– Prime Minister Netanyahu, “The Golan has always been part of Israel, from the earliest days of our history, and has certainly been part of the State of Israel since 1967.”
– US Senator Lindsey Graham, “What’s best for America is a safe, secure and prosperous Israel.”
US Senator Lindsey Graham said on Monday that he would propose the Senate to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
“I come here as an American. I come here to try to figure out what’s best for America. What’s best for America is a safe, secure and prosperous Israel,” Graham said on a tour to the Golan Heights accompanied by US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“I will go back the US Senate, working with Senator (Ted) 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?” Graham continued.
The Golan Heights were captured by Israel from Syria in the 1967 six day war, and finally annexed by Israel in 1981 during Menachem Begin’s period as prime minister.
“The law, jurisdiction and administration of the State (of Israel) will take effect in the Golan Heights,” read the Golan Heights Law which passed in 1981.
With @LindseyGrahamSC and @IsraeliPM today on the #Golan Heights at the Syrian border. Compelling evidence presented of the critical strategic importance of Israeli control of this territory. Senator Graham spoke movingly and with great moral clarity on this subject. pic.twitter.com/2CPS6OmnCt
— David M. Friedman (@USAmbIsrael) March 11, 2019
Graham also commented on the intelligence shared between Israel and the US, and the importance of maintaining the close relationship.
“From a military point of view, the best friend the United States can possibly ever have in a troubled region (is Israel). I cannot tell you how much intelligence has been given to the US from our friends in Israel to protect the American homeland. So if you believe, as I do, [that] 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, to the Golan,” he concluded.
Netanyahu reiterated his position that the Golan Heights have to remain a part of Israel and that the international community should recognize the Jewish state’s sovereignty over the disputed are.
“The most important observation that I’d make is that the Golan has always been part of Israel, from the earliest days of our history, and has certainly been part of the State of Israel since 1967, and more recently 1981. The Golan is part of Israel,” Netanyahu said.
The Golan must stay part of Israel — forever. It’s very important that the international community recognize this fact and accept it, and most especially our great friend, the United States of America… We have no greater friend, and we appreciate it,” the prime minister added.
Israeli lawmakers are generally in consensus about the need for the international community to recognize Israel’s sovereignty in the disputed territory.
Since the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, the Golan Heights have been seen as an integral part of Israel’s security, due to the turmoil and instability on the Syrian side of the border.