Shu Meng: Golan Support ‘Unlikely’ for Israel
Publish time: 2018-10-15 Browsing times: 10

MESI assistant research Shu Meng received interview from China Daily on October 11. the full text is as follows:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not likely to get much support from the international community after he called on countries to recognize the Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights that were seized from Syria, a Chinese expert said.

Netanyahu said during the inauguration of a synagogue in the Golan Heights that Israel's control of the area “is a fact that the international community must recognize and as long as it depends on me, the Golan Heights will always remain under Israeli sovereignty”.

According to Netanyahu, Iran and the Lebanese-based military of Hezbollah are “trying constantly to establish a force opposite us that would operate against the Golan Heights and the Galilee”.

He said that the Israeli presence in the Golan is “thwarting” Iran's ambitions of expansion and “is a guarantee for stability” in the region.

Shu Meng, a researcher from the Middle East Studies Institute of Shanghai International Studies University, said: “Israel's occupation of the region has never been recognized by the international community.”

“Former United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon once stated that the occupation violates international law and the UN Charter - even Israel's ally, the United States, does not expressly support this kind of behavior.”

Israel seized the Golan Heights in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it shortly later, claiming it as part of Israel, in a move never recognized internationally.

The strategic location of the Golan Heights, on the border between Israel and Syria, means Israel wants to keep maintaining its annexation, Shu said.

“Due to its altitude, the Golan Heights can provide Israel with a natural strategic barrier, she said. The high altitude, on one hand, adds some difficulties to Syria's strategic deployment against Israel. On the other hand, it can protect Lake Galilee, the main water resource of Israel.”

In addition, she said, the Golan Heights is also a natural barrier for Israel to guard against Hezbollah, the Iranian military threat and other dangers.

The hawkish leader also reiterated that Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to meet with him. He said he intends to discuss the Golan Heights and Iran with Putin in their meeting that will be held “soon”.

“I know that President Putin understands my commitment to the security of Israel and I know that he also understands the importance that I ascribe to the Golan Heights,” Netanyahu said.

Shu said it is expected that Israel may continue to face opposition from around the world over its long-term control over most of the Golan Heights.

“Currently Syria is unable to compete with Israel for the control of the highlands because of its domestic turmoil,” she said.

“Meanwhile, due to the importance of the geographical location, some Arab countries, Iran and the international community will not sit idly by and watch Israel illegally claim its right to the Golan Heights.”

Source: China Daily