In a pre-Rosh Hashanah interview with Israeli media, US Ambassador David Friedman said that it was now certain that the Golan Heights would remain forever in Israel’s hands.
In an interview with the daily newspaper Israel Hayom, Friedman noted that with the fracturing of Syria, he could “not imagine” any scenario where Israel now returns the Golan to the control of the Assad regime.
“I cannot honestly imagine a situation in which the Golan Heights is not part of Israel forever,” said Friedman.
“Giving up the high area of the Golan Heights may put Israel at great security disadvantage, and it is unnecessary to say that I cannot think of anyone more unworthy of receiving such a prize than [Syrian dictator Bashar] Assad,” he added.
While the State of Israel has officially been at war with neighboring Syria for the entirety of its 70-year modern existence, the Golan Heights has been its quietest border for more than 30 years, up until the sporadic cross-border incidents marking Syria’s ongoing civil war.
It is a strategic high ground that gives Israel an incredible military advantage over one of its most intractable enemies, which is why no Israeli government, be it Right- or Left-wing, has ever been willing to part with the area.
PHOTO: US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. (Hadas Parush / Flash90)