Time for the U.S. to Recognize Israeli Sovereignty in the Golan Heights

(Tablet) Zvi Hauser - The border between Israel and Iran - between the West and radical Islam - now passes through the Golan Heights. Iranian militias, looking a lot like Hizbullah, are digging into bases on the border with the Golan, the Shia population in the area grows larger, and rocket supplies threaten the Israeli residents of the Golan Heights and the eastern Galilee. American recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan will send a clear message to Iran, stating that Israeli sovereignty is unquestionable. The Golan Heights is chock-full of both ancient and current Jewish farms, homes, and places of worship. Archeological digs in the Golan have thus far revealed the remains of 25 synagogues that operated betweenthe first century CE and the Muslim conquest in the mid-seventh century CE, as well as evidence of numerous Jewish villages and communities. The Zionist movement saw the Golan as an inseparable part of the renewed Jewish sovereign territory in the Land of Israel. But in 1946, the French mandate in Syria officially ended, leading to the establishment of an independent Syrian state which included the entire territory of the Golan. Syria controlled the Golan for 21 years - as opposed to 52 years of Israeli control. In those years, it encouraged terrorist organizations to use the Golan as a base for attacks against Israel, ceaselessly bombarded communities around the Kinneret, and attempted to divert the Golan's water sources. In 1967, during the Six-Day War, Israel launched a preemptive strike to remove the ongoing threat posed by the Syrians in the Golan, taking over the territory. Israel and the U.S. must act as soon as possible to achieve international recognition of Israel's sovereignty in the Golan Heights, not as a gesture of goodwill but out of a clear understanding that it is a strategic security interest that both nations share. The writer served as Israel's Cabinet Secretary between 2009 and 2013 and is Chairman of the Coalition for the Israeli Golan.

2019-03-07 00:00:00

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