Connect with us

Foreign Affairs

Is the time ripe for Israel to push for recognition of the Golan Heights?

Published

on

Is the time ripe for Israel to push for recognition of the Golan Heights

Amid shifting U.S. policy on Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the first time publicly lobbied the United States to recognize Israeli sovereignty in the Golan.

 In a joint press conference with U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asserted that the Golan Heights “is tremendously important for our security … we will never leave the Golan Heights … it is important that all countries recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.” It was a rare moment in which Netanyahu publicly asked a U.S. administration official to officially recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Dennis Ross, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and former adviser to Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, told JNS that Netanyahu’s request “might be understandable given the context of Bolton’s trip but is unlikely to draw a favorable response from the administration in advance of presenting the president’s peace plan. The White House is seeking Arab support for the plan and probably not looking to take steps that might make it harder for Arab states to be responsive.”

Ross placed the issue of recognition and Bolton’s visit in a larger context. He told JNS that Bolton’s trip is about reassuring Israel about the president’s decision to withdraw from Syria.

“I hope the Iranian emplacement of missiles on Syrian bases is being raised by the prime minister with an eye to coordinating an approach on this issue at least with the Russians,” he said. “The Russians want the U.S. out of Syria, and the question is whether it is possible to get the Russians to pressure [Syrian President Bashar] Assad not to permit Iranian missiles on Syrian bases prior to our withdrawal.”

sraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Security Cabinet members get a tour with the North Front Command in the Golan Heights, on Feb. 6, 2018. Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO.

sraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Security Cabinet members get a tour with the North Front Command in the Golan Heights, on Feb. 6, 2018. Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO.

Israel captured the Golan Heights in the 1967 Six-Day War after Syria and other Arab nations attacked the Jewish state. In 1981, Israel annexed the Golan Heights. Since then, the United States and the broader international community have refused to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the region.

But there has been some movement in Israel’s direction. In November, the United States opposed for the first time the annual U.N. resolution calling on Israel to relinquish the Golan Heights. Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley declared, “The United States will no longer abstain when the United Nations engages in its useless annual vote on the Golan Heights. The resolution is plainly biased against Israel.”

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is currently in Jordan as part of a larger Middle East tour to allay fears that America is abandoning the Middle East, as well as to stress that the central threats to the region are Iran and ISIS.

Jordan’s foreign minister, Ayman Safadi, told Pompeo on Tuesday: “International law regarding the Golan Heights is clear. Israel must withdraw from the region.”

How much political capital should go into it?

Netanyahu isn’t alone in his belief that the United States should finally recognize Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights.

Last May, the House of Representatives debated a similar resolution. Then-Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) introduced a resolution asking Congress to recognize the Golan Heights as belonging to Israel. That measure was never adopted.

And this week, Republican Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Ted Cruz of Texas issued a joint statement calling on the administration to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. According to a statement on Cruz’s website, “In the last Congress Sens. Cruz and Cotton introduced S.Res.732, a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that the United States should recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”

The resolution Cotton and Cruz introduced in mid-December of last year urged the Senate to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. The resolution stated that the United States would support Israel’s right to defend itself, that it is in the United States’ national security interest to ensure Israel’s security, and that Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights would ensure that the Assad regime “faces diplomatic and geopolitical consequences for the killing of civilians, the ethnic cleansing of Syrian Sunnis and the use of weapons of mass destruction.”

This week’s statement went on to affirm that “responding to the threat posed by Iran and its proxies requires ensuring that Israel can defend its territory and its citizens from attacks. To support Israel’s right to self-defense, Washington should take the long overdue step of affirming Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”

Efraim Inbar, president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security has a different approach. He told JNS that “the Americans might [recognize Israeli sovereignty] as they see Syria divided among Assad, the Russians, Turkey and Iran.”

“I am not sure we should spend much political capital on this issue,” he added. “After all, the Golan is in our hands since ’67, more years than the Syrians ruled the area. Who can change this strategically important fact?

“Any American recognition will not have the same resonance as moving the embassy to Jerusalem,” acknowledged Inbar. “What we should do is double the Jewish population in the Golan. What counts most is facts on the ground and not political declarations.”

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Foreign Affairs

Here’s hoping there’s a plan we don’t know about with North Korea

Published

on

Heres hoping theres a plan we dont know about with North Korea

In a move that many, including supporters on the right, are calling a move of weakness, the President reversed the Treasury Department’s additional sanctions on North Korea.

My Take

I’m just not sure what to make of this. I understand many have been concerned about how nicely the President has treated Kim Jong un, but I’ve always felt there was some sort of plan happening behind the scenes that would justify it. Now, I’m not so sure.

This move emboldens Kim to continue avoiding any compromise on his nuclear weapons program. It tells him and the rest of the world President Trump isn’t going to be playing hardball and intends to coax the North Korean dictator into signing some sort of agreement before the 2020 elections.

Dare I say, this seems very Obamaesque? Where’s the hardball? Where’s the threats against Rocketman? If there’s some sort of 4D chess being played in the background, I seriously hope we see it in play soon. This is a strange move.

Will you help revive the American Conservative Movement?

 


NOQ Report Needs Your Help

Continue Reading

Foreign Affairs

Mike Pompeo responds to Venezuela, Biden’s world tour, Hezbollah, and Israel

Published

on

Mike Pompeo responds to Venezuela Bidens world tour Hezbollah and Israel

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared on Fox News last night to talk to Shannon Bream about the tumultuous state of affairs around the world and how the United States is handling them.

First, he discussed Venezuela and recent developments where Nicolas Maduro’s regime has essentially framed members of Juan Guaido’s team in an effort to jail and stop the opposition to his presidency there. The Secretary of State said they would hold Maduro’s regime accountable for their actions, but would not elaborate on how U.S. intervention in the poverty-torn nation would manifest.

He jabbed at potential Democratic 2020 candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden, who is being allegedly courted by world leaders to run for the White House in hopes he could bring back proper relations. As Pompeo noted, our relations with world leaders is in a current state of positive action despite the President’s harsh stance with many of them.

As for Hezbollah, Pompeo said the U.S. would press Lebanon for the sake of its people to facilitate change from the anti-Israel, anti-American Hezbollah rule that has basically made the nation a pawn for Iran.

As for the Israel front. where Pompeo was speaking from, he said calls by people like Beto O’Rourke and others to undermine the conservative base shared by the United States and Israel would not help the situation. Only through the President’s peace plan can the Middle East move forward, according to Pompeo.

My Take

Until the Venezuelan government asks directly for help, there should be no action by the United States other than aid for the people. This is an internal affair. Just because the leadership is challenged doesn’t make it our problem. If there was ever a time when the United Nations should flex its puny muscles, that time is now and the place is Venezuela.

Any foreign leaders calling on Biden to replace Trump are doing so because they do not want the United States to continue to maintain and improve upon its position of strength on the world stage. They prefer the good ol’ days under President Obama when the United States was a pawn for many other nations.

Hezbollah must go. That’s not to say we need to be involved with that, but Lebanon will never be free and prosperous as long as they’re the proxy for Iran.

Lastly, the Secretary of State seemed to be echoing a notion that the President would push for a 2-state solution. If that’s the case, it’s a huge mistake. Otherwise, Pompeo is correct in asserting the backwards notions of the Democrats lashing out against President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu.

We’re in a time when foreign affairs are starting to take center stage. Yes, we have problems of our own, but to ignore the growing threats abroad would be a mistake. It’s good the administration is handling these issues.

Will you help revive the American Conservative Movement?

 


NOQ Report Needs Your Help

Continue Reading

Foreign Affairs

Kudos to the President for calling on the U.S. to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights

Published

on

Kudos to the President for calling on the US to recognize Israels sovereignty over the Golan Heights

It’s always hard to tell where the administration may be going following policy Tweets from the President. He’s been known to say one thing, then the administration slowly shifts reality away from the initial intent of the Tweet. On the other hand, many of his Tweets have turned into policy. It’s just a matter of waiting and seeing what the official word from the White House is.

In this case, it’s the President’s bold declaration that the Golan Heights, considered by enemies of Israel to be disputed territory, is actually sovereign Israeli land. As he noted in the Tweet, this is long overdue.

Considering the stances the President has been taking on Twitter this week with sustained attacks on George Conway and John McCain, this is a breath of fresh air. If Israel ever gave up he Golan Heights, they would be losing one of the most important strategic areas through which enemy militaries could easily become entrenched and launch attacks that would be difficult for Israel to counter. While the IDF enjoys technological advances over their enemies, terrain and proximity are still major factors in the defense of their lands. The Golan Heights represents a piece of land that must never be given easy access to their enemies.

There’s one important caveat to the kudos I’m giving the President. If it turns out acknowledgement of the Golan Heights as sovereign territory is used as a precursor to asking Israel to give up the West Bank in a Middle East peace agreement, then it’s a whole other situation entirely. Just as giving up the Golan Heights would make Israel a very easy target, so too would the idea of a two state solution that grants “Palestine” control over the West Bank.

If the motives are pure, this is a great move. If this is an early olive branch, it’s dangerous.

Israel’s control of the Golan Heights is absolutely essential to its security. The lands just south would be completely indefensible if the United Nations ever got its way and the Golan Heights fell under control of Israel’s enemies.

Will you help revive the American Conservative Movement?

 


NOQ Report Needs Your Help

Continue Reading

Facebook

Trending

Copyright © 2019 NOQ Report