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Should Israel return the Golan Heights to Syria?

Some believe that Israel should return the Golan Heights to Syria in exchange for peace. Others, however, consider the Golan Heights to be under Israeli sovereignty.

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There are multiple opinions on the issue, but I believe that the Golan Heights should be returned to Syria. If it is not returned, lasting peace between Israel and Syria is highly improbable. The area has historically always been part of Syria, and Israel took it by force after a war in 1967. However, in view of the deep-seated enmity between Israel and Syria, this transfer of the Golan Heights is not likely to happen anytime soon for a number of reasons.

First, land for peace was a successful formula for Israel and Egypt, but it is problematic in this case. In 1979, Israel returned occupied Egyptian land, the Sinai, in exchange for peace. Israel and Egypt have not fought a war since. Israel believes the Golan Heights is different, though; it is seen as an indispensable defensive shield against Arab attacks.

Second, Israel believes its most dangerous enemies are Hezbollah and Iran. Hezbollah is a strong terrorist group supported by Iran. These two Israeli enemies have a presence in Syria as allies of the Syrian dictator, so Israel has a strong incentive to maintain a fortified position on the Golan Heights.

Third, president Donald Trump supports Israel's claim to the Golan Heights. This is contrary to previous presidential administrations' policies and United Nations resolutions. In fact, America is the only nation in the world to support Israel's claim to the land.

All of these thorny issues are not going to be resolved in the near future, so it seems that the return of the Golan Heights may have to wait.

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