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GOLAN STATUS

U.S. ambassador to Lebanon acknowledged Israeli sovereignty over Golan 

‘The Golan Heights, including Shebaa Farms, remains critically important to Israel’s security,’ Lisa A. Johnson said

Marwan Naamani/picture alliance via Getty Images

A view of the disputed area of Shebaa farms, a small strip of land at the intersection of the Lebanese-Syrian border and the Golan Heights.

U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Lisa Johnson affirmed during her confirmation proceedings last month that the Biden administration recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and its importance for Israeli security.

The administration has been reluctant to publicly and firmly state that it stands behind the Trump administration’s decision in 2019 to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, stating when questioned publicly that there had been no change in U.S. policy, without clearly specifying what that policy entails.

“The Trump administration recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights in a March 25, 2019 Proclamation,” Johnson said in written responses to questions submitted by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) prior to her confirmation. “The Biden Administration has not changed that policy.”

In the written response, which was obtained by Jewish Insider, Johnson went on to quote from a 2021 response by Secretary of State Tony Blinken highlighting the Golan’s importance to Israeli security, describing Blinken’s comments as “all the more true following Hamas’ horrific October 7 terrorist attacks and subsequent Hizballah and other terrorist operations targeting Israel.”

“Israel must protect itself from Hizballah and other terrorist and regional threats,” Johnson continued. “In this regard, the Golan Heights, including Shebaa Farms, remains critically important to Israel’s security.”

Cruz’s questions had referenced the U.S.’ vote in favor of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2695, which included language describing “the occupied Shab’a Farms,” referring to a territory inside the Golan Heights between Lebanon and Syria.

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