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Reply #45


Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #33)

Mon May 28, 2012, 03:05 PM

45. I think from re-reading . .

your comment a few times that you disagree with my statement:

There is no credible evidence in 64 years of this war that Israel has anything except its own defense as a motive for its decisions and policies in the territories.


First, I agree with you to some extent. I overstated my case. When it comes to motives, every action a person (or a state) takes is induced by a range of motives, some stronger than others. I am sure many of the farmers in the valleys and fields below the Golan saw the land up there as something they'd like to include as part of Israel and perhaps as part of their own farm or Kibbutz.

I will maintain however, that the repetitive firing of Syrian cannon at them from those heights into the demilitarized zone where their fields were located was their primary concern. They needed to work the fields and they did not want to die in the process, nor did they want their friends, neighbors and children to die. Even an extreme anti-Zionist like yourself can agree that that must have been their first concern.

I'm sure their first thought was that the only way to ensure that cannon would not be fired at them was for Israel to take the heights militarily and annex them. Once that belief became common among the area's Israeli inhabitants then it was a small step to realize that the land up there would be a great addition to Israel's arable territory - and also to wonder if they or their families might become trustees, lessees or owners of the land. From their perspective, what's not to like? I see no reason why they should have hid those thoughts from Dayan. My understanding was that when Dayan was appointed defense minister and given a free reign to conduct the war his first priority was to focus on the greater danger, Egypt, and leave the other armies for when Egypt was contained and neutralized. Obviously, that was a sound strategy - hence, to this day it is known as The Six Day War - to Egypt's and Nasser's everlasting humiliation. When those events took place (the events your quotes supposedly emerged from) Dayan was opposed to attacking Syria on the heights, and saw reason in his interviews to highlight the farmers' desire to have the land, as opposed to any military necessity at that early time in the war.

In border disputes, when someone uses terrain to attack you and try to kill your children it's quite natural I believe, to see your own acquisition of that terrain as a good idea. It ends the attacks plus you own more land. How is that not both justifiable and understandable? The side benefits don't motivate the action on their own but they certainly do make it more likely. The farmer's desire to have the land from which they were constantly attacked, in no way reduced the defensive necessity of it. In fact, self defense was their raison d'etre. And that was the point I was trying to make.

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