Last week U.S. President Donald Trump said he’d sign a proclamation recognizing a territory called the Golan Heights as being part of Israel. Yesterday he did it. With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu standing next to him, the American leader put pen to paper during a ceremony at the White House. Here’s why this is significant and controversial. The Golan Heights is a rocky plateau in the Middle East. It was part of southwestern Syria in 1967 but during the Six Day War which was fought that year, Israel captured large amounts of territory from the neighboring countries of Egypt, Jordan and Syria. The Golan Heights was part of that land.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here in the Golan Heights where there is years of evidence of fighting between Israel and Syria. Israeli forces seized this mountainous territory from Syria in 1967 during the Six Day War and since then it’s been considered occupied territory by the international community and the United Nations Security Council. Israel annexed the Golan in 1981 but no country in the world had ever recognized that annexation until now.
U.S. President Donald Trump overturning decades of U.S. foreign policy, breaking the international consensus and saying its time to recognize Israeli sovereignty because of its strategic significance. Anyone positioned here has a great vantage point from which to look into southern Syria on one side and northern Israel on the other.