2 Republican senators call on US to recognize Israeli sovereignty over Golan
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2 Republican senators call on US to recognize Israeli sovereignty over Golan

Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton issue statement saying Washington must affirm Jewish state’s claim over the Heights to ensure Israel can defend itself

Vice President Mike Pence administers the Senate oath of office to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas (L), accompanied by his wife Heidi and their daughter Catherine, during a mock swearing in ceremony in the Old Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 3, 2019 (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Vice President Mike Pence administers the Senate oath of office to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas (L), accompanied by his wife Heidi and their daughter Catherine, during a mock swearing in ceremony in the Old Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 3, 2019 (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — US Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Tom Cotton of Arkansas on Sunday again called on the United States to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Israel is stepping up its campaign for international recognition of its claim to the strategic plateau.

A joint statement by the two Republican senators came on the same day that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged John Bolton, the US national security adviser, to recognize Israel’s claim to the Golan. Israel captured the heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed them in 1981.

“Responding to the threat posed by Iran and its proxies requires ensuring that Israel can defend its territory and its citizens from attacks,” Cruz and Cotton said in their statement. “To support Israel’s right to self-defense, Washington should take the long overdue step of affirming Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”

Sen. Tom Cotton with PM Netanyahu in his Jerusalem office, August 31, 2015 (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

In their statement, the senators noted that in the last Congress, they had introduced a nonbinding resolution calling for recognition of Israel’s claim to the Golan. The resolution languished, and the senators did not say whether they would reintroduce it.

Bolton was in Israel to assuage concerns that US President Donald Trump is no longer invested in getting Iran and its proxy, the Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist group, to leave Syria.

Trump wants to pull 2,000 US troops out of Syria, where Iran and Hezbollah have propped up Assad during Syria’s seven-year civil war, which is winding down.

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