Zahava Galon on Sunday admitted in an interview with Channel 10 News that she had been mistaken in her previous demands that Israel surrender the Golan Heights to Syria in return for a peace deal.
“There is no one to whom to return the Golan,” said Galon. “I made a mistake in boycotting products from the [Golan] Heights.”
As leader of the far-left Meretz Party, Galon was at the forefront of those pressing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his predecessor, Ehud Olmert, to negotiate handing over the entirety of the strategic Golan Heights to neighboring Syria as part of a comprehensive push for peace with the Arab world.
Syria today is, of course, embroiled in a bloody civil war that is being contested by numerous radical Islamist groups, including some with ties to Al Qaeda. Had the Golan been negotiated away when Galon and others demanded as much, it would likely now be in the hands of such groups, facilitating deadly terrorist attacks on the towns of the Galilee region.
It was the “stubbornness” of Netanyahu, as Galon and others asserted at the time, that ultimately kept the Golan out of dangerous enemy hands.
Nevertheless, Galon enthusiastically joined other opposition figures in pre-election criticism of Netanyahu after two missiles from Syria struck the Golan late last month amid a brief, but deadly border flare-up.
“Netanyahu has failed to provide security to the citizens of Israel,” she told Israel’s Ma’ariv newspaper. “My heart is with the residents of the north that are living under unbearable tension. Rocket fire on civilian populations is unacceptable, and Israel has the right and responsibility to defend its citizens.”
PHOTO: Israeli artillery positioned near an Israeli village in the northern Golan (Flash90)