With Oil, Water and Iran as Targets, US on Brink of Recognizing Israeli Sovereignty Over Golan Heights — War Provocation
- With Oil, Water and Iran as Targets, US on Brink of Recognizing Israeli Sovereignty Over Golan Heights
by Whitney Webb, https://www.mintpressnews.com/
Israel is now pushing for the U.S. to recognize its sovereignty over the Golan for fear of losing it completely, even though such recognition could result in an all-out war between Israel and Syria, as well as with Syrian allies such as Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
WASHINGTON — A new bill recently introduced in the Senate, along with its companion bill in the House, would result in the United States government recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over Syria’s Golan Heights, which has been occupied by Israel since 1967. The territory was later annexed in 1981, but the international community — including the United States — has not recognized Israel’s claim to the Syrian territory.
In addition, the bill would also promote the U.S. conducting “joint projects” with Israel in the Golan, including “industrial research and development.” This is sure to result in joint U.S.-Israeli efforts to extract the large oil reserves recently discovered in the Golan Heights, as the rights to extract that oil were granted to the joint U.S.-Israeli venture Genie Energy soon after its discovery was made public.
The move to introduce legislation regarding the contested territory has been hinted at for months by top Israeli officials, especially following the decision of the Trump administration to unilaterally recognize the city of Jerusalem as belonging exclusively to Israel and as being that country’s capital.
Working the Iran angle
Last May, Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz told Reuters that Washington’s endorsement of Israel’s control of the Golan Heights was now “topping the agenda” in bilateral diplomatic talks between the two countries, and that such a move would likely come within a matter of months, though it apparently took longer than Katz had originally anticipated.
Katz also had stated that U.S. recognition of the Golan was being peddled to the Trump administration as a way to further counter Iran, the goal that has now become the guiding force behind President Donald Trump’s Middle East policy. In addition, Katz had stated that bilateral discussions regarding U.S. recognition of the Golan had vastly expanded to involve various levels of the U.S. administration as well as several Congressmen.
The effort to which Katz alluded last year appears to have paid off in the form of the recently introduced bills in both the House and the Senate. The Senate bill was introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who is the top Republican recipient of pro-Israel lobby contributions in the U.S. Senate, and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who is also heavily funded by the pro-Israel lobby. Indeed, Cotton receivedover $700,000 from the Emergency Committee for Israel in 2014 and nearly $1 million from that same group a year later.