Reps. Nadler and Maloney signal support for Golan recognition

“The only thing the Golan has ever been used for by the Syrians is to bombard Israel,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) told Jewish Insider this morning following a press conference in New York. “They can’t have that again. It’s unsafe,” said the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee when asked if he supports U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a swath of contested territory in the Levant.

Also responding to an inquiry from JI, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) said that “if our leadership supports it, I don’t see what the problem is.” She continued: “So I will be supporting it, but only if it goes through the [House Foreign Affairs Committee] and is supported by the committee.”

In recent weeks Democratic members of Congress, including leadership, have looked toward such a move as the United States reduces its military presence in Syria.

On January 8, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) told JI that he supports U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. “Yes, I support it.” He went on:

“I think that Golan Heights is part of Israel and should remain part of Israel for strategic purposes. I also think that because of the situation it would be good for the United States, too. Whoever may take over Syria may try to recapture the Golan Heights.”

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told JI through a spokesperson that he believes that “Israel should maintain control of the Golan Heights.”

On January 18, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), in a letter obtained by JI, explained his support for recognizing Israeli control over the Golan:

“Given the state of present-day Syria and its foreseeable future, requiring Israel to cede control over this area would pose an unacceptable risk to our ally’s existence. The United States must make clear that we are committed to rolling back Iran’s presence in Syria and consider a range of measures, including recognition of the Golan, to protect our ally Israel from serious threats on its borders.”

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