Trump Endorses Israeli Annexation of Golan Heights

Announcement likely a boost for Netanyahu's reelection

Undoing more than half a century of US policy on Israel’s occupations and annexations in the wake of the 1967 War, President Trump today went onto Twitter to publicly endorse Israel’s permanent control over the Golan Heights, which is legally part of Syria.

Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967, and annexed it in 1981. The US, and the rest of the world, never recognized the annexation, but considered it part of Syria under military occupation. Trump now says the US recognizes Israel’s “Sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” calling it critical for “Regional Stability.”

While on the surface this is just another in a long line of mostly meaningless concessions to show how “pro-Israel” he is, the timing also comes across as a cynical political ploy, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo already in Israel to visit Netanyahu, who faces reelection in just three weeks.

Polls showed a very close race, with Netanyahu’s far-right coalition struggling to retain power against a more centrist bloc. Since Netanyahu asked for Golan on Wednesday and got it on Thursday, the optics of this are Trump very much trying to swing the election in favor of the Likud far-right coalition, which he has long favored.

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.