News Analysis |
U.S President Donald Trump has once again nudged into a territory which no other U.S president explored before when he talked about recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights. “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!”, he said in a tweet.
It does not come as a surprise since he announced last year of moving the U.S embassy to Jerusalem, therefore him being a bold supporter of the state of Israel is more than obvious now. Golan Heights is a 1200 Sq. Km rocky stretch which is situated nearly 60 Km away on the south-west side of the Syrian capital Damascus. Israel took control of Golan Heights back in 1967 during the Arab Israel war and has not moved away since then.
Reports suggest that President Trump’s much-anticipated Middle East peace plan, a bid to settle the dispute between Israel and Palestinians, would be out soon.
There was an attempt from Syria to regain control of Golan Heights in 1973 but it was thwarted by Israeli Defense Forces. In 1981, the Israeli parliament passed the legislation to establish the writ of the state over the heights. The international community has never accepted Golan annexation as a legitimate and neither has the United States of America until Donald Trump made his way to Oval office.
A Lifeline for Netanyahu?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is running for reelection in what many believe as the most difficult polls he had in his entire career. His reputation has been tarnished within Israel due to corruption allegations and subsequent investigations centering on the plundering of public money during his tenure.
In these circumstances, an endorsement for legitimizing the annexation of Golan height from the U.S president himself, especially after the U.S embassy has moved to Israel during his premiership, could help Benjamin Netanyahu in upcoming elections.
Golan Heights is a 1200 Sq. Km rocky stretch which is situated nearly 60 Km away on the south-west side of the Syrian capital Damascus.
Other than that, increasing tension with “significant others” for states at the time of general polls to uplift the popularity is a relatively prominent phenomenon across the globe, a strategy used by Narender Modi, Vladimir Putin and now Netanyahu. Just yesterday, Israeli jets bombed a school in Gaza causing the death of more than 15 people mostly woman and Children.
President Trump’s Middle East Peace Plan
Reports suggest that President Trump’s much-anticipated Middle East peace plan, a bid to settle the dispute between Israel and Palestinians, would be out soon. Donald Trump’s son in law Jared Kushner and White House Middle East Envoy Jason Greenblatt have been working on the plan for nearly two years now in which they have conducted a series of meeting with stakeholders such as Jordan and Saudi Arabia to work out a plan for the long-standing dispute.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is running for reelection in what many believe as the most difficult polls he had in his entire career.
Since the Israeli elections are due by the mid of this year, many experts including U.S ambassador in Israel also think that it is the ideal time to reveal the proposed plan since making it public near the election might interfere in the polls. “We know that there will be parts that we will like, there will be parts that we don’t like… but we will be open-minded. We will be willing to negotiate, to speak about everything,” U.S ambassador said, adding that the United States is working to bring Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia into the peace effort.
Given the nature of developments during President Trump’s tenure, such as moving U.S embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing Golan Heights, Donald Trump has established himself as a president who would go beyond words to support the state of Israel openly. In this context, it is hard to see any relief for the Palestinians in his much-hyped Middle East peace plan but it will be too early to make a comment before the content of the plan is not made public.