Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told President Trump on Monday that “Israel has never had a better friend than you,” as Trump formally recognized Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights.
“Mr. President, over the years Israel has been blessed to have many friends who have sat in the Oval Office. But Israel has never had a better friend than you. You have showed this time and again,” Netanyahu said.
The Israeli leader cited Trump’s withdrawal from former President Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal and his decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Netanyahu, thanking Trump, said of the formerly Syrian Golan Heights: “We hold the high ground and we shall never give it up.”
Trump’s affirmation of Israeli ownership follows a half-century of physical occupation by Israel. Before it was captured in the 1967 Six Day War, the territory was a strategic high ground for attacks on low-lying Jewish towns along the Sea of Galilee.