Israel will fully annex the Golan Heights on 14 December 1981

publisher: Naseer Shahir Homoud

Publishing date: 1981-12-14


The decision to annex the Golan

The decision to annex the Golan on December 14, 1981, was approved by the Israeli Knesset. The government, led by Begin, supported the annexation, which was viewed by some as racially extremist. In a manner reminiscent of Hitler’s arguments during the annexation of Austria, Sweden, Czechoslovakia, and then Poland, Begin claimed that he was rectifying mistakes from World War I. He argued that these areas were crucial for Germany’s security. On the same evening of December 14, 1981, Begin boldly stood before the Knesset to declare that the Golan Heights had once been a part of Palestine. He criticized the arbitrary borders drawn by those who shaped the region during World War I, particularly in relation to Syria. Begin asserted that this situation had been rectified. Only those who lack reason would believe that Israel could withdraw from the Golan. It is ironic that Begin had no connection to Palestine other than the Zionist plans to colonize it.

During and after World War II, Begin and the Zionist terrorists perpetrated several massacres in their efforts to displace Palestinians from their homeland. Begin defended the redrawing of Palestine’s borders, which resulted in the displacement of more Arabs from the Golan, the West Bank, and Gaza. It is comparable to stealing a house and then raising the issue of the next house, which was originally owned by the first house stolen and forcibly occupied. Despite this flawed demagogy, Begin also presented distorted historical facts. In reality, the entirety of Palestine has historically been part of southern Syria and is a natural extension of Syria itself.

In his speech on the evening of December 14, 1948, Begin claimed that the Syrians terrorized the Israeli areas under their control by bombing the Israeli population residing in the plateau. These arguments bear resemblance to Hitler’s justifications for occupying and annexing Sweden to prevent any potential attack from Czechoslovakia. It is not surprising to find similarities in vocabulary and mindset between Hitler and Begin, given their shared extremist and racist ideologies. As one philosopher once said, “History repeats itself twice, the first time as a tragedy and the second time as a farce.”

The text of the annexation law states the following:

  1. The Israeli state’s law, authority, and will shall be applied to the Golan.
  2. This law shall come into effect immediately upon approval by the Knesset.
  3. The implementation of this law shall be the responsibility of the Minister of Interior.

The Syrian Arab position regarding the annexation decision is as follows:

As part of the Israeli enemy’s aggressive and expansionist policy, which includes Judaization operations, settlement construction, displacement, and persecution of the Arab population, the Israeli government has decided to apply its laws to the Syrian territories under occupation.

The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic, while alerting Arab public opinion and the international community to the dangers and repercussions of this measure on regional and global security and peace, makes the following points:

  1. Syria reserves the right to take appropriate measures in response to this major and blatant violation of the United Nations Charter and its resolutions, including Resolution 338.
  2. This Israeli decision signifies the annexation of the occupied Syrian territory, an act of war against Syria, and the cancellation of the ceasefire.
  3. The Israeli decision confirms the aggressive and expansionist policy of the Israeli entity and exposes its true intentions regarding peace.

Government political statement – December 16, 1981

Mr. Abdel Halim Khaddam, the Deputy Prime Minister at the time, delivered the government statement. As stated in the statement on the 14th of this month, the Israeli enemy has enacted a law requiring the application of Israeli laws to the occupied Syrian Arab territories as part of its expansionist policy aimed at establishing Greater Israel, extending from the Nile to the Euphrates.

This decision follows a series of measures and decisions taken in other occupied Arab territories, including the construction of settlements, the persecution of Arab citizens, the restriction of their movement, the Judaization of the occupied areas, the declaration of Jerusalem as the unified capital of the Hebrew State, and the implementation of civil administration in accordance with their concept of Palestinian autonomy as outlined in the Camp David Accords.

In light of these developments, the leadership has discussed the issue within the framework of our comprehensive vision of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the various circumstances surrounding it. Decisions have been made to address this national issue. In line with the directives of the President of the Republic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has called for an urgent session of the United Nations Security Council to discuss this grave situation and to take a decision to repeal the Israeli law, in accordance with the United Nations Charter, and impose sanctions on the Israeli enemy. We have contacted all Security Council member countries and explained the seriousness of the situation and its implications, urging them to fulfill their responsibilities in maintaining international security as outlined in the Charter.

We have also reached out to all countries around the world to explain the gravity of the situation and seek their support. Letters have been sent to the Non-Aligned Movement, the Islamic Conference, and the Organization of African Unity.

Furthermore, we have engaged with Arab countries through their ambassadors in Damascus and through the Secretary General of the Arab League. We will continue to liaise with our Arab brethren to unify the Arab position in response to this alarming development. The leadership and the government are closely monitoring this dangerous situation and its potential outcomes.

■ The stance of Syrian Arab citizens in the Golan regarding the annexation decision:

The decision of the Zionist enemy government to annex the occupied Golan to Israel was unequivocally rejected and condemned by all citizens. The citizens of the occupied Syrian villages, along with the support of Arab citizens in the occupied West Bank, took action by attacking Israeli military vehicles and expressing their strong condemnation of Israel’s expansionist policy. Syrian national figures in Majdal Shams and Masada, particularly Salman Abu Saleh, who vehemently denounced the Israeli expansionist policy, stated in his militant village of Majdal Shams, “We have been, are, and will continue to be Syrian citizens. No decision issued by the Knesset will alter our allegiance to our motherland, Syria.”

In response to the call for a comprehensive strike on December 16, 1981, all citizens participated in protest against the annexation law of the Golan. The comprehensive strike included all schools in the villages, where teachers and students refrained from attending despite the threats posed by the Zionist enemy. The popular struggle continues to this day.