In Tight Election, Netanyahu Seeks US Endorsement of Golan Annexation

Pompeo visit gives Israel PM a chance to play a strong leader

Nobody, in the world, recognizes the Golan Heights as part of Israel, despite the 1981 Israeli annexation. The US has continually accepted it as an Israeli-occupied piece of Syria. But the Trump Administration clearly sees major interests in keeping a far-right coalition government in power in Israel.

So with Israel’s very tight election just weeks away, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made a visit to Jerusalem, giving the incumbent PM Benjamin Netanyahu all the photo-ops and talk of mutual hostility toward Iran he could ask for.

While this is already unseemly US meddling into the election, it’s also given Netanyahu a chance to lay out the idea that the US should just flat out endorse the conquest of Golan, in the name of making sure Iran can’t put troops there. Israel’s oil development plans in Golan, naturally, were not mentioned.

Though US recognition of the Golan annexation would undo decades of US policy, doing it now, particularly after Netanyahu asked them to, would be a major win for the prime minister, and could easily sway the election his way. At the very least the administration may choose to use Pompeo’s visit as an opportunity to at least give lip-service to such a policy change, and further cement Trump’s pro-Netanyahu stance.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.