International norms are created when they are recognized as morally right by a large percentage of the world, as represented in the United Nations. The Golan is recognized as belonging to Syria, but now occupied by Israel, and should be returned at the soonest.
American Presidents and administrations from 1967 until present have respected the UN resolutions concerning the Golan; however, Pres. Trump has broken with that longstanding US policy. He is bolstered in this new break in tradition by Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, who is actively advising the President to abandon the past UN resolutions, and recognize the Golan as legally belonging to Israel.
“There is no construct I can imagine now or any time in the future for the state of Israel to give the Golan up,” Graham told reporters.
Pres. Trump recently ordered his State Department to drop using the word “occupied” when it issued a report on the Golan, and instead opt to use “controlled”. This change is seen by many to be the precursor of declaring Golan to be part of the Jewish State of Israel.
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said Israel “will never leave the Golan Heights,” and urged all countries to recognize the Golan as Israeli territory.
Pres. Trump is like no other US President. He was elected by voters who wanted a change in domestic policy. Many of his supporters are mainly concerned with their own lives and communities. While the rest of the world thinks about the global community, Trump loyalists think about their own local community, and many do not have a working understanding of the Middle East conflicts, and the accepted international norms.
Pres. Trump’s loyal supporters are not surprised when he disregards long held norms of diplomacy, or tears up international treaties, and ignores UN resolutions. They revel in calling him the “Deal Maker”, and they don’t mind his bulldozer attitude when he wants to get his way.
Pres. Trump departures from international norms:
1. Breaks Iran treaty, and will not allow the EU to benefit from their treaty through US imposed sanctions
2. Moves US embassy to Jerusalem
3. Turning a blind eye to an alleged savage premeditated murder by the Saudi Crown Prince, while other US allies press for accountability and justice
4. Willing to give away Golan Heights against the UN resolution
Donald J. Trump may have made enemies, but his family is close to him and among his greatest supporters. His son in law, Jared Kushner, has developed a new Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, yet to be publically proposed.
The Golan Heights have been recognized as part of Syria since 1944 and the international community continues to regard it as part of Syria. The Golan is a plateau which was captured by Israel during the Six Day War of 1967.
UN Resolution 242 calls for Israel to withdraw from Golan and was adopted unanimously on 22 November 1967. UN resolution 497 adopted unanimously on 17 December 1981 declared that the Israeli Golan Heights Law, which annexed the Golan Heights, is "null and void and without international legal effect" and calls on Israel to rescind the law.
The only thing we cannot live without is water. Golan is the source of about 1/3 of Israel’s fresh water supply. Israel captured the precious area to use its resources. The occupation of Golan is not needed for defense; the only reason they refuse to comply with the UN resolutions, and international norms, is because they want that water source.
The population is split between about 20,000 Syrian Druze, and 20,000 Jewish settlers, who were forcibly planted in Golan after the annexation, in order to lay claim to the land which has been Syrian Druze since at least 1595. Most Druze have refused the offer of Israeli citizenship and are classified as permanent residents by the Israeli government, though they cannot vote or travel outside, and have no passports.
Their Jewish neighbors have full Israeli citizenship rights, as well as human rights, which the Druze are deprived of. Not surprisingly, the majority of Druze are supporters of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is seen by them as the only hope to restore their citizenship, human rights, and property rights.
Israel participated in the Syrian conflict while supporting the Radical Islamic terrorists. Prime minster Netanyahu went so far as to tour Golan and personally visited the bedside of injured Jibhat al Nusra terrorists, while telling them in Arabic “Get Well”. The Israeli military gave support to the terrorists, who are the Al Qaeda branch in Syria. On numerous occasions the gate between the occupied Golan and Syria was opened allowing the terrorists to pass into Israeli occupied Golan for medical treatment.
The US has waged war in Syria since 2011, with a goal of regime change, and to cut the supply chain between Iran and Hezbollah. America failed, and Iran became a guest military presence in Syria while helping to defeat Radical Islamic terrorism. The Trump plan to give away Golan to Israel would serve as a revenge for the Iranian presence in Syria.