explained, "The Globes articles were essentially correct. They were a bit off on the location of the Rothschild land. Some of it is in the Golan but most is in the Horan, in Syria itself.
I informed the government that the deeds are an excellent bargaining chip with the Syrians but the government refuses to play it. My hands are tied. I've been instructed not to pursue the matter." And that is the biggest secret of the Golan: the Israeli government is holding onto legal title to land in the Golan and beyond and is hiding the fact from the public. Of course, the first question would be, why? What follows is a chronological explanation of how the current Israeli-Syrian "peace" talks came to be. For those who are unable to dramatically readjust their sense of reality, it is advised to simply stop reading and make do with the knowledge of the land titles. They are more than enough to assure that Israel remains atop the Golan Heights. For those willing to accept a drastic switch in point of view, keep reading.
December 1990 - President George Bush invites Syria to join his coalition of forces to fight Iraq. The only offer Syria will respond to is a promise that America will use its power to remove Israel from the Golan Heights. Bush's administration has already secretly transferred $5.5 billion to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and is in constant contact with him. Before the first shot of the Persian Gulf War is fired, Hussein agrees to bombard Israel with Scud missiles. In return, he is promised that no matter what the outcome of the war, he will not be brought down, nor will Israel respond to the attacks. Bush promises Syria a bombardment that will prove to the Israeli people that territory will not protect them in the age of missiles. Later America will put the squeeze on the Shamir government to relinquish the Heights. Syria accepts the terms and joins the coalition.
Summer 1991 - Bush organizes a conference in Madrid to put international pressure on the Shamir government to leave the Golan. Shamir refuses to budge. Bush meets Syrian President Assad in Geneva. There Assad says he's running out of patience with Bush and threatens to take matters into his own hands before the upcoming American elections. Bush promises that he will use all his power to remove Shamir from office and bring in a more compliant government.
June 23, 1992 - Bush's strategy of withholding loan guarantees and demonizing Shamir succeeds and Yitzhak Rabin becomes Israeli Prime Minister. Bush demands an immediate Golan withdrawal and Rabin explains that it is politically out of the question for him.
September 10, 1992 - Foreign Minister Shimon Peres meets French President Mitterand and Foreign Minister Roland Dumas in Paris and agrees to promote a total Golan withdrawal. He wants to meet with Syrian FM Farouk Shara immediately. Peres returns to Israel and Rabin meets him at Ben Gurion Airport. He orders Peres to stay away from the French, loudly calling them, "the biggest bastards." Too late for Rabin. Two days later Dumas begins a shuttle between Damscus and Cairo to coordinate Peres's Golan withdrawal.
September 17, 1992 - Rabin is called to Kennebunkport, Maine where an agitated Bush lays down the law. He must neutralize Peres's French track and "prepare the Israeli people for painful withdrawals," first from the Golan and then the West Bank and Gaza. He demands that the Golan withdrawal be coordinated with a compliant military leader, IDF Chief Of Staff Ehud Barak. Rabin returns to Israel and announces his Syria First peace program.
September 23, 1993 - Syria is put on the back burner by the new Clinton administration, while negotiations with the PLO are taking place. Once Rabin inks a deal with Arafat, the White House begins its campaign for a Golan treaty. A meeting is set up between Chief Of Staff Ehud Barak and VP Al Gore to get the track going.
November 12, 1993 - An international race is on to see who can get Israel off the Golan first. On the same day that Rabin is in Washington, accompanied secretly by Ariel Sharon, Peres is in France meeting with his French counterpart Alain Juppe. The Washington meetings go badly. The biggest sticking point is Syria's demand that as part of a peace deal, Israel give up its nuclear weapons program. While Rabin and Sharon refuse to accede, Peres shows no such compunctions.
December 6, 1993 - Secretary of State Warren Christopher flies to Damascus for a meeting with Syrian VP Hassan Habibi and most telling, with Jordanian Hamas leader Ibrahim Rusha. Syria lays down the law. The French have made a better offer and unless America moves Rabin in the same direction, Syria will promote a Hamas overthrow of the PLO regime in Gaza and the West Bank. Syria offers Hamas's violent talents for a terror campaign to remove Rabin from power in favor of Peres. Christopher relays the threats to Clinton and a summit between Assad and the American president is arranged for the following month.
January, 1994 - Clinton and Assad meet in Geneva. Arafat, apprised of the plot against him, rushes to Geneva where the Swiss authorities refused to grant him an entrance visa. Clinton promises Assad a total Golan retreat and Rabin reacts with furor. He announces that any Golan deal would now be subject to a public referendum and appoints his Deputy Defence Minister, Motta Gur, to introduce a referendum bill in the Knesset.
May, 1994 - Peres orders his Foreign Ministry staff to prepare a plan for the evacuation of Jewish residents of the Golan and presents it to Mitterand with a request for an immediate meeting with the Syrians. The Syrians now want Rabin out and Peres in and plan a strategy to achieve the goal.
July, 1994 - Assad finally takes matters in his own hands and orders the bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires. Over a hundred Jews die. Syria's responsibility is traced conclusively by two Argentinian journalists. The suicide bomb vehicle is rented with currency traced to Damascus. Rabin is ordered by his American bosses to cover up Syria's role in the atrocity and Israel shifts blame to Iran.
October 17, 1994 - The repercussions of Buenos Aires does not budge Rabin, so Syria orders a strike closer to home. A bus explodes in Tel Aviv killing 23. The same day, Palestinian radio station in Damascus gives full detail's of the blast's methodology, two days before Israel police confirmed the accuracy of the report.
November, 1994 - With Syria living up to its threats to remove Rabin, Clinton initiates a Damascus-Jerusalem shuttle. Rathered than softened by the slaughter of Jews, Rabin was furious and his position on Syria hardened. Clinton finally relents and agreed to replace Rabin with a more compliant candidate, Ehud Barak.
December, 1994 - Peres takes a major step towards realizing his Golan plan and invited Germany and Japan to place troops on the Heights after withdrawal went into effect.
January, 1995 - Ehud Barak quits his post as Chief Of Staff. A month later he meets with Warren Christopher in Jerusalem to plan his future.
March - June, 1995 - Barak flies to Washington and immediately begins negotiations with the Syrian peace-talks delegation. He promises a total Golan withdrawal if he becomes Prime Minister. He spends the rest of his trip planning his accession to power and understanding his role as envisioned by the Council On Foreign Relations. He holds meetings with CFR executives Henry Kissinger, Lawrence Tisch and Edgar Bronfman. They vow to finance his campaign. Barak announces that the triumvirate agreed to finance his new "business" career to the tune of $30 million.
July, 1995 - Barak returns to Israel and Rabin appoints him Interior Minister. Motta Gur is dead, supposedly of a suicide caused by depression over his cancer. His physician says that can't be, his disease was in total regression and he had everything to live for.
October 20, 1995 - The CFR has gotten wind of a French plot to murder Rabin and replace him with Peres. They decide to give Rabin a last chance. At the UN's 50th anniversary ceremony, Christopher and special advisor Dennis Ross remind Rabin that he promised a withdrawal to the shores of Lake Kinneret. They want him to meet with Shara and live up to his commitment. Rabin loses his cool and lets loose a loud and ugly rant against both of them. He shouts that he made the Kinneret comment sarcastically and they knew it. He threatens to pull out of the whole peace process. One by one, CFR members like Bronfman, Kissinger and Clinton try to sway Rabin. He gives his answer on the UN podium the next day, telling the assembled that he comes from Jerusalem, the undivided capital of Israel and that the real problem in his region wasn't Israel's stubbornness, it was Arab terrorism. The next day he flew to Washington and oversaw the passage of two Congressional bills which effectively neutralized the Oslo process. One bill declared that Jerusalem would never be divided, the other cut off American aid to the PLO if it declared a state. The Americans decided to keep Rabin ignorant of the French plot against him. Peres had to be next in line anyway before Barak could replace him.
Nov. 7, 1995 - The leaders of the Anglo-American and European regimes descended on Rabin's funeral. With Rabin safely entombed, the squeeze began to neutralize the French victory. John Major and Prince Charles arrange a meeting at Orient House for Peres to negotiate directly with Assad by phone. He turns the meeting down. However, he did promise Clinton an immediate withdrawal from the South Lebanon security zone and without an ounce of sentiment for Rabin's mourning period, the president sends Ross shuttling between Assad and Peres. Assad turns down Peres's limited offer and Clinton demands a major concession: Peres agrees to appoint his bitter rival, Barak, as his Foreign Minister and campaign manager for the next national elections.
January, 1996 - Rabin's most precious Golan secret was leaked in detail to the business newspaper Globes. Israel had legal title to 20,000 acres of Syrian territory, some of it on the Golan Heights. The media is instructed to bury the story.
February - May, 1995 - Barak and the Americans sabotage Peres's election campaign through a combination of deliberate incompetence, suicide bombers and a mini-war in Lebanon which cost Peres the Arab vote. Peres loses and millions of dollars are funnelled to Barak's successful campaign to take over the leadership of the Labor Party. The price was Netanyahu's victory and immediately a campaign of scandal mongering begins to force him from power. Netanyahu survives the scandals, and freezes the Golan withdrawal, until the Americans invest their money and talents to assuring Barak's election in May, 1999.
November, 1999 - On the fourth anniversary of Rabin's murder, the public demands to know how he really died. Indisputable proof that the convicted assassin could not have shot the fatal bullets was in the hands of tens of thousands of people. My book with the documents within is number three on the bestseller list. Rabin's wife and two children demand a new investigation of his assassination. 65% of the public support their demand. A huge issue was needed to quell the fast-spreading public campaign to reinvestigate Rabin's demise. The truth would explode the whole peace process and incriminate the current leadership in atrocious crimes. A replacement murder scandal involving publisher Ofir Nimrodi works for a week but something far more lasting and devastating was required. An impending withdrawal from the Golan Heights does the trick.
to Home Page Index