U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) have introduced a Senate resolution urging the United States to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
The resolution points out that “until 1967, Syria controlled the Golan Heights and used the topographical advantage it provided to attack Israeli troops and civilians”; that “in the Six Day War of 1967, Syria intensified its attacks against Israel from the Golan Heights, and Israel captured the area in a defensive war”; that “in October 1973, the Golan Heights provided Israel with critical strategic depth to repel a surprise attack by Syrian forces; that on September 1, 1975, President Gerald Ford offered a diplomatic assurance to Israel that ‘the U.S. will support the position that an overall settlement with Syria in the framework of a peace agreement must assure Israel’s security from attack from the Golan Heights'”; and that “‘the U.S. has not developed a final position on the borders. Should it do so it will give great weight to Israel’s position that any peace agreement with Syria must be predicated on Israel remaining on the Golan Heights.'”
The resolution continues by noting that “in October 1991, Secretary of State James Baker provided a diplomatic assurance to Israel that ‘the United States continues to stand behind the assurance given by President Ford to Prime Minister Rabin on September 1, 1975,'” and that “in 1981, Israel applied its ‘law, jurisdiction, and administration’ over the Golan Heights and has controlled the Golan Heights for 51 years.”
Then Cruz and Cotton get down to the current situation, asserting that “since 2011, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has killed hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians, including with weapons of mass destruction, and has pursued an ethnic cleansing campaign against Syrian Sunnis,” and that “Iran has used the war in Syria to establish a military presence in the Levant, including thousands of Iranian troops and proxies, and now seeks to create territorial corridors that solidify its control, expand its activities, establish a permanent military presence, and provide arms to its terrorist proxies.”
The resolution states that the leaders of Iran often state their intention to eradicate Israel; Iran and its proxies have repeatedly attacked Israel from within the boundaries of Syria, and that “in December 2014, Congress unanimously resolved that the United States supported the sovereign right of the Government of Israel to defend its territory and its citizens from attacks against Israel by Hamas, which is supported by Iran.”
Finally the resolution opines, “Whereas Israel’s control over the Golan Heights provides a defensible border, deters attacks from hostile forces, facilitates intelligence gathering, and allows Israel to detect threats to its national security.”
The resolution concludes that Lebanon cannot be guaranteed without Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, thus it is in the United States’ national security interest to ensure Israel’s security, and “it is in the United States’ national security interest to ensure that the Assad regime faces diplomatic and geopolitical consequences for the killing of civilians, the ethnic cleansing of Syrian Sunnis, and the use of weapons of mass destruction, including by ensuring that Israel retains control of the Golan Heights; and the United States should recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”