the west is storing up needless retribution for itself

Trump’s Mideast Bombshell: Pindostan Must Back Israeli Sovereignty Over Golan Heights
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Mar 21 2019

President Trump has with a single bombshell tweet rattled an already tense and war-torn region by announcing “it is time” for Pindostan to “fully recognize Israel’s sovereignty” over the Golan Heights. Trump tweeted midday Thursday:

This marked a dramatic reversal of Pindo policy which has historically alongside global international allies seen it as occupied territory.  The impact has been immediately felt in Israeli politics, where PM Netanyahu stands less than three weeks away from his toughest election yet, after a campaign marred by multiple formal charges of corruption and ongoing state investigations. Trump’s tweet, and apparent willingness to move forward on the White House’s long signaling that it would dramatically shift policy from prior administrations, hands Netanyahu a huge foreign policy victory and boosts his stature domestically, after he recently renewed a diplomatic push with Trump for Pindostan to recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel. Netanyahu was quick to thank Trump, tweeting:

Beyond Trump’s shock Thursday tweet, it’s unclear if the White House will release additional specifics or a timeline on any formal recognition. Israel fully annexed the Golan Heights in 1981 after capturing it from Syria during the Jun 1967 war. The UN has never recognized Israeli annexation and settlement there, but has repeatedly condemned it. 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 Pindo recognition, and it also tells them that Pindostan. isn’t going to pay any attention to international law when it comes to making decisions regarding Israeli control over OPT.

And more broadly, it is sure to inflame tensions between Israel, Syria, Iran and Hezbollah after weeks of relative calm following last year’s dangerous uptick in (dozens of) Israeli airstrikes on Syria and sporadic fire across the contested Golan region. A mere weeks ago, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad reportedly sent the message through the head of the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), Christine Lund, earlier this month, according to a World Israel News report and later picked up other major Israeli sources, including the JPost. Mikdad told the UN representative:

Syria will attack Israel if it does not leave the Golan Heights.

Damascus’ firm warning came in response to a controversial bill recently under renewed consideration by Congress sponsored by Cruz and Cotton, which aims to give formal recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights region. Trump’s tweet will give this Congressional effort huge bipartisan momentum, even if natsec experts and pundits attempt to throw caution against interrupting the tenuous status quo.

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