Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that the time has come for the international community to recognize and accept the fact that the Golan is – and will always be – part of the sovereign state of Israel. During a tour of the Golan Heights, adjacent to the border with Syria, together with visiting U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham and the American Ambassador to Israel David Friedman; the Israeli leader underscored the positive impact that has been sustained across the disputed region, since the Jewish state conquered parts of the Golan Heights from Syria, during the 1967 Middle East war. “Senator, this is not your first time in the Golan Heights, but I think every time you come here, you can appreciate the strategic importance of Israel being on the Golan Heights. And the fact that we’re creating here new life, green life, a future, which is very different obviously from what existed before. The Golan has always been part of Israel, from the earliest days of our history, and has certainly been the, part of the State of Israel since 1967, and more recently since 1981. The Golan is part of Israel; the Golan must stay part of Israel forever. I think it’s very important that the international community recognize this fact and accept it, and most especially, our great friend the United States,” Netanyahu said.
U.S. Senator Graham, who is a vocal supporter of Washington’s alliance with the state of Israel, explained his sentiment by linking the security of the Jewish state to the national security of the American homeland. Senator Graham said: “I come here as an American. I come here to try figure out what’s best for America. What’s best for America is for a safe, secure and prosperous Israel. Why? Common values, common enemies, and from a military point of view, the best friend the United States could possibly ever have in a troubled region. I cannot tell you how much intelligence is given to the United States from our friends in Israel that protect the American homeland.”
According to the South Carolina lawmaker, the Golan Heights represents a vital pillar of defense of the state of Israel. That is why, Graham responded to Netanyahu’s request by vowing to “start an effort to recognize the Golan as part of the state of Israel, now and forever.” In Graham words, “So, if you believe as I do, the state of Israel is a strategic partner to the United States and its survival and its prosperity and security is relevant to American national security, you would come here, the Golan. For decades this was one of the more peaceful parts of the border that Israel has to police. Not so much now. I’ve got a simple message. I will go back to the United States Senate. Working with Senator Cruz, I will start an effort to recognize the Golan as part of the State of Israel now and forever. Because to give this territory up would be a strategic nightmare for the state of Israel, and who would you give it to?”
Senator Graham further revealed that he felt encouraged by the White House to advance recognition of Israel’s 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights, and his belief there is bipartisan support for this important measure in the Senate.