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Don't give up the Golan Heights

Surrendering it to Syria could imperil Israel and the US.

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President Bush still seeks a comprehensive peace for the Middle East. That could require resolution of the Golan Heights, the disputed territory northeast of the Sea of Galilee. Israel controls it; Syria wants it.

Although Mr. Bush has not pressured Israel to give up the Golan Heights, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is leaning toward this concession on his own. It's a presumed variation of the "land for peace" formula. And it would be a monumental mistake. Any such retreat from the strategically vital Golan could imperil Israel and the United States.

Let's be clear about Syria's intentions. Syria shares with Iran a design to destroy Israel. Both countries have documented intentions toward Israel that meet all legal tests for genocide.

Both also support assorted terrorist groups, which hold that same goal. Syria maintains close ties to Hamas and to Hezbollah, which is an Iranian proxy. Further, Al Qaeda, which has close ties to Iran, could discover opportunity on the Golan if Israel abandons it.


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