(MEMO) — US President Donald Trump said on Thursday it was time to back Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights that Israel seized from Syria in 1967, providing a boost to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the middle of his re-election campaign, Reuters reports.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 21, 2019
The recognition of the disputed area, seized by Israel in the Middle East war of 1967, would mark a major shift in US policy a week before Netanyahu arrives in Washington to meet with Trump and address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
It was the most overt move made yet by Trump to help Netanyahu, who faces an April 9 election. Trump remains popular in Israel, and his advisers have been developing a Middle East peace proposal for release sometime after the Israeli elections.
Netanyahu has been pressing for the United States to recognize its claim to sovereignty over the Golan Heights. He thanked Trump for the gesture.
The prime minister had been expected to raise the issue with Trump during his visit to Washington next week, an Israeli official said.
“At a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, President Trump boldly recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Thank you President Trump! @realDonaldTrump,” Netanyahu wrote in a tweet.
Israel’s annexation of much of the Golan was not endorsed internationally. Netanyahu raised the possibility of US recognition in his first White House meeting with Trump in February 2017.
Netanyahu had tried to take White House national security adviser John Bolton to see the region during a January visit, but bad weather forced cancellation of the trip.
The Golan announcement could help Trump improve his standing in America’s pro-Israel camp, especially among his base of evangelical Christians, just ahead of next week’s annual convention in Washington of AIPAC, the nation’s most influential pro-Israel lobbying group.
This article was chosen for republication based on the interest of our readers. Anti-Media republishes stories from a number of other independent news sources. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect Anti-Media editorial policy.
Since you’re here…
…We have a small favor to ask. Fewer and fewer people are seeing Anti-Media articles as social media sites crack down on us, and advertising revenues across the board are quickly declining. However, unlike many news organizations, we haven’t put up a paywall because we value open and accessible journalism over profit — but at this point, we’re barely even breaking even. Hopefully, you can see why we need to ask for your help. Anti-Media’s independent journalism and analysis takes substantial time, resources, and effort to produce, but we do it because we believe in our message and hope you do, too.
If everyone who reads our reporting and finds value in it helps fund it, our future can be much more secure. For as little as $1 and a minute of your time, you can support Anti-Media. Thank you. Click here to support us