By Ariel Kahana, Israel Hayom

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman believes that the Golan Heights will remain under Israeli sovereignty, and certainly won’t be placed back in the hands of Syria’s current leader, President Bashar Assad.

In an exclusive interview with Israel Hayom, which will be published in full on Friday, Friedman says that “I can’t imagine a circumstance where the Golan Heights will be returned to Syria. I cannot imagine, frankly, a circumstance where the Golan Heights is not a part of Israel forever. There’s not even an indigenous population in the Golan Heights seeking autonomy.”

“So I think you’d put Israel at a great security disadvantage by giving up the high ground of the Golan Heights,” he continued. “Needless to say, I can’t think of a less deserving person to receive this kind of reward than Bashar Assad. So there are a whole host of reasons why I would expect the status quo to remain.”

Friedman stressed that the Trump administration may consider official recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory in the future.

Two weeks ago, during a visit to Israel, National Security Advisor John Bolton remarked that the Trump administration is not discussing possible U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Responding to this remark, Friedman said that “it is certainly possible” that the United States would recognize Israeli sovereignty, explaining that Bolton’s remark “was simply a statement of fact. It’s simply not on the list of things that are happening right now.” Continue Reading…