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Israel’s Illegal Occupation of the Golan Heights Remains an Obstacle to Peace

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During the period of the last Labor government in Australia, the general policy of that government, which was in power for six years from 2008 to 2014, was to abstain on votes in the United Nations critical of Israel. When the Liberal government has been in power, as it has continuously since 2014, the vote is almost invariably against any motion critical of the actions of the Israeli government.

The reasons for this voting pattern are never explained. The Australian mainstream media maintains almost complete silence on this voting pattern. There is no reason to believe that the government’s attitude, as represented in the voting pattern, is in fact supported by the population as a whole. One suspects that the reason for the print media silence on the topic is that the general population do not in fact support the actions of the Israeli government that are regularly condemned by the United Nations General Assembly.

One of those topics regularly condemned by the General Assembly is the continued occupation of the Golan Heights by Israel. In 1968 Syria and Israel fought a brief war, in the course of which Israel captured the Syrian territory of the Golan Heights.

It is a fundamental principle of international law that no country may retain the land of another country captured in the course of a war. Yet that is precisely what the Israeli government has done. It has not only retained the Syrian territory, it has consistently ignored successive United Nations resolutions that the land must be vacated and returned to its rightful owners, in this case the state of Syria.

It is not merely occupation of the seized land that Israel does. It has over the years consistently built thousands of homes that are occupied by Israeli settlers. That building of residences on the occupied land continues to the present day with the new Israeli........

© New Eastern Outlook

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