by Jewish News Syndicate and Israel Hayom Staff
Bill emphasizes the strategic importance of Israeli control to protect civilians against threats from Iran in Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon
U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) introduced companion resolutions on Tuesday urging the United States to officially recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
The bill emphasizes the strategic importance of Israeli control over the area, which the Jewish state captured in the 1967 Six-Day War, in protecting civilians against threats from Iran in Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Israel annexed the region in 1981, a move that has not been recognized by the international community.
It also states that "it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of a peace agreement between Israel and Syria will be an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights."
The bill adds that "it is in the United States' national security interest to ensure that Israel retains control of the Golan Heights [and that] the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad faces diplomatic and geopolitical consequences for its killing of civilians, the ethnic cleansing of Arab Sunnis, and the use of weapons of mass destruction."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised the issue of the Golan Heights during a meeting with U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton in January. Although the United States does not recognize Israeli control over the Golan Heights, it voted for the first time in November against an annual U.N. resolution condemning the Israeli position.
The measure is also sponsored by Senators Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota) and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), and Representatives Brian Mast (R-Florida), Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado), Jim Banks (R-Indiana), Elise Stefanik (R-New York), Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma), Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina), Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), Scott Perry (R-Pennsylvania), Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), Mark Green (R-Tennessee), Lee Zeldin (R-New York), Ted Budd (R-North Carolina) and Jody Hice (R-Georgia).
Although no Democrats are currently behind the bill, members such as House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) have voiced support for such U.S. recognition in the past.
In December, Cotton and Cruz introduced a similar measure.
Jewish News Syndicate and Israel Hayom Staff
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