July 17, 2019

Trump Signs Proclamation Recognizing Israeli Sovereignty Over Golan Heights

U.S. President Donald Trump and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hold up a proclamation recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights as Netanyahu exits the White House from the West Wing in Washington, U.S. March 25, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

President Donald Trump signed a proclamation on Monday, March 25, officially recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights in Syria.

The proclamation states, “Any possible future peace agreement in the region must account for Israel’s need to protect itself from Syria and other regional threats. Based on these unique circumstances, it is therefore appropriate to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”

Trump said at the White House, after meeting with with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “This was a long time in the making and it should have taken place many years ago.”

Netanyahu praised and thanked Trump, telling him, “Israel has never had a better friend than you.”

“Your decision to recognize sovereignty is a two-fold act of historic justice: Israel won the Golan Heights in a just war of self-defense, and the Jewish people’s connection to that land goes back generations,” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu was in Washington, D.C., to address the AIPAC conference, but cut short his trip to return to Israel Monday after a terrorist missile hit a home in central Israel Sunday evening.

Sandra Parker, chairwoman of the Christians United for Israel Action Fund, said in a statement, “As a direct result of Syria’s ruthlessness and Iran’s increasing presence in the Arab Republic it has been clear for years that Israel could never relinquish control of the Golan Heights. President Trump recognized this reality and acted on it. This policy has enjoyed bipartisan support and we are especially grateful to the President as well as those Members of Congress, including Senators Ted Cruz, Kevin Cramer, Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham and Representative Mike Gallagher, for leading on this issue.”

However, the United Nations will not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

The UN’s policy on Golan is reflected in the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and that policy has not changed,” U.N. spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said, referencing resolutions that have referred to the Golan as being “occupied” by Israel.

Syria’s foreign ministry said in a statement that Trump’s move “makes the United States the main enemy of the Arabs.”