ADCRI Report on the "Golan Heights: Occupation and Resistance"

Washington, DC | www.adc.org  | May 16, 2011 –  In light of recent developments this past weekend, The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Research Institute (ADCRI) is issuing this notice about the background paper entitled “Golan Heights: Occupation and Resistance.” The report, initially published in October 2010, is available for download and viewing here.

On May 15, 2011, thousands of people were peacefully commemorating al-Nakba, or the catastrophe, near the Occupied Golan Heights. Israeli forces used deadly force against the commemorators, leaving dozens killed or injured. Read more

The report is intended to awaken the conscience of people to the relative neglect and lack of information in the West about the experience of the people of the Golan Heights. Like the Palestinians, they continue to affirm their national identity and defend their rights, despite nearly 45 years of Israeli military occupation.

The report gives an overview of the Israeli occupation of the Golan and the displacement of most of the indigenous Syrian population.  Its primary focus is on the experience of a people who have lived through war and occupation.  The report also examines the experience of those who were forced out of the Golan in the 1967 war, becoming internally displaced persons within Syria.

In addition, the report examines Israeli expansionism that led up to war and occupation, the Israeli settlement process, and the imposition of a system of control and exclusion over the Syrian community.   Through a nonviolent struggle in 1981, the Golanis successfully resisted attempts to force Israeli citizenship upon them.  Since then, their struggle has continued in opposition to Israeli policies designed to undermine their rights, independence, and identity. They are still Syrian citizens, living in the occupied territory of southwestern Syria.

ADC hopes that this background paper will enhance Americans’ understanding of the people of the Golan.  It is an acknowledgement of the enduring strength of the struggle of the Golanis.

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NOTE TO EDITORS: The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), which is non-profit, non-sectarian and non-partisan, is the largest grassroots Arab-American civil rights and civil liberties organization in the United States. It was founded in 1980 by former Senator James Abourezk. ADC has a national network of chapter