In an effort to provide embattled Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu a boost at the polls and grow his own popularity among pro-Israel evangelicals in the US, Trump announced today that “it is time” for the US to “fully recognize Israel’s sovereignty” over the Golan Heights.
Why it matters: Trump’s tweet is sure to create an even more tense situation in the war-torn Middle East. The implications are two-fold. One, as American Conservative’s Daniel Larison points out the near-term impact of Trump’s words:
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.
Second, it was only two weeks ago that Syria notified Israel through United Nations diplomatic channels that it is prepared to go to war if Israel does not leave the Golan Heights. Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard who regularly rails against US intervention wars around the world wasted little time in slamming Trump’s position.
Another example of Trump and Netanyahu putting their own political interests ahead of the interests of our respective countries. Will escalate tensions and likelihood of war between Israel/US/Syria/Iran/Russia. Shortsighted. https://t.co/lG9qZwD16c
— Tulsi Gabbard ? (@TulsiGabbard) March 21, 2019