Trump Recognizes Israeli Sovereignty over Golan Heights Via Executive Tweet
Because of course he did.
So, this happened:
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
As President, Trump is Chief Diplomat and absolutely entitled to do this. Harry Truman, of course, recognized Israel’s independence almost instantaneously. But, goodness, this is a bad idea.
Israel’s annexation of foreign territories pursuant to the Six Days War has been controversial since it happened. The UN Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 242, declaring the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East in which every State in the area can live in security” and demanded the “Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict” and the “Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force,” way back on 22 November 1967. Numerous resolutions have passed since then, notably Resolution 497, decrying Israel’s illegal application of its domestic law to the occupied territory.
It’s simply bizarre to flout the longstanding consensus of the international community here in exchange for, as best I can determine, bupkis.
UPDATE: Daniel Larison adds,
Israel has no legitimate claim to this territory, and in recognizing Israeli sovereignty over land that it seized during a war the U.S. is sending a potentially very dangerous message to governments all around the world. Perhaps most dangerous of all is the signal that it sends to Israeli hard-liners that want to annex some or all of the West Bank. It tells them that illegal occupation will eventually be rewarded with full U.S. recognition, and it also tells them that the U.S. isn’t going to pay any attention to international law when it comes to making decisions regarding Israeli control over occupied territories.
Trump’s statement is just the latest in a string of bad decisions that are absurdly biased in favor of Israel. No U.S. interests are advanced by doing this, and it discredits any criticisms that the U.S. wants to make of any other government’s illegal occupation and annexation of territory. The double standard that the U.S. applies when it comes to violations of international law by itself and its clients could not be more obvious, and it will make it much more difficult to challenge similarly egregious violations in the future.