United States to oppose UN Golan resolution, wins Israeli praise

Lamar Ellis
November 18, 2018

The U.S. said Thursday it will break with prior precedent and vote against a United Nations resolution calling on Israel to end its occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights.

The United States has abstained in previous years on "Occupied Syrian Golan" resolution, which declares Israel's decision to impose its jurisdiction in the area "null and void", but US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Thursday that Washington would vote against the resolution. "The resolution is plainly biased against Israel", Haley said. The Israeli regime occupied the Syrian territory in 19-67.

Israel seized control of much of the Golan Heights from Syria in a 1967 war and later annexed it, in moves never recognized by the global community.

"Obviously we understand the Israeli claim that it has annexed the Golan Heights - we understand their position - but there's no change in the United States position for now".

In April, the US House of Representatives dismissed a a legislative proposal from Representative Ron DeSantis of Florida regarding a US recognition of Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Haley's statement drew praise from Israeli officials.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Friday that "it's past time to acknowledge the reality of Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which should never come under the control of the Iran-backed Assad regime".

The only other country other than the USA who voted against the resolution was Israel itself.

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In fact, the UN General Assembly Special Political and Decolonization Committee - known as the Fourth Committee - is set to adopt nine resolutions on Friday against Israel, zero against any other nation. Only Israel joined the United States in voting no. Yet as the regime run by Syrian President Bashar Assad, with Iranian and Russian Federation help, has beaten back most rebel groups operating in southern Syria and re-established control of the region, Israel has grown increasingly concerned with Iran establishing a permanent presence on the Syrian side of the border.

The UN also passed eight other measures which range from condemnations of Israeli construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank to renewing the mandate of a UN committee probing "Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories".

Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, said in August that a formal United States endorsement of Israel's control over the Golan Heights was not under discussion. ISIS and other terrorist groups remain in Syria.

Syria meanwhile hailed the vote and said the U.N. had sent a message that Israel was in "violation of the provisions of the [U.N.] Charter and of global law". However, the Syrian civil war has led to many applying for citizenship.

"It is time the world distinguishes those who stabilise the region from those who sow terror", he said, in a message that Haley retweeted.

"Obviously we understand the Israeli claim that it has annexed the Golan Heights - we understand their position - but there's no change in the USA position for now", he told the Reuters news agency in an interview.

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