When President Trump made the declaration that he will be moving all troops out of Syria in the near future, it caused quite a ruckus. Many people thought that this was perhaps a move that was not coordinated with the Netanyahu administration, and that it would cause somewhat of a rift. Secretary of State Pompeo rushed to calm the waters, as did Prime Minister Netanyahu.
It’s Time to Build on the Close Relationship
Now it has become clear that many people overreacted. The relationship between the United States and Israel is at one of it’s highest points ever. Any major move with major geopolitical ramifications will either be coordinated between the two countries or quietly backtracked at a later date. This is not a time to be overly concerned about the fragility of the relationship. It’s a time for both sides to take advantage of the closeness.
The time is actually ripe for two major moves by the Israeli leadership. It is time to annex the Golan once and for all, and end any discussion about it’s future status. Even though their are historical reasons for this, it should be couched as a purely defense-based decision. Without the Golan Heights, nearly all of Israel’s north is under direct threat from an enemy that is completely unstable and dangerous. The Syrian Civil War should have proven to everyone that Israel cannot play games on their North-eastern border.
The other move is to build across the Land of Israel. Israel must establish for all to understand that the heartland of Israel – Judea and Samaria – with a population that nears 500,000 people outside of the main city centers is a fact that will never change. Israel must build massively in these areas in order to reach 1,000,000 people there in order to alleviate housing shortages across the rest of the country, and create a safety net on all of the highlands so close to Israel’s major population centers. There has never been a United States President who both supports Israel in a major way and cares less about details than President Trump. That makes the timing perfect for a major push. Prime Minister Netanyahu understands this. He should act on these two fronts.