The Legacy of Yigal Alon: From the "Golan Heights" to "Alon Plan"
by Staff Writer
Yigal Alon, who died in 1980, was one of Israel's most cherished and original statesman. He used to live in Kibbutz Genosar on the Kineret Lake. Sad to say he was not promoted to be a prime minister. He was the father of the most important idea of security (Alon was a general in 1948 and the charismatic commander of the Palmach), known as the 'Alon Plan.'
The Labor party adopted the plan but later its leaders such as Shimon Peres changed their mind. The plan is a must for Israel's security. Why? The notion is that the army must control the security along the Jordan river. Israeli's must hold posts over there. Israel must draw a line of separation between the West Bank (Palestinian State?) and the Jordan Kingdom. You do not have to be a military expert to understand this notion.
Also it is a litmus test for the PLO's leadership. If they are looking in the near future for a true peace, they would not mind the Israeli security-military posts just monitoring the area. If the PLO objected to the application of 'Alon Plan' then they have just shown their future intentions to 'swallow' Jordan by all means, perhaps by salami tactics. We know that Jordan has a huge segment of Palestinian population which will not object to a 'Palestinian reunion.'
The Alon Plan from security or geo-politics is a minimum must for Israel's future survival. Can you imagine: a greater Palestinian state from the Saudi desert to one mile from Netania? A Palestinian State not so far from the oil fields? Indeed it is an Israeli nightmare. That's the reason that we must use the Alon Plan as a litmus test. It is not surprising that Yigal Alon, a Zionist-socialist, believed that we should never leave the Golan heights. After the 'Six Days War' Alon gave a famous speech at a convention of his Kibbutz movement. He said the following:
"The Golan Heights, where we are now, have always been a part of Israel. There are those who fear that the historical emphasis may divert our attention from essentials. But we should not dismiss this historical argument and connection. Without them we would not be here and there would not be a State of Israel. But we will stay here - not only in the name of history. We must mold our borders first and foremost as secure borders that will prevent in advance any chance of an Arab victory in war.
It is, therefore, not enough to strive for a peace treaty. Every peace treaty must be accompanied by security arrangements. We will not allow the settlements of the Hulah and the Jordan Valley to become once again "sitting ducks" for artillery on the Golan Heights. The "scythe and sword" system are still needed by Israel today, to ensure our borders and our very existence in the future. Holding a border is not merely a matter for armies alone. Military units change; settlements remain where they are. Every week that passes without settling areas that seem to have strategic significance is a week wasted. The more we speed up the tempo and extent of the defense settlements, the more we enhance the chances of preventing more wars and making the Arabs reconciled to our existence. We need many who are not only willing to die for the protection of our borders, but also to live near them and for them. The more such persons there are, the less Jews will die for those borders.
The activist pioneering settlement still has a decisive role to play in ensuring a deep-rooted Israeli presence everywhere that we want it - and we want it on the Golan Heights.
Discussing the issue of the "Golan Heights" one must understand one more aspect of its vitality for Israel existence: The water issue. Did you know that nearly 30% of Israel's water will be in danger if we leave the Golan? Did you know that the Golan's waters supply the Sea of Galilee basin: 161 billion gallons of drinking water? These waters are the lifeline source from the Sea of Galilee (The Kineret) to the coastal plains and the Negev. (The national water carrier).
For the Syrians the "Golan" is an issue of 0.5% of their country total size. But for Israel, it is an issue of national security, national interests of survival and its ability to challenge its emergency situation of its supply of waters. In the past, leaders such as Rubin Z"e used to argue: "It is inconceivable that we withdraw from the Golan heights even in peace."
The Six Day War eradicated the Syrian nightmare from the northern valleys. Mount Hermon in the Golan's north, the chain of hills at its eastern border, and the Roqad river to the south, constitute the only defense line in the Golan. Therefore, any withdrawal from the Golan endangers the very existence of the State of Israel!
Withdrawing From the Golan Will Bring About the Following Situations:
- The Syrians will threateningly overlook the Northern valleys, only 60 km from Haifa. The northern region of the state will be laid bare to possible Syrian, Iraqi and Iranian invasions through the Jordan valley in the direction of Haifa and the heart of Israel.
- The Syrians will threaten a third of Israel's water supply.
- 32 communities will be uprooted and 13,000 people will lose their homes.
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