Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosted a “great friend of Israel” — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham — on the Golan Heights where the South Carolina Republican vowed to get official American recognition of the area “as part of the State of Israel, now and forever.”
“For decades, this was one of the more peaceful parts of the border that Israel has to police. Not so much now,” Graham stated in a visit to the strategic plateau on Monday. “I have a simple message – I’ll return to the Senate in the United States and work with Sen. (Ted) Cruz to start a move to recognize the Golan as part of the State of Israel now and forever.”
We reported last week that the U.S. Senate is considering a bill to recognize Israeli sovereignty of the Golan. After touring the site with the prime minister, Graham emphasized its importance.
“Israel took control of this territory in a war for its existence,” he said. “This area was taken by military force because it served as a launching pad (for Syria) to attack the State of Israel.” Syria used the Golan Heights from 1948 – 1967 to rain down terror on Jewish villages in the Galilee. However, Israel put an end to that in Six Day War, fighting a heroic and literal uphill battle to take the mountainous region.
Graham also toured the Israel-Gaza border area with U.S. Ambassador David Friedman and inspected one of the recently exposed terror tunnels dug by Hamas. He posted a photo on Twitter: “The tunnels have been used by groups like Hamas to smuggle weapons and terrorize Israeli citizens.”
Friedman noted in a tweet: “Cost of tunnel = cost of 2 new schools = cost of 30 new homes. #Hamas consistently makes the wrong choices for the people of #Gaza. Heartbreaking.”
With @LindseyGrahamSC today touring a Gaza terror tunnel. Cost of tunnel = cost of 2 new schools = cost of 30 new homes. #Hamas consistently makes the wrong choices for the people of #Gaza. Heartbreaking. pic.twitter.com/ddcrLOrP9y— David M. Friedman (@USAmbIsrael) March 10, 2019
Netanyahu addressed recent flare ups along the southern border with Gaza and the assumption by Palestinians that Israel won’t respond to rocket fire with a widespread military operation because of upcoming elections.
“My suggestion to Hamas: don’t build on that. We will do whatever is necessary to return quiet and security to the Gaza border communities and to the South,” he said.