United Nations General Assembly Fourth Committee Special Political and Decolonization Committee (SPECPOL)

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1 Forum: Issue: Student Officer: Position Mail: United Nations General Assembly Fourth Committee Special Political and Decolonization Committee (SPECPOL) The question of Syrian Golan Björn Haubold Chair of the Fourth Committee of the General Assembly Description of the issue: This map shows the situation in the Syrian Golan as of 2018.

2 ''Look, it's possible to talk in terms of 'the Syrians are bastards, you have to get them, and this is the right time,' and other such talk, but that is not policy. You don't strike at the enemy because he is a bastard, but because he threatens you. And the Syrians, on the fourth day of the war, were not a threat to us.'' General Moshe Dayan, Defense Minister in 1967, who gave the order to conquer the Golan The Syrian Golan (also Golan or Golan Heights) is a region in the southwest of Syrian Arab Republic in the Levante. It s overall land mass is 1,860 square kilometers, which is approximately 1 percent of Syria's total area. It is strategically important due to its elevation. Furthermore, it has many water reservoirs, which are essential for civilian settlements in that area. From 1946 onward, it was part of the Syrian Arab Republic. The Syrian Golan was occupied by the State of Israel s (for further information please see Glossary) Israel Defense Forces on June 15, 1967 during the third Arab-Israeli War (also Six- Day-War or June War, for further information please see Historical Background). Before this Israeli occupation, the Golan was home to over 140,000 Syrians, most of whom were driven out of their homeland and into Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) status. Till this day, almost 40 years later, the Syrian inhabitants of the Golan are still unable to return to their homes, towns and cities. Today these Syrians exceed 500,000 people. Some Syrians remained in the occupied Syrian Golan and continue to live in small villages amounting to approximately 20,000 Syrians. Most of the Syrian cities, towns and villages in the Golan were destroyed by Israeli occupation forces, who in turn have built over 40 settlements. The future of the Golan Heights is central to the search for peace in the Middle East. NOTE: Please note that the question of Syrian Golan is part of the broader Arab-Israeli conflict when doing research. Nevertheless, we are only debating the issue at hand, and not the Arab-Israeli conflict as a whole. However, it is not part of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, so please do not focus on the Palestinian Territories. This may affect your country s/ngo s/igo s stance on the matter. Historical background:

3 This map shows the historical development in the Syrian Golan.

4 The First Arab-Israeli War The First Arab Israeli War lasted from 15 May 1948 until 10 March It broke out since tensions in the present-day State of Israel, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, the Golan Heights and the City of Jerusalem had intensified. The member states of the League of Arab Nations (for further information please see Glossary) attempted at destroying any early-stage creation of Israel in Palestine, which due to poor coordination was defeated by the Israeli Defense Forces. The first Arab-Israeli war was concluded by separate agreements of armistice between the State of Israel and members states of the League of Arab Nations. It resulted in Israel gaining more territory than initially intended in A/RES/181 (II). Also, thousands of Arabs that had formerly resided in what was now Israel had to be displaced to the Arab territories in the Eastern Region while some fled to surrounding Arab countries, making at least 750,000 Palestinians out of a total of 1.9 million people refugees, the Arabic people s loss in the fight over the creation of Israel also marked the start of a major ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. The Syrian Golan was demilitarized by the 1949 Armistice Agreement. However, violent military border clashes between the Syrian Arab Republic and the State of Israel began to occur in the following years due to disagreements regarding the legal status of the Syrian Golan. Both parties conducted frequent shelling of the other s civilian settlements. The Third Arab-Israeli War This Map shows the battle of the Syrian Golan during the Third Arab-Israeli War. The Third Arab-Israeli War (also Six-Day War or June War) lasted from 5 June to 10 June It was initiated by an Israeli air attack that destroyed more than 90% of the Egyptian air force and a similar attack was also conducted onto the Syrian air force. These attacks were a reaction to an increase of tumult in the general area. This attack on the air forces left the Syrian Arab Republic

5 and the Arab Republic of Egypt vulnerable to attack and consequently Israel gained the Gaza Strip, and the entirety of the Sinai Peninsula stretching all the way up to the Suez Canal. Despite a UN negotiated ceasefire the Syrian Arab Republic continued the offense, leading the State of Israel to attack the Golan Heights. The Israel Defense Forces captured and subsequently occupied the Syrian Golan. After both nations had signed a ceasefire, the Purple Line was established as temporary border. Over 100,000 Syrians were forced to flee into the Syrian Arab Republic. The State of Israel began to erect many settlements in the newly occupied territory. The Fourth Arab-Israeli War The Fourth Arab Israeli War (or Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War or October War) lasted from 6 June to 26 June It was initiated by Syrian and Egyptian forces entering Israel with the objective to regain lost territory and as a conclusion of years of sporadic fighting following the Six-Day War. The Syrian Arab Republic attempted to liberate the Syrian Golan from Israeli occupation and succeeded after the disengagement agreements to regain a strip of territory (about 30% of the Syrian Golan) that included the main city and capital of the Golan, Quneitra. Both parties later signed a ceasefire, in which the State of Israel agreed to return a small strip (about 5% of the Syrian Golan) to the Syrian Arab Republic as a demilitarized zone. This DMZ later was put under military control of UNDOF (for further informations please see Glossary). Aftermath until today On December 14, 1981, the State of Israel annexed the Syrian Golan with the Golan Heights Law. This move was not recognized internationally (for further information please see Glossary). In 1991, peace talks between Syria and Israel started at the Madrid Conference in which the return of the Syrian Golan was a central topic. However, negotiations came to a dead-end due to State of Israel 's refusal to withdraw completely from the Syrian Golan. Syrians continue to wait for the illegal occupation of their land to come to an end. Syrian President, Bashar Al- Assad, has sent several messages in this regard. However, the provocative visit of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, which sparked the 2000 Palestinian Uprising and the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, along with Israeli aggression against the Palestinians and Lebanon in 2006 has widened the gap and complicated the picture. Glossary: The Syrian Arab Republic: country in the Middle East, bordering the Lebanese Republic, the Republic of Turkey, the Republic of Iraq, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the State of Israel. Syria is home to a multitude of ethnic groups, such as Arabs, Kurds, Turks, Christians, Jews and Sunnis. It is part of the League of Arab States and its main allies are the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Russian Federation. The State of Israel: country in the Middle East, bordering the Lebanese Republic, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Palestinian Territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Its ideology is Zionism and its main ally is the United States of America. The League of Arab States: multilateral alliance in the middle east, established to draw closer the relations between member states and co-ordinate collaboration between them, to safeguard their independence and sovereignty, and to consider in a general way the affairs and interests of the Arab countries.

6 It currently consists of 22 member states, most notably the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Republic of Iraq, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Lebanese Republic, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Syrian Arab Republic and the State of Palestine. It enjoys close cooperation with the Russian Federation. (for further information please see: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR): also UN Refugee Agency, aims to promote refugee s rights and finding a permanent residence for them (for further information see: Zionism: an ideology and subsequent movement for (originally) the reestablishment and (now) the development and protection of nation for the Jewish people, which currently is the State of Israel. United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF): established by S/RES/350 on 31 May 1974 to monitor the immediate ceasefire between the State of Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic and overall implementation of S/RES/242. Its mandate has been renewed every six months and is currently valid until 30 June How to prepare as a delegate: In order to make it easier for you to do research in preparation to MUNOH (or any MUN), here you will find some useful tips, tricks and links. At first, it is a great idea to gain a basic overview about your issues. The easiest way to do this is reading the research reports. This report is written by your chairs and should help you in your research. Other great alternatives are web pages, which offer a huge amount of information. But you should never rely on only one source; the internet can be a tricky place. Furthermore, you can get a lot of information from newspapers; have a look in their archives if you cannot find your topic easier. In addition, you can take a look on the official UN-website or on specific regional information centres to find some information about your issues. If possible, you can also contact the local representation of your given county and ask them kindly if they can send you information, statements or useful links about the position of the country. If this is not possible, have a look on the official websites of your country. With a little searching, you should be able to find useful information. Last but not least you should keep an eye on the news, to learn more about the Issue. If you really cannot find anything, you can always contact us, your presidents, your local teacher or MUN-director, or the Secretaries General You should write at least one (if possible three) resolutions and three position papers on all issues on the agenda in our forum. Please send your resolution(s) and your position papers to us at latest 19 August We will correct them as a student officers. All resolutions and position papers send later will not be corrected. Please also keep in mind that delegates, who have not handed in a resolution and a position paper, will be expelled from lobbying and debating. UN resolutions, treaties and conventions: A/RES/181 (II): Resolution passed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1947 which called for the partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states, with the city of Jerusalem as a corpus separatum (Latin: separate entity ) to be governed by a special international regime. The resolution which was considered by the Jewish community in Palestine to be a legal basis for the establishment of Israel, and which was rejected by the Arab community was succeeded almost immediately by violence. (for further informations please see

7 253) S/RES/242: Resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council in 1967 which refers to the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East in which every State in the area can live in security. (for further information please see 36) S/RES/338: Resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council in 1973 which demanded an immediate ceasefire following the Fourth Arab-Israeli War (for further information please see Historical Background). (for further information please see 878) S/RES/350: Resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council in 1974 which established the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force in order to monitor the immediate ceasefire between the State of Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic after the Fourth Arab Israeli War (for further information please see Historical background). (for further information please see The Golan Heights Law: Law passed by the State of Israel in 1981, which extended Israeli laws, jurisdiction and administration to the Syrian Golan, thus a de facto annexation. (for further information please see aspx) S/RES/497: Resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council in 1981 which unanimously called the annexation of the Syrian Golan (for further information please see Historical Background) by the State of Israel null and void and not one country has legitimized it. Since then, every year the U.N. passes General Assembly resolution titled The Occupied Syrian Golan which reaffirms the illegality of the Israeli occupation and annexation. (for further information please see Useful links: (general information about the United Nations) (general information about the United Nations Foundation) (United Nations Information Centre) (information about SPECPOL) (further information about SPECPOL) (information about your respective countries) (news and further information, British) (news and further information, British) (news and further information, British) (news and further information, American) (news and further information, American) (news and further information, American) Sources:

8 Map showing the situation in the Syrian Golan as of 2018: Map showing the historical situation in the Syrian Golan: Map showing the battle of the Syrian Golan during the Third Arab-Israeli War: _The_Jordan_salient.jpg We wish you a lot of success in writing amazing postions papers and resolutions for this year s MUNoH conference and we are confident you will certainly do so. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Kind regards, Björn Haubold & Ragna Kahle Lorenzen Presidency of the United Nations General Assembly Fourth Committee

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