Time For U.S. to Recognize Israel’s Sovereignty Over Golan Heights

Israeli Ministers say a strategic discussion about policy, such as int’l backing of Israel’s presence & rule of the Golan needs to be decided, because the alternative is chaos: ‘Bashar the murderer’ with Hezbollah, or ISIS & Jabhat al-Nusra.

By Tal Shalev


The United States should recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights as part of the compensation it is offering for the nuclear deal between world powers and Iran, according to Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, a member of the diplomacy and defense cabinet and a close associate of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

IDF officer on the Golan Heights, bordering Lebanon, and Syria in the North. – Photo: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit

Speaking to i24news as US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter was meeting in Tel Aviv with his Israeli counterpart Moshe Ya’alon, Erdan said “the discussion shouldn’t be limited to aircraft and helicopters, but should be over strategic political issues as well, such as the Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights.”

In the aftermath of the Vienna nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, US officials – and President Barack Obama himself – have indicated their willingness to provide Israel with an unprecedented military and security compensation package, aimed at calming Israel’s concerns and maintaining its qualitative military edge in the region. Carter told reporters upon his arrival in Israel that he would use his meetings with Israeli leaders to discuss ways of deepening military ties. However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refuses at this point to discuss any compensation, claiming it would weaken the campaign against the deal, which he plans to mount in Congress. Speaking on American TV networks Sunday, he said that “no amount of compensation would be enough to confront a nuclear-armed Iran sworn to our destruction.”

Erdan reiterated Netanyahu’s position, stating that “Israel shouldn’t discuss compensation or gifts with the Americans because you cannot compensate for giving a safe route to a nuclear weapon”. Erdan said Israel’s goal should be to override the agreement in congress, but if the deal is approved, “we should discuss reducing the dangers Israel is facing. And it shouldn’t be only a limited tactical discussion but a strategic discussion about policy, such as international backing of our presence and rule of the Golan – because the alternative there is chaos – Bashar the murderer and Hezbollah, or IS and Jabhat al-Nusra”.

Erdan joins other prominent figures seeking to revive Israel’s campaign for international legitimization of its 1981 annexation of the Golan, which it captured from Syria in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. The chairman of the right-wing Jewish Home party, Naftali Bennett, made a similar demand in a speech he delivered last month. “I want to give the international community an opportunity to demonstrate their ethics. Recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. The alternative to keeping the Golan Heights is having it wind up in the hands of the ISIS”.

Netanyahu’s former cabinet secretary, Zvi Hauzer, also a proponent of this view, telling i24news that in the wake of the Iran nuclear agreement, “Israel has a concrete opportunity to discuss its borders, as part of the global interest in stabilizing the region.”

Hauzer added that the agreement with Iran “is a bad deal”, but Israel should use the compensation offer to “reformulate its geo-strategic interests and not just focus on tactical needs of advanced weaponry.”


Tal Shalev is the diplomatic correspondent of i24news.

View original i24news publication at : http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/diplomacy-defense/79038-150720-israeli-proposal-for-us-recognition-of-golan-sovereignty