In contrast to the bad news coming out of the south, we have excellent news from America (via Suzanne), a game-changer in the Middle East: On Monday evening, while Binyamin Netanyahu was in town for the AIPAC conference, President Trump signed a declaration recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights:
At a White House meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday afternoon, President Donald Trump signed a presidential decree recognizing Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights.
Netanyahu praised Trump and compared him to great historical leaders who were lovers of Israel, such as King Cyrus, Lord Balfour and President Harry S. Truman.
“This is a historic day,” Netanyahu said in statements to the media. The told the dignitaries who were gathered in the Oval Office about the two decades during which Syria had fired from the Golan heights at Israeli civilians, until on two glorious days in June 1967, Israel liberated the Golan Heights.
Benjamin Netanyahu praised Trump for “making the bond between America and Israel stronger and greater than ever.”
Netanyahu recalled Syria’s attack on Israel in 1973 in an attempt to retake the Golan Heights, and how Israel managed to repel it and within three weeks stood at the gates of Damascus..
Netanyahu also reminisced about his own experience leading his soldiers in the snow in Syria and the Golan heights.
Trump said Israel had occupied the territory in 1967 in order to defend itself against external threats, stating that any future political settlement must include Israel’s security needs and its ability to defend itself.
“Under my administration, Israel-US relations have never been stronger,” Trump declared before signing his Golan proclamation.
You can watch his entire speech here:
Blogger and political commentator Vic Rosenthal, aka Abu Yehuda, discusses the international legalities of Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights:
By recognizing Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights, President Trump struck a blow against the idiotic principle of “land for peace,” when he tweeted,
After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!
Restoring land to the previous owner, in this case, would work against the possibility of peace, he implied. And of course he’s right.
But doesn’t annexation violate international law? Opinions differ.
Although as we’ve seen, the right of self-defense is enshrined in international law, it comes from the most fundamental concept of human rights, what traditionally has been called natural law. No one or no nation is obliged to sit quietly while being attacked. And I think that this principle overrides any other rules or laws. The geostrategic significance of the Golan makes it essential. We are not obligated to voluntarily give up our lives or our nation, and we are not obligated to leave the Golan.
Nevertheless, Israel hasn’t yet officially claimed sovereignty, and probably few if any nations other than the US would recognize it if she did. On the other hand, Israel will not give it up, so it makes no sense to continue pretending that it is not an integral part of the country. Formal annexation, followed by official recognition from the US and maybe a few other countries will have little practical significance today, but it will set the stage for the future.
And one of the future events that we should be trying very hard to make a reality is the demise of the “land for peace” concept. Possibly we are so used to it that we don’t find it exceptional, but consider the history: several aggressor nations attempt to destroy another country, but are soundly defeated. In times past – you don’t have to go farther back than 1945 – their military capabilities would have been destroyed, their assets stripped, and their capitals ravaged. Instead, after 1967 (and again after the Arabs had their second go at Israel in 1973), the international community stepped in, saved the losers from total defeat, forced the winner to retreat, and began a “peace process” to return the situation to the status quo ante that is still going on, 52 years later. And the slogan of that process is “land for peace,” or, in other words, the territory gained by the blood of the victims of aggression is to be given back to the aggressors, in return for an easily broken promise that is impossible to guarantee!
With the election of Donald Trump, and (ultimately) Trump’s appointment of pro-Israel officials to important positions in his administration, the situation has changed radically. While Israel’s enemies in the Muslim world continue to be hostile – although some of her traditional enemies have dialed back their hostility for pragmatic reasons – the US is finally firmly in Israel’s corner. Trump’s decision to recognize Israel’s sovereignty in the Golan is just the most recent of a series of actions to recognize the reality in the region: that Israel is here to stay, her capital is Jerusalem, and – most importantly – the paradigm of “land for peace” will no longer be pursued.
Whatever you might think of Donald Trump, he knows how to recognize reality when he sees it. Kol hakavod to him and a huge thank you.
As an added bonus – watch the Europeans have a conniption!