Syria’s UN ambassador has suggested the US hand “a couple” of its own states over to Israel instead of flouting international law and selling others’ land for favors with the Israeli lobby, like it did with the Golan Heights.
Syria’s UN Ambassador Bashar Jaafari offered a stark rebuke to the US-backed Israeli claim to the occupied Golan Heights at the UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday. Jaafari said the Trump administration does the bidding of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the UN to curry favor with the powerful Israeli lobby in the US.
In a remark that elicited a chuckle and a head-shake from his Israeli counterpart, Jaafari suggested that Washington bargain away land that is actually its to give.
You can give them North and South Carolina, for example, why not? South Carolina is a great piece of land… So, give Israel a couple of states if this administration really wants to have Israeli support
Trump’s decision to back the Israeli claim to the Golan Heights comes just ahead of the Israeli general elections on April 6 and has been widely considered as an electoral boost for Netanyahu, who is facing charges of fraud, bribery and breach of trust at home.
“Don’t be misguided by thinking that one day this land will be yours due to hypocrisy or due to being a pawn in the electoral game where you bring each other support, so the Israelis can succeed in their elections and the Americans can also get support from Israeli lobbying groups in the US,” Jaafari said. The Golan Heights, seized by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day war and formally annexed in 1981, will ultimately “come back” to Syria, the diplomat said.
The Security Council meeting was called at Syria’s request. Damascus insists that the recognition of the Golan Heights belonging to Israel runs counter to UN resolutions that expressly declare the annexation “null and void.”
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Washington’s adversaries and allies alike have lined up to condemn the breach of international law. The Arab League, Turkey, Iran and Russia spoke up against the recognition. Russia’s Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said it was a “highway to war.” At a UNSC meeting on Wednesday, Russian Deputy Envoy to the UN Vladimir Safronkov said that by siding with Israel, Washington hampers the efforts to improve the security situation in the Golan Heights and ease tensions between the Arab world and the Jewish State itself.
“This not only exacerbates the situation in Syria and complicates the establishment of political process but it also creates serious obstacles to normalizing the relations between Israel and the Arab States,” he said, adding that the US followed through with its decision while turning a blind eye to “the opinion and warnings at both international and regional levels.”