(Washington, D.C., March 21, 2019) Today is an historic day. President Trump just 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 for the State of Israel and Regional Stability!”
This is a game changer. For years, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) has been on Capitol Hill and in the White House talking about the vital necessity of American recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which we see as the dividing line between a civilized Western democracy and the radical forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
This is even more important now that Syria is a failed state, and has been open to all the most pernicious forces of the region, including Hezbollah, which has been encroaching closer and closer to the border of Israel.
This announcement could not possibly come at a better time. Israeli intelligence recently revealed that Hezbollah Commander, Ali Musa Daqduq, is building a Hezbollah front that can attack Israel from Syria.
For the last 52 years, the Golan Heights, an area of approximately 690 square miles, has been in Israeli hands. This area was captured by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in its defensive war of 1967, and was successfully retained by the IDF in its defensive war of 1973.
The Golan Heights has served as a unique topographical buffer between Israel, Syria and Lebanon. It has long been said that whoever controls the Golan Heights, controls the area. That is because it is the high ground offering a unique geographical vantage point from which intelligence and defense forces can peer directly into Damascus and Beirut. Israeli General (Res.) Giora Eiland has famously said that “there is no solution for Israel’s survival without control of the Golan Heights.”
For far too many years, many within the international community have used the term “Occupied” to describe the Golan Heights. That has been a tragic misuse of terms. By using such terminology, a very pernicious connotation had been sent to Israel’s enemies that this area is “in play,” when every Israeli citizen, right, left and center, knows the strategic value of the Golan Heights, and would never trade that land away.
The Iranian General Aziz Nasirzadeh recently said the Iranian air force’s “young generation are impatient and ready for a fight against the Zionist regime to wipe it off the earth.”
Today, on the Jewish holiday of Purim, when we celebrate the deliverance of the Jews from a Persian enemy who swore to obliterate us, we celebrate nothing short of a modern-day Purim miracle, when modern Persia, Iran, almost daily swears that it will obliterate Israel, the United States’ one reliable democratic ally in the Middle East.
EMET is profoundly grateful to President Trump for this bold and courageous move, which we believe is nothing short of “reality therapy.”
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