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.
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