The habitat of resistance and the fate of tyranny…

The year 2022 marked the 40th anniversary of the most significant national and political event in the modern history of the Syrian Golan, during the decades following its fall to Israeli occupation, either in 1967 or 1973; That is, a large, widespread strike called by Syrian citizens in the vast majority of cities and villages of the Golan Heights, which began on February 14, 1982 and continued until July 19 of that year, and is considered the longest not only in the annals the plateau itself, but also throughout the modern history of Syria. In many respects, carrying exceptional connotations, the strike represented the broadest, most organized and most committed protest movement against the Israeli occupation government’s decision of 12/14/1981 to annex the Golan, which was later approved by the Knesset. .
And if the dozens of details that were connected to the traces of that impact were a reason for the pride of the people of the Golan, and their desire to remember, transmit and circulate them to younger generations; Legitimate pride is still associated with great pain, which is completely understandable, or perhaps sometimes surpasses the feelings of resentment and anger, regarding the indifference that characterized the reactions of the Syrian regime to a step that Hafez al-Assad considered equal to the level of a declaration of war. It was not satisfied with maintaining the front line. Everything in the usual state of grave silence, but the security services of the regime and most of its loyal private military units were busy carrying out internal massacres, over the cities, towns and villages of Syria far and wide!
It is not fair whenever this contrast between the Syrian strikes on the occupied Golan and the subjection of other Syrians at home to the regime’s brutality is brought up, without talking about the facts or the bloodiest: When the attack on the occupied Golan began, 12 days had passed since the Syrian the regime started with the massacre of Ham (30 to 40 thousand dead); Before and after the decision of the Israeli occupation to annex the Golan Heights, the regime committed a series of other massacres (Jabal Al-Zawiya, 13-15-05-1980: 14 victims; Sarmada, 25-07-1980: 11 victims; Souk Al- Ahad, Aleppo, 13/07/1980: 43 victims; Abbasids Square, Damascus, 18/08/1980: 60 victims; Al-Masharqa quarter, Aleppo, 11/08/1980, morning Eid al-Fitr: 100 victims… ). In addition to these massacres that took place in various population centers, Syrian prisons witnessed direct mass murders (Palmyra prison massacre, 27/06/1980: at least 500 victims), or hundreds of dead as a result of torture. As for the height of the bitter contradiction, in the eyes of the people of the Golan and the people of Syria alike, it was embodied in the amount of disparity between the practices of the Israeli occupation authorities during efforts to end the attack, and the behavior of the Syrian regime apparatus in besieging and bombarding cities and committing crimes there and there.

There was a consensus among observers of the era, supported by simple common sense, that Menachem Begin, the Israeli Prime Minister at the time; Ariel Sharon, the hawkish defense minister; Yosef Burg, the interior minister who represents ultra-Orthodox parties; They found an opportunity to annex the occupied plateau, right at this moment. The reason was not that they took advantage of the preoccupation of the regime army with their battles against the Syrian people, since the Israeli government was fully convinced that father Assad would not lift a finger in any case; Indeed, because the annexation of the Golan at that time would have passed without tangible international diplomatic embarrassment and without explicit sympathy for a regime that is massacring the people of Syria and is preoccupied with preserving its authority of tyranny and corruption, much more so than any concern over the loss of the occupied land that it originally he is not able to liberate, neither by war nor by peace. Today we know, from information declassified at various levels, that the quarrel between “Likud” and the “Labor Party” did not focus on the annexation of the Golan, since both agreed on that move, but on the timing of the massacres inside Syria, in to whom the “Labour Party” considered it a master stroke. From Begin and Borg!
Prior to the annexation decision, the occupying power amended Israel’s Nationality Law, and the Minister of the Interior was authorized to grant citizenship under various conditions, some of which applied to the people of the Golan under a vague and broad description, indicating that citizenship is “ special interest of the state”; This quickly coincided with Israeli measures to pressure Golan residents to accept citizenship, with a rumor that 400 people accepted it (it turned out that 300 of them originally had Israeli citizenship, having come from the Druze region in 1948 and immigrated to the Golan from family or life reasons). An auxiliary Golan step, patriotic par excellence, and regardless of agreement or disagreement about the roles of the clergy in organizing it or in exploiting or engaging it, was to transform the famous religious “retreat”, especially when it met at Majdal Shams, into something like a national council which will discuss the affairs of the occupied Golan and make decisions and recommendations regarding its present and future.
Perhaps one of the clearest documents of this practice was the “National Document” at the end of March 1981, which in Article 6 stipulated that “people who reject the occupation with their concrete attitudes, who come from all our social strata, who are worthy and qualified to express what is happening in their hearts.” Consciences and souls of their community. And in Article 7: “Any citizen of the occupied Syrian Golan Heights who asks to exchange his citizenship for Israeli citizenship insults our public dignity, our national honor, our nationality, our religion and our traditions, and is considered a traitor to our country.” Article 8 also went to extreme measures of deterrence: “Our decision is irreversible, and anyone who acquires Israeli citizenship, or deviates from the content of this document, will be rejected and expelled from our faith and our social fabric, and it is forbidden to deal with him, nor share his joys and sorrows, nor marry.” With him, until he confesses his guilt and retracts his mistake, asks forgiveness from his community and recovers his honor and his true nationality.
It was no blind coincidence that the thirtieth anniversary of the attack on the occupied Golan was accompanied by a brutal bombing of the Homs district. Against its people, devastating weapons were used that mimicked, or sometimes exceeded, those used by the Israelis against Ramallah, Gaza, Qan and Beirut, even if is the country of origin different, between America and Russia. Evidence of the logic behind those two coincidences indicated that the regime that overthrew the city of Hama in 1982, the year of the famous Golan attack, was the same regime that overthrew Homs, on the attack’s thirtieth anniversary. Perhaps it was even more barbaric: between Father Assad, who fought to eradicate the numerically limited armed groups, in order to discipline the entire community; And successor Assad, who fights against the vast majority of the defenseless people with the security, military and financial machinery that his regime possesses, and with the help of Russian bombers, fighters of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Hezbollah militias and other sectarian detachments.
And between 40 years of the great and honorable Golan coup, and the insistence of the vast majority of its people on resistance, rejection of annexation and adherence to national identity, and 52 years of tyranny, corruption and the succession system established by Assad. families, and today it ends with the destruction of Syria as a nation and urbanization, and with the surrender of five occupations and the displacement of millions of its people to the four winds of the earth; There is that old deep-rooted pain among Syrians back home, because they have nothing but solidarity with their brothers in the Golan Heights, as well as the comparison between the local Syrian fascist tyranny and the Israeli occupier. And among the Golanites, since they continue to belong to a homeland that is bleeding at the hands of tyrants, but it is the first habitat and the last refuge.

Al-Quds Al-Arabi, London

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