In the face of fierce ongoing international opposition, President Trump declared Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights Thursday, March 21, 2019.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 21, 2019
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to respond, and then held a joint news conference with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
At a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, President Trump boldly recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Thank you President Trump! @realDonaldTrump
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) March 21, 2019
As President Trump intimated, it’s about time! It should never have taken 52 years for the United States (or the rest of the world) to recognize what has been long-established wartime precedent: To the victor go the spoils. In the excerpt below from Chapter 23 of Israel in the Middle, you will find the background of Israel’s conquest over Jordan, Egypt, and Syria to gain rightful possession of the Golan Heights.Excerpt - Israel in the Middle (CH. 23 The Miracle of Israel)
For those who are still skeptical regarding Israel’s right of possession, I have included International Court of Justice Judge Stephen M. Schwebel’s eloquent legal defense of Israel’s right of possession over all of Israel, including Jerusalem, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights.
It follows that the application of the doctrine of according no weight to conquest requires modification in double measure. In the first place, having regard to the consideration that, as between Israel, acting defensively in 1948 and 1967, on the one hand, and her Arab neighbors, acting aggressively in 1948 and 1967, on the other, Israel has better title in the territory of what was Palestine, including the whole of Jerusalem, than do Jordan and Egypt (the UAR indeed has, unlike Jordan, not asserted sovereign title), it follows that modifications of the 1949 armistice lines among those States within former Palestinian territory are lawful (if not necessarily desirable), whether those modifications are, in Secretary Rogers’s words, “insubstantial alterations required for mutual security” or more substantial alterations – such as recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the whole of Jerusalem. In the second place, as regards territory bordering Palestine, and under unquestioned Arab sovereignty in 1949 and thereafter, such as Sinai and the Golan Heights, it follows not that no weight shall be given to conquest, but that such weight shall be given to defensive action as is reasonably required to ensure that such Arab territory will not again be used for aggressive purposes against Israel. For example – and this appears to be envisaged both by the Secretary of State’s address and the resolution of the Security Council – free navigation through the Straits of Tiran shall be effectively guaranteed and demilitarized zones shall be established. (Source: Schwebel, Stephen M. Justice in International Law: Selective Writings of Judge Stephen M Schwebel. Cambridge University Press. 1994, p. 524)
The international community may have sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians, but they are on the wrong side of history and international law. The problem isn’t Israel’s right of possession or Israel’s desire to live peaceably with its neighbors. It’s with the Arab community’s refusal to recognize or negotiate with Israel in good faith, as evidenced by the 1967 Khartoum Resolution.
The Arab Heads of State have agreed to unite their political efforts at the international and diplomatic level to eliminate the effects of the aggression and to ensure the withdrawal of the aggressive Israeli forces from the Arab lands which have been occupied since the aggression of June 5. This will be done within the framework of the main principles by which the Arab States abide, namely, no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it, and insistence on the rights of the Palestinian people in their own country. (Source: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-khartoum-resolutions)
Israel is always blamed for turmoil in the Middle East and as occupiers of Palestinian land, but as the chapter excerpt above from Israel in the Middle illustrates, Israel has repeatedly shown their willingness to offer concessions in exchange for peace. It’s the Arab world that refuses to reciprocate.
Worse than being on the wrong side of secular history and wartime precedent, those who oppose Israel’s right of possession are on the wrong side of God’s edict that the land belongs to Israel, which even the Quran verifies.
O People of the Scripture, there has come to you Our Messenger to make clear to you [the religion] after a period [of suspension] of messengers, lest you say, “There came not to us any bringer of good tidings or a warner.” But there has come to you a bringer of good tidings and a warner. And Allah is over all things competent.
And [mention, O Muhammad], when Moses said to his people, “O my people, remember the favor of Allah upon you when He appointed among you prophets and made you possessors and gave you that which He had not given anyone among the worlds.
O my people, enter the Holy Land which Allah has assigned to you and do not turn back [from fighting in Allah ‘s cause] and [thus] become losers.” [Qur’ān 5:19-21]
President Trump may be imperfect, but he is boldly standing with Israel in a way no other president has ever dared. Kudos to you, Mr. President!