Susan C. Anthony

Dennis in tank on Golan HeighsThe Golan Heights

Until 1967, the Syrians rained fire down on the region around Galilee from the Golan Heights. It is the high ground in northeastern Israel.

The Golan was captured by Israel during the Six Day War and annexed in 1981. Syria still considers it theirs.

In a 1973 surprise attack on Yom Kippur, a sacred Jewish holiday, the Syrians recaptured half of the Golan. Two days later, in the greatest tank battle in history, Syria lost 1,200 of its 1,500 Soviet-built tanks. Israel was within sight of Damascus when the United Nations called for peace.

When we saw this tank, Dennis just had to stop. We walked around it and I returned to the car for a camera. When I got back, I didn't see him. I walked to the other side of the tank and still didn't see him. So I called. His answer echoed back from inside the tank!

The United Nations never recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, saying the area was "seized" from Syria during the war. This ignores the fact that Syria was the aggressor, attacking Israel by surprise from the heights with a stated mission to eliminate a UN member nation and drive its inhabitants into the sea. Though massively outnumbered, Israeli forces prevailed. Syria to this day refuses to negotiate peace.

Israel had "seized" the resource-rich Sinai Peninsula in 1967 after Egypt and its allies started a war. Egypt tried to recapture the Sinai by starting another war in 1973, but lost again. Sadat eventually sued for peace and Israel returned the entire peninsula to Egyptian control. One has to wonder whether Syria might have recovered the Golan Heights by simply agreeing to peace. Israel's peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt have held for decades.

In 2019, President Trump recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

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