There are 5 legal reasons why the Golan is Israel’s
- Syria lost any claim to the Golan when it breached UN 242 in the 1973 war
- Israel complied with UN 242 on the Syrian front when it yielded Kunietra
- Israel originally acquired it in a defensive war (1967)
- It has been Israeli more years than Syrian (49 years Israeli vs. 45 years Syrian)
- No Syrians except an enclave of Druze live there, and Israel would likely be willing to give them a plebiscite choice for that enclave.
Prior negotiations on the Golan failed on Syria’s side and Israel is not obligated to restart those. An Israeli argument of possession based on security is weak; it will be countered by “guarantees” of border security. No doubt the world will be happy to sacrifice this crucial piece of Israel to placate the Arabs, but Israel need not agree to cut off an arm to go along.
Israel should not wait to go public on this; delay will lead to a fait accompli against Israel and Israel will, once again, find itself cast as an aggressor State opposed to peace.