Last week, during the Purim holiday, a simple tweet by President Trump, had the United States finally recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. It was originally part of the area (not nation) known as Palestine, which was amputated from the Turkish Ottoman Empire as a result of their WWI alliance with Germany. It was included as part of “Jewish Homeland” promised (falsely) to us by both the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations. It was underhandedly made part of Syria, in 1922 by the League.
From Israel’s first day as a nation in 1948 until it was captured by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War, the Golan Heights was used as an artillery emplacement to lethally bombard the valleys of neighboring Israel. No more. It was formally annexed by Israel in 1981, is vital to Israel’s security and must never be relinquished no matter what the rest of the world thinks. Let them sulk. It also sends a signal to the Palestinians that any return to the pre-1967 borders is merely a dream. Israel is consolidating its position to hold onto its legal conquests made during defensive wars in order to protect its citizens.
Israelis are ecstatic over the move by Trump and so are most American Jews. ZOA, AJC, AIPAC and the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations wholeheartedly supported his tweet. However, the likes of such faux “Israel supporting groups” as J Street, the Israel Policy Forum, Jewish Voice for Peace and Peace Now, all generally condemn Trump’s move on the Golan as merely political support to endorse PM Netanyahu’s re-election candidacy in the upcoming Israeli national election.
They are also consistent in their calls for “negotiated settlements” which to them means for Israel to continue the fatal path of making concessions to their enemies. Their concern for the safety of Israelis and for strengthening Israel against the threatening Palestinians has never been too great, if at all.
In addition, we are disheartened by the domestic political divide over Trump’s Golan tweet. While Republican elected lawmakers have submitted legislation backing Israel’s continued control over the Golan and vocally supported Trump’s recent announcement, only one major Democrat, Eliot Engel (D-NY) way back in January, offered his support for Israel’s control over the Golan. We call on Democrats to stand strongly with Israel in response to the growing dark cloud of anti-Semitism now growing within their ranks. Politics should never come between our great relationship with another super democracy, Israel.