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March 22, 2019 2:36 pm

US Jewish and Pro-Israel Groups Praise Trump’s Golan Sovereignty Recognition

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

A couple look toward signs pointing out distances to different cities, on Mount Bental, an observation post in the Golan Heights that overlooks the Syrian side of the Quneitra crossing, Israel. Jan. 21, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Amir Cohen.

Top American Jewish and pro-Israel groups have largely welcomed US President Donald Trump’s tweet on Thursday in which he called for American recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) tweeted, “Given current political and security circumstances in Syria, we have said it was inconceivable to imagine Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights. @realDonaldTrump’s statement marks a dramatic change in American policy, and we appreciate his leadership on this issue.”

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations tweeted, “We appreciate the recognition by @realDonaldTrump of the importance of Israel maintaining control over the Golan Heights, given the increasingly dangerous and volatile situation with Syrian, Hezbollah, Iranian forces, and militias across the border.”

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) tweeted, “We welcome President Trump’s recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which acknowledges the history of the region and the facts on the ground. The events in Syria have proven that the entire region is safer with Israel in control of this territory.”

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean and director of global social action at the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), stated, “President Trump is right. Tyrant [Bashar] Assad killed more than one-half million of his own people, displaced millions, and is now Tehran’s lackey. Israeli Golan sovereignty protects Jewish state and Jordan from Iran-led terror.”

“Jewish presence on Golan traces to 5th century BCE,” he added. “Druze, Jews, and Arabs are all safer knowing Assad will never return.”

B’nai B’rith International President Charles Kaufman and CEO Daniel Mariaschin stated, “We welcome President Donald Trump’s announcement recognizing Israeli control over the Golan Heights, which reflects the longtime strategic reality in the region. It is from the Golan that Syria launched two wars against Israel, and it is from the Golan today that Iran’s proxy in Syria — Hezbollah — seeks to open a second front against the Jewish state. History is filled with numerous such examples.”

They continued, “Does anyone realistically think, given the destructive, chaotic civil war that has wracked Syria for much of the past decade that Israel should put itself in existential danger by returning the Golan to its sworn enemies? Syria has had numerous opportunities over 71 years to seek peace with Israel. It has repeatedly rejected that option, choosing instead to seek to destroy it, now joined by Iran and its agents in the region. Common sense and geopolitical reality make the case for the president’s decision.”

Pastor John Hagee, the founder and chairman of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), stated, “In our meetings with administration and Capitol Hill officials, there’s been a clear understanding of the Golan Heights’ importance to Israel’s security. We are very grateful to the president for having the courage to express that position and look forward to the US formally recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”

A Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) statement said the group “heartily agrees with President Trump that now is the time to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Israeli Golan Heights.”

“The president’s tweet is especially welcome and appropriate today — Purim — while Jews throughout the world are celebrating being saved from annihilation by a wicked Persian viceroy centuries ago,” the ZOA noted. “Israeli sovereignty over the Golan is a key bulwark against Iran and Iranian-backed terror groups and regimes that threaten the security and stability of the United States, Israel, the entire Middle East, and beyond. There are no viable substitutes for the topographical advantages, early warning locations and strategic depth provided by Israel’s retention of and sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”

J Street, on the other hand, stated, “There’s no question that, at the present moment, maintaining control of the Golan Heights is of strategic and security importance to the State of Israel — particularly given the ongoing violence and instability in Syria. Ultimately, the final status of the territory will have to be determined by a negotiated agreement. Until then, premature US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan is a needlessly provocative move that violates international law and does not enhance Israeli security.”

“It’s clear that this cynical move by Trump is not about the long-term interests of the US or Israel, but rather about handing yet another political gift to Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu in the hopes of boosting his chances for re-election next month. Once again, this administration is playing dangerous partisan games with US foreign policy and the US-Israel relationship,” J Street concluded.

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