Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Golan Heights with US Senator Lindsey Graham, and asked that the US recognises Israeli sovereignty there.
“Every time you come here you can appreciate the strategic importance of Israel being on the Golan Heights, and the fact that we’re creating here new life, green life — a future, which is very different, obviously, from what existed before,” Netanyahu says.
“The most important observation that I’d make is that the Golan has always been part of Israel, from the earliest days of our history, and has certainly been part of the State of Israel since 1967, and more recently 1981. The Golan is part of Israel. The Golan must stay part of Israel — forever. It’s very important that the international community recognize this fact and accept it, and most especially our great friend, the United States of America… We have no greater friend, and we appreciate it.”
US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) responded in agreement, saying that the Golan Heights should remain “forever” under the control of Israel as he toured the Golan Heights with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Ambassador to Israel David Freidman. He said he is working with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) to: “Start an effort to recognise the Golan as part of the State of Israel now and forever.”
Since 2011, the US State Department has published annual reports about human rights around the world. This year’s human rights report, launched by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, dropped the word “Occupation” when talking about the Golan Heights and also the so-called West Bank (real name Judea and Samaria).
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US Senator Lindsey Graham and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman toured the Golan Heights where they were briefed.Prime Minister Netanyahu:"I’m here with two of the greatest friends of Israel, and they’re also my personal friends: Senator Lindsey Graham and Ambassador David Friedman. Senator, this is not your first time in the Golan Heights, but I think every time you come here, you can appreciate the strategic importance of Israel being on the Golan Heights. And the fact that we’re creating here new life, green life, a future, which is very different obviously from what existed before.The Golan has always been part of Israel, from the earliest days of our history, and has certainly been the, part of the State of Israel since 1967, and more recently since 1981.The Golan is part of Israel; the Golan must stay part of Israel forever. I think it’s very important that the international community recognize this fact and accept it, and most especially, our great friend the United States.I thank you for your support. I don’t think the citizens of Israel know everything that I know about the work you have done over successive administrations. We have no greater friend, and we appreciate it. Thank you, friend."US Senator Graham:"What’s best for America is for a safe, secure and prosperous Israel. Why? Common values, common enemies, and from a military point of view, the best friend the United States could possibly ever have in a troubled region.I’ve got a simple message. I will go back to the United States Senate. Working with Senator Cruz, I will start an effort to recognize the Golan as part of the State of Israel now and forever.Israel occupied this territory by fighting for its survival. This territory was taken by military force because it was used as a launching point to attack the State of Israel. This territory has a rich Jewish history.Strategically, I am standing on one of the most important pieces of ground in the State of Israel."Prime Minister Netanyahu added:"You heard very strong words here from Senator Graham that express American policy, President Trump's policy, of support for Israel.They are taking this to a very concrete step – to keep the Golan as part of Israel. Otherwise our border will be with Iran on the shores of the Kinneret – and we are not prepared to accept that.I was very pleased to hear him make these remarks. I think that this is a very important direction and very, very promising for our national security."Video: Etay Beit-On, GPOSound: Ben Peretz, GPO
Posted by The Prime Minister of Israel on Monday, 11 March 2019