Members of the Kfir Infantry Brigade on combat training maneuvers in the Golan Heights recently.
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
Education Minister Naftali Bennett spoke at the annual Herzliya Conference on Sunday afternoon, calling on the international community to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
“I want to challenge the entire world,” he said in his speech. “I want to give the international community an opportunity to display their morality. Where can they do it? In the Golan Heights.”
Bennett added, “I call on the community from here: Recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”
The Golan has been part of Israel since the Six Day War in 1967, and in 1981 the Golan Heights Law was passed, applying Israeli law to the area, he said.
“I understand that there is a disagreement over Judea and Samaria, over what the world calls ‘the West Bank.’ I understand that we will agree to disagree on that issue,” he said.
He continued to question why the world does not recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel. “To prohibit agricultural products from the Golan? What is the logic? Where is the morality? To whom would they like us to give the Golan, to Assad? Why up until now have they not recognized the Golan? What is the reason?” he asked.
The alternative to keeping the Golan Heights is having it wind up in the hands of the Islamic State terrorist organization, Bennett said.
“Today it is clear that if we had listened to the world we would have given up the Golan, and ISIS would have been swimming in the Galilee. Enough with the hypocrisy,” he said.
Bennett called on opposition leader Isaac Herzog and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid to join him on the issue and ask the world to recognize Israel’s northern border.
Bennett then called upon Israel to expand the communities on the Golan Heights, setting a goal of 100,000 residents within five years.