Marco Rubio, Rick Scott Urge President Trump Implement Recognizing Golan Heights as Part of Israel

On Wednesday, Florida’s two U.S. senators–Republican U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott–signed off on a letter to President Donald Trump urging his administration to take several steps to implement his decision recognizing the Golan Heights as part of the state of Israel. Besides Rubio and Scott, other signers included fellow Republican U.S. Sens. Mike Braun of Indiana, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Ted Cruz of Texas, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Mike Rounds of South Dakota and Roger Wicker of Mississippi.

The full text of the letter is below:

Dear Mr. President,

We write today to thank you for officially recognizing that the Golan Heights are part of the state of Israel. We also wish to discuss your administration’s implementation of this new policy.

Your proclamation on March 25, 2019, recognizing the state of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights will promote peace and stability in the Middle East, deepen the U.S.-Israel relationship, and strengthen Israel’s capacity for self-defense. With threats from Iran, the Assad regime, and their terrorist proxies building to Israel’s north, it is imperative that the United States do everything in its power to ensure Israel’s security. Earlier this Congress, we introduced Senate legislation urging your administration to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. We applaud your leadership in taking this long-overdue step in support of our ally.

We now urge you to take the following steps to implement your historic decision:

1. Direct all federal government agencies to update their official documents, publications, and maps to recognize the Golan Heights as the state of Israel’s sovereign territory.

2. Direct the State Department to treat the Golan Heights as the state of Israel’s sovereign territory for the purpose of: (a) issuing passports to Americans born in the Golan Heights and (b) all treaties and agreements.

3. Direct the State Department to pursue talks with the Israeli government about updating the 1972 U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation agreement and the related 1977 agreements covering industrial and agricultural research. These agreements bar funding of projects in or relating to “geographic areas which came under the administration of the government of Israel after June 5, 1967,” which is in conflict with your proclamation.

4. Direct all federal government agencies responsible for foreign commerce and customs enforcement to allow products from the Golan Heights to be labeled “Made in Israel.”

If there are any statutory roadblocks to the swift implementation of this policy across the federal government, we kindly request that you share these obstacles with Congress. We appreciate your attention to this matter, and look forward to working with your administration to implement this policy.

 

1 COMMENT

  1. In reference to you participation in a letter endorsing President Trump’s recognition of the Israeli annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights, it is with great disappointment that I inform you of the end of my support for you, and my condemnation of either your lack of integrity and loyalty to the United States, or your bad judgement in endorsing an act about a subject in which you have no knowledge.

    You have just declared your support for violations of international law. And in doing so you have put the national interests of Israel before those of the United States.

    Before the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights in 1967, the Golan was filled with villages. Now much of it is empty, except for the 20,000 Israeli settlers illegally moved there.
    The UN issued this report: “Following the occupation of the territory in 1967, the occupation authorities (Israel) destroyed 244 villages and built-up areas in the Golan and expelled their population, sparing only five villages (Majdal Shams, Buq’ata, Ain Qunya, Mas’ada and al-Ghajar). Not even places of worship, schools and health centres escaped destruction. The underlying aim of the occupation authorities was to eliminate Arab landmarks and obliterate the Arab identity of the Golan, as a result of which anyone who visits the Golan today is able to identify the locations of the former Arab villages only from their ruins.”

    The Israeli occupation of Syrian territory is illegal. In international law, acquisition of territory by military conquest is illegal.
    From the second half of the eighteenth century onwards, it has been recognized among the principles of international law that land gained by military force is illegally gained in violation of both the Hague Regulations (1907) and UN Charter (1945). Both included the basic legal principle that it is illegal to acquire territory by force.

    Furthermore Israeli settlements built on occupied territory are illegal, a violation of Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention.

    Article 49 prohibits any and all population transfers from the occupying power to occupied territory. Violations of the Conference are prosecutable as war crimes before the ICC.

    The UN International Court of Justice has ruled that Israeli provision of infrastructure, land, funding, schools, synagogues, water, electricity, roads, etc., constitutes transfer of civilian population to occupied territory, and thus “the settlements violate international law and are illegal,” as did: Amnesty International, the Human Rights Watch, and the European Union. The Conference of the Convention of the High Contracting Parties of the Geneva Convention declared in 2001 the Israeli settlements on the West Bank are illegal. And so did every US administration since that of Lyndon Johnson.

    The legal counsel of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Theodor Meron, was the Israeli government’s expert on international law. On September 16, 1967 Meron wrote a top secret memo to Mr. Adi Yafeh, Political Secretary of the Prime Minister regarding “Settlement in the Administered Territories” which said “My conclusion is that *civilian settlement in the Administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

    The Israeli claim that Syria represents a military threat to Israel is absurd. Syria has been wracked by civil war for 8 years, and the last thing on any Syrians mind is to attack Israel.

    With an iota of good will and peaceful intentions, Israel could mark the Golan Heights as a demilitarized zone with Syrian blessings in about 10 minutes.

    In reference to you participation in a letter endorsing President Trump’s recognition of the Israeli annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights, it is with great disappointment that I inform you of the end of my support for you and my condemnation of either your lack of integrity and loyalty to the United States, or your bad judgement in endorsing an act about a subject in which you have no knowledge.

    You have just declared your support for violations of international law. And in doing so you have put the national interests of Israel before those of the United States.

    Before the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights in 1967, the Golan was filled with villages. Now much of it is empty, except for the 20,000 Israeli settlers illegally moved there.
    The UN issued this report: “Following the occupation of the territory in 1967, the occupation authorities (Israel) destroyed 244 villages and built-up areas in the Golan and expelled their population, sparing only five villages (Majdal Shams, Buq’ata, Ain Qunya, Mas’ada and al-Ghajar). Not even places of worship, schools and health centres escaped destruction. The underlying aim of the occupation authorities was to eliminate Arab landmarks and obliterate the Arab identity of the Golan, as a result of which anyone who visits the Golan today is able to identify the locations of the former Arab villages only from their ruins.”

    The Israeli occupation of Syrian territory is illegal. In international law, acquisition of territory by military conquest is illegal.
    From the second half of the eighteenth century onwards, it has been recognized among the principles of international law that land gained by military force is illegally gained in violation of both the Hague Regulations (1907) and UN Charter (1945). Both included the basic legal principle that it is illegal to acquire territory by force.

    Furthermore Israeli settlements built on occupied territory are illegal, a violation of Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention.

    Article 49 prohibits any and all population transfers from the occupying power to occupied territory. Violations of the Conference are prosecutable as war crimes before the ICC.

    The UN International Court of Justice has ruled that Israeli provision of infrastructure, land, funding, schools, synagogues, water, electricity, roads, etc., constitutes transfer of civilian population to occupied territory, and thus “the settlements violate international law and are illegal,” as did: Amnesty International, the Human Rights Watch, and the European Union. The Conference of the Convention of the High Contracting Parties of the Geneva Convention declared in 2001 the Israeli settlements on the West Bank are illegal. And so did every US administration since that of Lyndon Johnson.

    The legal counsel of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Theodor Meron, was the Israeli government’s expert on international law. On September 16, 1967 Meron wrote a top secret memo to Mr. Adi Yafeh, Political Secretary of the Prime Minister regarding “Settlement in the Administered Territories” which said “My conclusion is that *civilian settlement in the Administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

    The Israeli claim that Syria represents a military threat to Israel is absurd. Syria has been wracked by civil war for 8 years, and the last thing on any Syrians mind is to attack Israel.

    With an iota of good will and peaceful intentions, Israel could mark the Golan Heights as a demilitarized zone with Syrian blessings in about 10 minutes.

    In reference to you participation in a letter endorsing President Trump’s recognition of the Israeli annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights, it is with great disappointment that I inform you of the end of my support for you and my condemnation of either your lack of integrity and loyalty to the United States, or your bad judgement in endorsing an act about a subject in which you have no knowledge.

    You have just declared your support for violations of international law. And in doing so you have put the national interests of Israel before those of the United States.

    Before the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights in 1967, the Golan was filled with villages. Now much of it is empty, except for the 20,000 Israeli settlers illegally moved there.
    The UN issued this report: “Following the occupation of the territory in 1967, the occupation authorities (Israel) destroyed 244 villages and built-up areas in the Golan and expelled their population, sparing only five villages (Majdal Shams, Buq’ata, Ain Qunya, Mas’ada and al-Ghajar). Not even places of worship, schools and health centres escaped destruction. The underlying aim of the occupation authorities was to eliminate Arab landmarks and obliterate the Arab identity of the Golan, as a result of which anyone who visits the Golan today is able to identify the locations of the former Arab villages only from their ruins.”

    The Israeli occupation of Syrian territory is illegal. In international law, acquisition of territory by military conquest is illegal.
    From the second half of the eighteenth century onwards, it has been recognized among the principles of international law that land gained by military force is illegally gained in violation of both the Hague Regulations (1907) and UN Charter (1945). Both included the basic legal principle that it is illegal to acquire territory by force.

    Furthermore Israeli settlements built on occupied territory are illegal, a violation of Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention.

    Article 49 prohibits any and all population transfers from the occupying power to occupied territory. Violations of the Conference are prosecutable as war crimes before the ICC.

    The UN International Court of Justice has ruled that Israeli provision of infrastructure, land, funding, schools, synagogues, water, electricity, roads, etc., constitutes transfer of civilian population to occupied territory, and thus “the settlements violate international law and are illegal,” as did: Amnesty International, the Human Rights Watch, and the European Union. The Conference of the Convention of the High Contracting Parties of the Geneva Convention declared in 2001 the Israeli settlements on the West Bank are illegal. And so did every US administration since that of Lyndon Johnson.

    The legal counsel of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Theodor Meron, was the Israeli government’s expert on international law. On September 16, 1967 Meron wrote a top secret memo to Mr. Adi Yafeh, Political Secretary of the Prime Minister regarding “Settlement in the Administered Territories” which said “My conclusion is that *civilian settlement in the Administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

    The Israeli claim that Syria represents a military threat to Israel is absurd. Syria has been wracked by civil war for 8 years, and the last thing on any Syrians mind is to attack Israel.

    With an iota of good will and peaceful intentions, Israel could mark the Golan Heights as a demilitarized zone with Syrian blessings in about 10 minutes.

    I think you should be ashamed of yourself.

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