Senator Lindsay Graham met Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Monday morning, praising the relationship between their two countries.
Graham, a fervent supporter of Israel, visited the prime minister’s residence along with the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, and the three men also visited the Golan Heights the same day. The South Carolina Republican urged his country to recognize Israeli sovereignty in Golan Heights, a narrow strip of mountainous territory occupied by Israel.
There, Graham said Israel was “a strategic partner” to the United States, as well as the best ally the U.S. “could possibly ever have in a troubled region.”
“I cannot tell you how much intelligence is given to the United States from our friends in Israel that protects the American homeland,” he said while standing alongside Netanyahu.
Graham added that he would work with Senator Ted Cruz to have the Golan Heights recognized as part of Israel, as giving up that territory “would be a strategic nightmare for the State of Israel.” The narrow strip of territory is located on the border with Syria and allows for observing and monitoring southern Syria, CNN informs.
Netanyahu as well called on the international community to do the same, saying “I think it’s very important that the international community recognize this fact and accept it, and most especially, our great friend the United States.”
No country has so far recognized the territory, which Israel captured and annexed from Syria, as Israeli, while the international community considers the settlements there a violation of international law. If the current U.S. administration recognizes the Golan as part of Israel, it would be a clear sign of the United States’ pro-Israel sentiments and its campaigning for Netanyahu, who is fighting to secure a fifth term amid indictments of bribery.
Graham’s visit comes shortly after a fierce debate over comments made by freshman Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar related to Israel and a resolution condemning anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim discrimination.