The Biden administration appears to be walking back U.S. recognition of the Jewish State’s rights over the area.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
Just two years after former president Donald Trump formally recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights territory which it captured in 1967, the Biden administration appears to be walking back U.S. recognition of the Jewish State’s rights over the area.
According to a report from the Washington Free Beacon, the U.S. State Department has been toying with the idea of reframing Israel’s control of the Golan as valid for the purposes of security. The implication is that a regime change in nearby Syria could change that status.
“The secretary [Antony Blinken] was clear that, as a practical matter, the Golan is very important to Israel’s security,” a State Department official told the Free Beacon.
“As long as [Bashar al-Assad] is in power in Syria, as long as Iran is present in Syria, militia groups backed by Iran, the Assad regime itself—all of these pose a significant security threat to Israel, and as a practical matter, the control of the Golan remains of real importance to Israel’s security.”
Former secretary of state Mike Pompeo said that the U.S.’s demurring on whether or not it would continue to support Israel’s rights to the Golan puts the Jewish State at risk.
“The Golan Heights are not occupied by Israel, they are a part of it. The Israelis have a right to it as sovereign land,” Pompeo told the Free Beacon.
“To suggest that these lands should be returned to Syria, even if conditioned on changes in the Syrian regime, is inconsistent with both Israeli security and international law.”
Pompeo called the State Department’s “suggestion that if Assad falls and the Iranians leave Syria, the Golan Heights should be given to Syria” a “misreading of history.”
Recent reports indicated that Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad had floated the idea of signing a peace agreement with Israel and brokering an Israel-Lebanon peace deal, in exchange for the return of the Golan to Syrian control.
In June 2019, Israel named a new community Trump Heights as a thank you to Trump for his move to recognize Israeli sovereignty in the area.