Cruz: ‘America Stands With You’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised on Sunday that the Golan Heights territory in northern Israel would “forever remain in Israeli hands,” prompting an immediate endorsement from Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz, according to comments offered to the Free Beacon.
Netanyahu on Sunday held an honorary meeting of his cabinet in the Golan Heights, contested territory that Israel annexed from Syria in 1981.
During a speech at the site on Sunday, he said that Israel would never relinquish its right to the territory in the face of an encroaching threat from Islamic State terrorists and other forces as Syria continues to struggle with a sectarian war that has attracted jihadis.
The message was quickly endorsed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), who told the Free Beacon on Sunday afternoon that Israel’s security remains of paramount concern.
“I chose to have this festive Cabinet meeting on the Golan Heights to send a clear message: The Golan Heights will forever remain in Israeli hands,” Netanyahu was quoted as telling reporters. “It’s time, after 50 years, that the international community finally recognizes that the Golan will forever remain under Israeli sovereignty.”
Netanyahu said he had told Secretary of State John Kerry in a recent phone call that the Golan Heights is not on the table for discussion.
Israel “will not oppose a diplomatic settlement in Syria, on condition that it not come at the expense of the security of the State of Israel,” Netanyhau said, referring to threats from Iran, Lebanese Hezbollah, and ISIS.
Cruz fully backed Netanyahu’s declaration on Sunday, telling the Free Beacon that the international community must stop pressuring Israel to return the territory.
“Today, the government of Israel reiterated the reality that the Golan Heights are part of Israel’s sovereign territory,” Cruz said. “Given the presence of hostile terrorist organizations ranging from ISIS to Hezbollah on Israel’s northern border, it is foolhardy and dangerous for elements in the international community to try to pressure Israel to abandon the Golan to the chaos engulfing Syria.”
The path to peace cannot involve Israel’s abdication of its own security,” Cruz said. “I applaud Prime Minister Netanyahu’s courage in standing up for the safety of his people. America stands with you.”
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