TEL AVIV – Senator Lindsey Graham, on a visit to Israel’s north with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said Israel must keep the Golan Heights or face a “strategic nightmare,” and vowed that he would work to get U.S. recognition of the area as part of sovereign Israel.
“I come here as an American. I come here to try to figure out what’s best for America. What’s best for America is a safe, secure and prosperous Israel,” Graham said, adding that he intends to “start an effort to recognize the Golan as part of the State of Israel, now and forever.”
“Why? Common values, common enemies. And from a military point of view, the best friend the United States can possibly ever have in a troubled region.
“I cannot tell you how much intelligence has been given to the U.S. from our friends in Israel to protect the American homeland. So if you believe, as I do, [that] the State of Israel is a strategic partner to the United States, and its survival and its prosperity and security is relevant to American national security, you would come here, to the Golan.”
Lindsey and Netanyahu were accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
“For decades, this was one of the more peaceful parts of the border that Israel has to police. Not so much now. So I’ve got a simple message: I will go back to the U.S. Senate, working with Senator [Ted] Cruz, I will start an effort to recognize the Golan as part of the State of Israel, now and forever.
“Because to give this territory up would be a strategic nightmare for the State of Israel. And who would you give it to?” Graham concluded.
Netanyahu thanked Graham for his support and said Israel has “no better friend.” He called on the rest of the world to recognize Israeli control of the Golan, starting with “our mighty friend the U.S.”
The Golan was captured by Israel from Syria during a 1967 defensive war.
Syria vowed to attack Israel unless it withdraws from the Golan Heights, World Israel News reported on Friday.