(Washington, DC, December 18, 2018) – Today, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) praised U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) for introducing a resolution encouraging the United States to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
The Golan Heights is an area of approximately 500 square miles that was captured by Israel in its defensive war of 1967, and was successfully retained in its defensive war of 1973 from attacking Syrian forces. It has served as the demarcation line between the chaotic, feuding forces of radical Islam and the liberal, Western-oriented State of Israel. The Golan creates the definitive dividing line between authoritarian rule and a vibrant, thriving democracy. Since 1974, when a Separation of Forces Agreement was negotiated between Israel and Syria, the Golan Heights has remained relatively peaceful, until now.
Because of the seven-year brutal Syrian civil war, the Islamic Republic of Iran has taken advantage of the chaos of the situation, and Iranian-backed forces – including the IRGC and Hezbollah – have penetrated as far south as the Syrian town of Quneitra, making this region a potential line of confrontation. Iran has attacked Israel from Syria this past year both in February and May, and is determined to build a land bridge stretching from Teheran all the way to the Mediterranean Sea.
American recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights creates an important roadblock in the land bridge that Iran is determined to make. The Golan affords Israel a unique topographical vantage point, providing critical defensive and intelligence strategy to Israel and the United States. And it affords the population of Israel a unique defensive shield, to protect itself from attacks by Iran and its proxies.
The Israeli government voted to extend Israeli civil law to the Golan Heights in 1981. Furthermore, President Gerald Ford offered Israel assurances in 1975 that a peace agreement with Syria “must be predicated on Israel remaining on the Golan Heights,” and Secretary of State James Baker, in 1991, reaffirmed that the U.S. stands behind these assurances. More recently, the United States, for the first time ever, voted against the annual United Nations General Assembly resolution condemning Israel’s “occupation” of the Golan Heights.
EMET has diligently been working on educating congressional offices on the critical need for the United States to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. EMET has also worked on a letter with Rep. Doug Lamborn’s (R-CO) office, calling for such recognition. The letter will be sent to Secretary of State Pompeo.
“I applaud U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton for taking the bold and very necessary step to introduce a resolution encouraging the United States to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, at this critical time,” Sarah Stern, the founder and president of EMET said.
“Israel’s presence on the border of the Golan offers the United States valuable eyes and ears into Iranian troops and its terrorist proxies in Syria. The Golan has been a force of stability in the region for 45 years and offers a protective shield for all of us in the West. Many of the same forces that hate Israel also vehemently despise the United States. As long as the Golan Heights is perceived as being ‘in play’ as part of the ‘occupied territories,’ the illusion that it might someday be captured by Syrian or Iranian forces is perpetuated. The simplest way to put an end to this dangerous illusion and to Iran’s voracious appetite is for the United States to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. That would send a strong, clear, unequivocal message to America’s foes in the region without putting a single boot on the ground,” Stern added.
About The Endowment for Middle East Truth
Founded in 2005, EMET’s mission is to educate policymakers in Washington and the general public about the importance of Israel to the United States in their common struggle against radical Islam. For more information, please visit, http://www.emetonline.org. Follow EMET on Twitter and Facebook.