Statement on U.S. Recognition of the Golan Heights

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Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 5:39pm

The American Jewish Congress applauds the decision of the United States to finally recognize the Golan Heights as sovereign Israeli territory. This is a necessary and long-overdue action, and we fully support President Trump in this important step.

For all intents and purposes, this territory has been part of Israel since 1967. During the Six-Day War, Israel took control of the Golan Heights from Syria as a necessary self-defense measure to ensure the country's survival. In the 52 years between then and now, the Golan has functioned as a fully-integrated part of Israel. And it is not only Israel that treats the Golan as Israeli, but also Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, and every other geopolitical actor in the region. When Iranian forces in Syria flew a drone into the Golan last year, they were fully aware that this was Israel. Syrians wounded due to the Syrian Civil War flee to the Syrian border with the Golan Heights to receive lifesaving medical care from the IDF.

The security needs which mandated that Israel take the Golan Heights in 1967 are no less pertinent today. Syria used the Golan's strategic geography in two separate offensive wars against Israel in the past. Today, Iran and Hezbollah, both of which have vowed Israel's destruction, use Syrian territory as a front for violence against the State of Israel. Israel has never waged an offensive war and its actions in the Golan Heights have represented pure self-defense. By recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, the U.S. is helping to secure the ability of its closest regional ally to defend itself. We hope that other members of the international community will follow President Trump's example.

 

Jack Rosen

President

American Jewish Congress