[Rushtalk] Netanyahu urges Obama to ‘think different’ on Golan Heights annexation

Carl Spitzer lynux at keepandbeararms.com
Thu Dec 3 08:15:18 MST 2015

Netanyahu urges Obama to ‘think different’ on Golan Heights annexation

        RT | November 11, 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly seeking US
recognition of Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights due to the
Syrian conflict. Netanyahu allegedly wanted a “different thinking”
regarding the issue during talks with Barack Obama.

The possibility of Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights in 1981
being recognized was raised during Netanyahu’s meeting with US President
Obama, according to Haaretz sources close to the discussions. The
publication mentioned that Netanyahu believes the absence of a
functioning Syrian government “allows for different thinking” concerning
the future status of the strategically important area.

Netanyahu also reportedly said he was doubtful that peace talks taking
place in Vienna between the world powers and various Syrian fractions
involved in the war would result in peace. During the meeting, Netanyahu
also clarified Israel’s red lines in regards to Syria.

“We won’t tolerate attacks from Syrian territory, we won’t allow Iran to
open a front [against us] on the Golan Heights, and we will disrupt the
transfer of deadly weaponry from Syria to Lebanon,” Netanyahu told the

President Obama did not respond to the proposal from Netanyahu, while
the Israeli prime minister failed to elaborate on the issue with

At a press conference following the meeting, Netanyahu mentioned any
international deal regarding Syria would have to “take into account
Israel’s interests.”

Speaking later in the day at the American Enterprise Institute think
tank, Netanyahu reiterated that Israel will do everything to prevent
Iran from using Syrian territory to threaten Israel.

“The defense of Israel is what concerns me in Syria first and foremost,
and on that we’ll continue to act forcefully,” Netanyahu said.

Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria after the 1967 Six-Day War,
which created an armistice line under Israeli military control. Syria
unsuccessfully tried to retake the Golan Heights during the 1973 War. An
armistice was concluded in 1974 resulting in a UN observer force being
deployed along the ceasefire line.

In 1981 Israel unilaterally annexed the Golan Heights, a move that is
not recognized internationally. Over the last three and a half decades,
Israel has built more than 30 Jewish settlements in the area. Since the
start of the Syrian conflict, Israel has carried out a number of
military operations as fighting reached the Golan ceasefire lines.

As the armed struggle in Syria continues, a few high ranking officials
in Israel have recently voiced the need to gain full international
recognition of Israel’s claims to the Golan Heights.

Netanyahu’s former ambassador to Washington Michael Oren, earlier this
week, urged Netanyahu “to ask for American recognition of full Israeli
sovereignty on the Golan Heights through a presidential declaration and
accompanying letter,” the Times of Israel states.

“Syria as we knew it has ceased to exist,” Oren claimed, stressing that
Israeli recognition would result in the “stabilization and
rehabilitation of the area.”

In July, Netanyahu’s former cabinet secretary Zvi Hauser also urged the
Israelis to seize the “historic opportunity” and seek international
recognition of its presence on the Golan.

“Forty years on, in light of Syria’s collapse, Islamic State’s takeover
of huge areas in the Middle East and the ‘rotten compromise’ expected
with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the achievement that Israel needs and
can attain is to update the international stance, and ratify and upgrade
the US stance on the Golan,” Hauser wrote in an article published in

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