Fighting Anti-Israeli Bias

Item 7



Claim 39: Israel illegally occupies Syrian and Lebanese territory


Egypt, 51st Session
The illegal occupation of the Syrian Arab Golan and several areas in the Lebanese territories continues, and the accompanying violations of all human rights of the people of these areas.

Our Response

UN Watch

Israel’s complete withdrawal from all Lebanese territory in May of 2000 has been certified by the UN itself. The Lebanese claims on the area known as Shebaa Farms, which have been used as a pretext for not disarming Hezbollah, have no basis in history or international law.

As for the Golan Heights, Israel conquered this region from Syria in the 1967 war. The cease-fire lines agreed to in 1974 following another round of combat have been scrupulously adhered to. Nothing about Israel’s presence there is “illegal,” and a final disposition of the boundary between the two states can only be decided in direct negotiations that lead to a peace treaty. Israel has repeatedly shown a willingness to make major territorial concessions in exchange for peace only to be rebuffed by the Syrians.

Nothing about an occupation of land during or following a war and before a new armistice or treaty creates an agreed line is “illegal” by any international precedent. Moreover, since 1981 Israel has claimed the Golan as its own sovereign territory and does not govern it as an occupied territory at all. This claim has been recognized by the United States since 2017.

As discussed in Claim 18, far from violating the human rights of Syrians, Israel has treated many victims of the Syrian regime’s brutality in its own hospitals during the decade of the Syrian Civil War, a conflict that has taken the lives of over half a million Syrians and displaced more than 10 million.

UN Watch