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Trump Points Finger at Kushner and Friedman for Golan Annexation

Donald Trump has pointed the finger at son-in-law Jared Kushner and the United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman as the individuals responsible for his shock announcement that the United States would recognise Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights.

Speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas, Trump said that he made decision in an instant during a meeting with Middle East peace advisers that included Friedman and Kushner.

“I said, ‘Fellows, do me a favor. Give me a little history, quick. Want to go fast. I got a lot of things I’m working on: China, North Korea. Give me a quickie… ‘How do you like the idea of me recognizing exactly what we’re discussing?’”

Donald Trump

The move would be entirely in keeping with previous belief over how the Trump administration works, the President’s daughter Ivanka, wife of Kushner, being the one who “swayed” Trump toward bombing Syria in 2017. No formal process or any kind of committees were initiated to review the policy and American diplomats were said to be entirely in the dark over what they were expected to impliment.

“We weren’t prepared as a department. Usually there’s prep for a rollout and policy briefs on the consequences, but there was none of that.”

U.S. foreign policy source for the Tribune

The suggestion that American foreign policy and major international diplomatic moves can swing on a mere suggestion from members of Trump’s own family will further alarm diplomats and foreign policy experts both domestically and around the globe who are increasingly seeing the Trump foreign policy agenda as erratic, if not worse. The attempt by the United States to overthrow Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela, ongoing personal support for the war in Yemen from Donald Trump and the ramping up of tensions with both Russia and China have left the Americans open to accusations of being a rogue state.

The signing of the decree recognising Israeli sovereignty over Golan was widely condemned around the globe, with world leaders being quick to distance themselves from the new American position. The European Union, United Kingdom, Iran, Turkey, Lebanon and Russia were amongst the states and entities rejecting the decree.

“This is a criminal project or plan for which the US government and its allies have used all tools at their disposal… From the first day of this terrorist war led by governments of certain known countries, we said that the main goal of this war was to ensure Israeli occupation of Arab territories and to ensure that the occupation can go on forever on the basis of the plan put forward by the United States, [this] shows just how correct we were at the time.”

Bashar Jaafari, Syrian Ambassador to the UN

Israel’s 1981 extension of Israeli law and administration throughout the Golan Heights was condemned by the United Nations at the time under Resolution 497 which stated unequivocally that “the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction, and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect.”

The international legal position is further supported by Resolution 242 of 1967, adopted following the Six-Days War, the resolution emphasising the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war,” a reaffirmation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.



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