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Israel, Syria Conflict: 9 Quotes That Illustrate Struggles Through Years

Image: Israel, Syria Conflict: 9 Quotes That Illustrate Struggles Through Years
A sculpture of an Israeli soldier standing guard is seen next to a sign for tourists showing the distance to Damascus at an army post in Mount Bental in the annexed Golan Heights, on August 28, 2014. (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 07:46 PM

Israel and Syria have a long history of conflict, fighting three major wars since Israel was established in 1948. The two countries have never managed to establish any kind of diplomatic relationship. Any contact has ranged from full-fledged war to detente.

Since 1967’s Six Day War, the focus of any negotiations has been “land for peace” in the Golan Heights. The closest the two get to diplomacy is the trade of apples and a limited number of exchange students.

Below are nine quotes that characterize the troubled history between Syria and Israel.

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• "We hereby declare that as from the termination of the Mandate … the present National Council shall act as the provisional administration and … shall constitute the Provisional Government of the Jewish State, to be called Israel."
– Israel Declaration of Independence, 1948

• "We have no info at this time Syria intends attack Israel. Syria has from time to time told us that it intends to defend itself if attacked by Israel and has referred to Egyptian-Syrian defense pact."
– Telegram from the U.S. Department of State to the Embassy in Israel, Nov. 4, 1956

• "It is the duty of all of us now to move from defensive positions to offensive positions and enter the battle to liberate the usurped land. ... Everyone must face the test and enter the battle to the end."
– President Attassi of Syria, Feb. 22, 1967, cited in "Israel and World Politics: Roots of the Third Arab-Israeli War

• "We had hoped yesterday that tension in the Israel-Syria-UAR triangle was dropping. ... Last night, however, we and the Israelis learned that the Egyptians have moved forces into the Sinai. Now they have moved forces in front of the UN Emergency Force on the Israel-UAR border and all but ordered it to withdraw."
– Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant to President Lyndon Johnson, May 17, 1967

• "We have always said that in our war with the Arabs we had a secret weapon — no alternative.The Egyptians could run to Egypt, the Syrians into Syria. The only place we could run was into the sea, and before we did that, we might as well fight.”
– Golda Meir, Life Magazine, Oct. 3, 1969

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• "The argument that the Palestinian issue is the key to Middle East peace is only partially valid. The issue of radical Islam transcends the Palestinian issue. It is important, therefore, that an outcome on Palestine be clearly achieved by moderate leaders rather than radical pressure. In some respects, the conditions for this are favorable. There is consensus about the outcome (even in Israel): the 1967 borders, except for the settlements around Jerusalem, a demilitarized Palestinian state with its capital in the Arab part of Jerusalem, return of refugees only to the Palestinian state. What is lacking are governments in both Israel and among the Palestinians that are strong enough to bring it about. The United States, the European Union and moderate Arab states need to cooperate to develop a plan and then conduct the negotiations to implement it.”
– Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Vatican Speech, April 28, 2007

• "My heart goes out to the brave citizens of Syria, who each day risk and even sacrifice their lives to achieve freedom from a murderous regime. We in Israel welcome the historic struggle to forge democratic, peace-loving governments in our region."
– Shimon Peres, Israeli Prime Minister, June 18, 2012, Los Angeles Times op-ed

• "No one can win this war. It is clear that the parties think they cannot afford to lose because they fear annihilation and this explains why the war will keep going unless the international community imposes a legitimate alternative."
– Jimmy Carter and Robert A. Pastor, Dec. 22, 2013, The Washington Post

• "We belong to Syria and support Assad. We will never cede the Golan Heights. This region is a part of Syria and it must be returned."
– Ataf, a resident of the Druze village Buka'ata, April 17, 2012, YNET.

• "These past weeks we have proven that our tolerance is minimal when our integrity is struck, either intentionally or unintentionally.”
– Mosha Ya’Alon, Israel’s Defence Minister, Aug. 31, 2014, National Post

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Israel and Syria have a long history of conflict, fighting three major wars since Israel was established in 1948. The two countries have never managed to establish any kind of diplomatic relationship. Any contact has ranged from full-fledged war to detente.
israel, syria, conflict, quotes
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2014-46-01
Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 07:46 PM
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