Pompeo’s Golan Heights Nonsense

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Pompeo’s Golan Heights Nonsense

Mike Pompeo and David Friedman want to insult your intelligence with their sad excuse for an argument in support of recognizing Israel’s illegal annexation of the Golan Heights:

President Trump’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights was met with condemnation from the European Union and others. Leaders called the move “invalid,” “illegitimate” and “absolutely worthless.” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called Israel’s 1981 annexation of the Golan “null and void and without international legal effect.” These assertions are baseless.

Virtually every nation cited U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, which outlined a framework for achieving peace in the Middle East. The preamble speaks of “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war.” Yet President Trump’s Golan proclamation is entirely consistent with Resolution 242.

The preamble of UNSCR 242 refers to the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war,” which was an acknowledgment of a principle already enshrined in the U.N. Charter. The “baseless” assertions that Pompeo and Friedman dismiss are quite well-founded. The lie that this resolution in any way supports what the Trump administration did falls apart as soon as they make it. According to that resolution, Israel is obliged to withdraw from the territories it occupied in the 1967 war. Laying permanent claim to any of those territories is a violation of the resolution. The resolution also calls for the “termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.” Annexing internationally recognized Syrian territory is a rejection of Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity. U.S. recognition of that annexation is likewise a repudiation of the same things and the position that the U.S. has held for more than fifty years. UNSCR 242 cannot provide any support for an illegal annexation that took place years later, and the annexation violates the principles on which that resolution was based. Pompeo and Friedman are making a remarkably pathetic argument in support of a very bad decision.

Pompeo and Friedman’s claims are easily refuted. Scott Anderson shows us how it is done:

The U.S. government is openly mocking and flouting long-standing U.N. resolutions and international law for no better reason than because it is what the Israeli government wants. Pompeo and Friedman’s op-ed is a bad joke, but unfortunately it reflects the Trump administration’s determination to trash U.S. interests and international law in exchange for nothing.

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