Security or politics : the return of the Golan Heights
Kaucher, Stacey D.
Robinson, Glenn E.
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The aim of this thesis is to analyze the role that domestic politics plays in the decision making process of the leaders of Israel and Syria with regard to returning the Golan Heights. Many argue that the core issue of returning the Golan is purely military, relating to the security buffer the occupied territory provides to IsraelÎ±s northern settlements. While holding the high ground is still a key military tenet when evaluating terrain, IsraelÎ±s security rationale for keeping the Golan Heights holds little credibility, as demonstrated by former Prime Minister Ehud BarakÎ±s readiness to turn over all but 200 meters of the Golan to Syria during the last round of serious negations between both countries. I argue that for each side the return of the Golan Heights is not a bilateral security issue between Israel and Syria but is instead an internal domestic matter. The return of the Golan depends on a political decisionmaking process within each country more than it does on military concerns.
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