Likud MK urges U.S. to recognize Israeli Golan Heights

The 1981 Golan Heights Law, passed when Menachem Begin was prime minister, states that "the law, jurisdiction and administration of the State [of Israel] will take effect in the Golan Heights."

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May 23, 2018 17:52
1 minute read.
An old military vehicle can be seen positioned on the Israeli side of the border with Syria, near th

An old military vehicle can be seen positioned on the Israeli side of the border with Syria, near the Druze village of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights. (photo credit: AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS)

 
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The United States should recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, Likud MK Yoav Kisch wrote to US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman in a letter obtained by The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.

“In 1981, Israel declared sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” Kisch wrote last week. “The Golan Heights has since developed and became an inseparable part of Israel.

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Today, facing a reality in which the borders of Syria are redefined, a US declaration supporting the Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights is imperative.

“We believe that [US] President Donald J. Trump is aware of the difficulties and challenges in the region,” the Likud MK said.

Kisch cited recent US policy toward Israel, including its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The MK added: “We believe that an official American recognition of the Golan Heights as a sovereign Israeli territory would be a natural continuation of the current US policy in our region.”

The Golan Heights Law passed in 1981, when Menachem Begin was prime minister, states, “The law, jurisdiction and administration of the State [of Israel] will take effect in the Golan Heights.” It holds the record for the fastest-passed law in the Knesset’s history, having been legislated in one day. The Reagan administration criticized the move, and the UN declared the Golan Heights Law “null and void and without international legal effect.”

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In recent years, several ministers and MKs have said the time has come for international recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights. In February, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that the Golan “will remain in the hands of Israel forever.”

Last week, US Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) proposed a resolution to have the US recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

DeSantis’s resolution does not have any cosponsors, and is seen as a long shot on Capitol Hill.

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