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Golan Heights Announcement: Trump’s Strategic Vision And Israel

Trump Tweet Golan Heights
Yesterday, President Trump tweeted:

After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!

As our friend Fred Fleitz, President and CEO of the Center for Security Policy said in a statement released exclusively to CHQ, “This is another bold act of presidential leadership in support of one of America’s most important allies, Israel.  The president recognized that Israel’s control of the Golan Heights is the reality, and this is not going to change.  President Trump also sent a signal to Iran that the U.S. will not tolerate it using Syria as a platform to threaten Israel’s security.”

To give some perspective on the importance of the announcement, CNN’s Jeremy Diamond reminded his audience that Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria during the Six-Day War of 1967 and formally annexed the territory in 1981. But that annexation has not been recognized by the international community, which has regarded the Golan Heights as occupied territory and Israeli settlements there as illegal under international law.

The American Left was quick to paint Trump’s tweet as a major shift in U.S. policy driven by a desire to help Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu in his upcoming parliamentary elections.

“The recognition of the disputed area would mark a major shift in U.S. policy a week before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives in Washington to meet with Trump and address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee,” reported the Huffington Post.

Netanyahu, who faces an election in Israel on April 9, has been pressing for the United States to recognize its claim to sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

The UK’s Daily Mail reports the Golan Heights' role as a Middle East political football intensified this week when the State Department stopped referring to it as 'Israeli-occupied' territory, a designation favored by Palestinians.

In a new report, the area was called the 'Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.'

Last year, President Trump moved the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, effectively overturning decades of US policy that said the final status of the contested holy city was to be negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians.

Since then, the President has cut all aid to Palestinian refugees and denounced Palestinian leaders for refusing to co-operate with a still veiled peace plan.

A spokesman for Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called that decision 'a continuation of the hostile approach of the American administration toward our Palestinian people.'

The spokesman said the shift is part of Trump's plan to 'liquidate' the Palestinians' cause.

Outside the Near East, the announcement also met with opposition. According to reporting by The Financial Times, a British Foreign Office spokesman said: “The UK views the Golan Heights as territory occupied by Israel. This has not changed.”

However, President Trump is not alone or without support in recognizing the strategic importance to Israel of the Golan Heights. South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a staunch Trump ally, visited the Golan Heights with Prime Minister Netanyahu on Monday and pledged to promote Israel's sovereignty over the area “now and forever.”

Sen. Graham, who has strongly advocated for Israel, later called on Congress to also recognize the president's request.

"President Trump’s decision to recognize the Golan as part of Israel is strategically wise and overall awesome," Graham tweeted according to POLITICO’s Rebecca Morin. "Well done, Mr. President! Now I, along with Senator @tedcruz, will try to get Congress to follow your lead."

The President’s recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights is important, as was the political boost it gave Prime Minister Netanyahu, but of even greater import was the President’s reiteration of his policy of confronting Iranian aggression against Israel through proxies and direct action via Syria.

Tom Rogan, writing for The Washington Examiner summed-up the case for Trump’s decision this way, “At the margin of action, Trump's decision is a no-brainer. The Iranian regime is ideologically invested in Israel's annihilation and increasingly predisposed to take risks to that end. Although Israel can mitigate that threat by using force, Israeli loss of the Golan would effectively give Iran an elevated position from which to fire deep into Israel.”

We agree with President Trump’s decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and urge CHQ readers and friends to contact the White House through this link to let President Trump know you support his decision and the US – Israel partnership.

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