Instead of defending President Trump’s bold decision to recognize the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, The Jewish Week (“Is West Bank Annexation Next?” Editorial, March 29) chose to lambaste it as “an unnecessary provocation of the Arab world.” Why the negative spin? Is it because the decision originated from this president? Israel was continually provoked by shelling and sniper fire from the Golan Heights until the territory was captured in the 1967 war. For decades thereafter Syria and its allies continued to seek Israel’s destruction for the sole reason that it existed. That is all the “provocation” the Arab world needed.
The editorial further stated that Trump’s move “made clear he is willing to break international precedent in recognizing a state’s right to claim land based on conquest.” Yes, but that applies only to the conquest of land by an agressor. Israel was not the aggressor in Syria in 1967. The Golan Heights was captured when Israel repelled an invasion by the Syrian army. Too bad the editorial did not mention that fact.
Fresh Meadows, Queens
Editor’s Note: For the sake of context, please note that the editorial said “no reasonable person would expect Israel to cede the Golan to a Syria that is in chaos,” but that U.S. recognition “at this point” was a provocation of the Arabs, given the White House plan to release its Mideast peace plan in the coming days.