Trump Announces U.S. Will Recognize Israel's Sovereignty over Golan Heights

Julian Borger at the Guardian reports:
Donald Trump has announced that the U.S. will recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, captured from Syria in 1967, in a dramatic move likely to bolster Benjamin Netanyahu's hopes to win re-election, but which will also provoke international opposition.

Previous U.S. administrations have treated Golan Heights as occupied Syrian territory, in line with UN security council resolutions. Trump declared his break with that policy, in a tweet on Thursday.

He said: "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!"

By defying a 52-year-old unanimously adopted UN resolution on "inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war," Trump has also broken the postwar norm of refusing to recognise the forcible annexation of territory — which has underpinned western and international opposition to the Russian annexation of Crimea.

...Netanyahu, the Israeli PM, quickly tweeted his gratitude for Trump's gesture.

"At a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, [Donald] Trump boldly recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights," the Israeli prime minister wrote. "Thank you [Donald] Trump!"
Donald Trump didn't come up with this idea. It's so specific, and so far outside anything Trump has ever even pretended to know anything about, that we must question the genesis of Trump's decision to "fully recognize" Israel's sovereignty over Golan Heights.

That the decision undermines the rationale for opposing Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea, and delights Netanyahu, gives us a pretty good idea of the answer to that question.

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