Cotton, Cruz Introduce Resolution Encouraging U.S. to Recognize Israel’s Sovereignty Over Golan Heights

Golan Heights
Golan Heights / Getty Images
December 18, 2018

Republican Sens. Tom Cotton (Ark.) and Ted Cruz (Texas) introduced a resolution on Tuesday encouraging the United States to recognize Israel's sovereignty over Golan Heights.

The resolution's aim is for the U.S. Senate to recognize Israel's 51 years of control over the contested region. Israel took control of the region in 1967, during the Six Day War in which Israel defended itself from attacks from Syria and other Arab nations in the region. In 1981, Israel annexed the Golan Heights. Since then, the U.S. has refused to recognize the region as sovereign territory of Jewish state.

Cotton and Cruz released a statement telling their colleagues it is now time for the U.S. to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the region.

"Israel’s northern border is threatened by Iranian forces and their proxies in Lebanon and Syria, including Hezbollah’s 150,000 rockets, armed drones, newly discovered terror tunnels, and more. Meanwhile, with the Ayatollahs’ help, Bashar al Assad’s regime is on the verge of securing victory in Syria’s civil war. He may soon turn his attention back to threatening the Jewish state." Cotton and Cruz said. "Israel gained possession over the Golan Heights in a defensive war over 50 years ago, and has responsibly controlled the area ever since. It’s past time for the United States to recognize reality by affirming Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights."

Earlier this year, the House of Representatives debated a similar resolution. Then-Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.) introduced a resolution that would have Congress recognize the Golan Heights as fully belonging to Israel. The measure was never adopted and was killed by House leadership.

If the resolution introduced by Cruz and Cotton is adopted, the Senate would recognize six points:

(1) the United States supports the sovereign right of the Government of Israel to defend its territory and its citizens from attacks against Israel, including by Iran or its proxies;

(2) Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights is critical to Israel’s national security;

(3) Israel’s security from attack from Syria and Lebanon cannot be assured without Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights;

(4) it is in the United States’ national security interest to ensure Israel’s security;

(5) it is in the United States’ national security interest to ensure that the Assad regime faces diplomatic and geopolitical consequences for the killing of civilians, the ethnic cleansing of Syrian Sunnis, and the use of weapons of mass destruction, including by ensuring that Israel retains control of the Golan Heights; and

(6) the United States should recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.