Senators Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton push bill recognizing Israeli control of Golan

On Tuesday, Senators Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton introduced a bill urging U.S. recognition of  Israeli sovereignty on the Golan. 

By World Israel News Staff

GOP Senators Ted Cruz (R.-Texas) and Tom Cotton (R.-Ark.) introduced a bill on Tuesday urging U.S. recognition of  Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Cruz and Cotton, in the joint statement on Tuesday, said:

“Israel gained possession over the Golan Heights in a defensive war over 50 years ago, and has responsibly controlled the area ever since. It’s past time for the United States to recognize reality by affirming Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”

Yair Lapid, leader of the Yesh Atid party, tweeted Tuesday night, “Good news today: Senators Tom Cotton and Ted Cruz presented a bill in the Senate for American recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights. Another important step in the diplomatic process that I led in the last year.”

Lapid, among other Israeli leaders, has pushed the U.S. to recognize the Golan. In an interview with The Algemeiner earlier this year, he said:

“Reality has changed. We cannot return the Golan Heights to a mass murderer who just killed half a million of his own people. And the last seven years of civil war in Syria have just proved how important it is for Israel to have the strategic control of the Golan Heights.”

“The U.S. has never denied our right to the Golan Heights, but it’s been hesitant on the issue since the mid-1970s,” he added.

“Now, I think, there is a point for the Americans to take a small stand, opposite the psychopath, without it being necessary for them to put boots on the ground or go and fight another war in the Middle East,” he said.

“It’s time for the international community to say, that if there is a choice between a democracy that respects human rights and a crazy dictatorship, that it will side with the democracy.”

The resolution presented by Cruz and Cotton note the strategic dangers Israel faces. It reads: “Israel’s northern border is threatened by Iranian forces and their proxies in Lebanon and Syria, including Hezbollah’s 150,000 rockets, armed drones, newly discovered terror tunnels, and more. Meanwhile, with the Ayatollahs’ help, Bashar al Assad’s regime is on the verge of securing victory in Syria’s civil war. He may soon turn his attention back to threatening the Jewish state.”

Six points

The resolution, if adopted, would mean the Senate recognizes six points:

(1) the United States supports the sovereign right of the Government of Israel to defend its territory and its citizens from attacks against Israel, including by Iran or its proxies;

(2) Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights is critical to Israel’s national security;

(3) Israel’s security from attack from Syria and Lebanon cannot be assured without Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights;

(4) it is in the United States’ national security interest to ensure Israel’s security;

(5) it is in the United States’ national security interest to ensure that the Assad regime faces diplomatic and geopolitical consequences for the killing of civilians, the ethnic cleansing of Syrian Sunnis, and the use of weapons of mass destruction, including by ensuring that Israel retains control of the Golan Heights; and

(6) the United States should recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Israel won the Golan from Syria during the Six-Day War in 1967, and later annexed the area in 1981 — a step which wasn’t recognized internationally.

Peace talks held by Israel and Syria in the 1990s and 2000s put the possibility of a transfer of the Golan to Syria back on the table.

Earlier this year, the U.S. opposed for the first time an annual UN General Assembly resolution calling for Israel to rescind its sovereignty over the Golan.

The Algemeiner contributed to this report.