Trending Topics:

In first, official US government map depicts Golan Heights as Israeli territory

on 7 Comments

One month after recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, the Trump administration released on Tuesday the first official US government map depicting the occupied Syrian territory as part of Israel.

Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt posted a photo of the map on Twitter on Tuesday, welcoming the new addition.

“Welcome to the newest addition of our international maps system after @POTUS issued a proclamation recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” Greenblatt wrote.

Despite the State Department failing to also refer to the occupied West Bank and Gaza as occupied territories in its annual human rights report last month, the new map still depicts the West Bank as a separate territory.

The Golan Heights, West Bank, and East Jerusalem were captured by Israel in the 1967 war. Jerusalem was illegally annexed by Israel in 1980, and a year later Israel extended its “laws, jurisdiction and administration” into the Golan Heights, essentially annexing it as well in a move that today remains unrecognized by the international community.

Historically, world leaders, including former US presidents, have refrained from recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over those territories, and maintains that the continued settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is illegal.

But last month, as he did with Jerusalem, Trump completely changed the American discourse surrounding the territories, and broke with decades of US foreign policy in the region.

He justified his decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights by claiming that it was of “critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and regional stability.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu celebrated Trump’s recognition as a “diplomatic victory,” saying Israel “won the Golan Heights in a just war of defense.”

Palestinian officials condemned the move at the time, accusing the US administration of “whitewashing the Israeli occupation.”

The publication of the new map comes amid growing media speculation surrounding Trump’s elusive “deal of the century,” specifically the future of the more than 190 illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Leading up to his reelection, Netanyahu utilized his political “win” with the Golan Heights recognition and vowed to  “to extend Israeli sovereignty” to the occupied West Bank during his new term as PM, saying “I don’t distinguish between settlement blocs and the isolated settlements.”

When asked last week about Netanyahu’s promises not to evacuate “a single person” from the settlements, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that he didn’t believe the premier’s rhetoric would hurt the Trump administration’s peace plan.

With talks of partial of even full Israeli annexation of the West Bank seemingly on the table, the map could signal an impending US decision regarding the status of the settlements in the territory, and as a result, what a future Palestinian state might look like under Trump’s vision.

Yumna Patel

Yumna Patel is the Palestine correspondent for Mondoweiss.

Other posts by .

Posted In:

7 Responses

  1. Citizen on April 17, 2019, 5:41 pm

    The Nazis use to post revised maps of Greater Germany every time they occupied a country.

  2. Misterioso on April 18, 2019, 8:58 am


    “The Nazis used to post maps of Greater Germany every time they occupied a country.”

    And we all know what happened to “Greater Germany” and the Nazis.

  3. Misterioso on April 18, 2019, 9:01 am

    For the record:

    The Guardian, April 15/19
    “Europe must stand by the two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.”

    “High-ranking former European politicians urge the EU to reject any US Middle East peace plan unless it is fair to Palestinians.”

    “We are reaching out at a critical point in time in the Middle East, as well as in Europe. The EU is heavily invested in the multilateral, rules-based international order. International law has brought us the longest period of peace, prosperity and stability our continent has ever enjoyed. For decades, we have worked to see our Israeli and Palestinian neighbours enjoy the peace dividends that we Europeans have through our commitment to that order.

    “In partnership with previous US administrations, Europe has promoted a just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the context of a two-state solution. To this date, despite subsequent setbacks, the Oslo agreement is still a milestone of transatlantic foreign policy cooperation.

    “Unfortunately, the current US administration has departed from longstanding US policy and distanced itself from established international legal norms. It has so far recognised only one side’s claims to Jerusalem and demonstrated a disturbing indifference to Israeli settlement expansion. The US has suspended funding for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) and for other programmes benefitting Palestinians – gambling with the security and stability of various countries located at Europe’s doorstep.

    “Against this unfortunate absence of a clear-cut commitment to the vision of two states, the Trump administration has declared itself close to finalising and presenting a new plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Despite uncertainty as to if and when the plan will be released, it is crucial for Europe to be vigilant and act strategically.

    “We believe that Europe should embrace and promote a plan that respects the basic principles of international law as reflected in the agreed EU parameters for a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These parameters, which the EU has systematically reaffirmed during past US-sponsored talks, reflect our shared understanding that a viable peace requires the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel on borders based on the pre-1967 lines with mutually agreed, minimal and equal land swaps; with Jerusalem as the capital for both states; with security arrangements that address legitimate concerns and respect the sovereignty of each side and with an agreed, fair solution to the question of Palestine refugees.

    “Europe, by contrast, should reject any plan that does not meet this standard. While sharing Washington’s frustrations about the unsuccessful peace efforts of the past, we are convinced that a plan that reduces Palestinian statehood to an entity devoid of sovereignty, territorial contiguity and economic viability would severely compound the failure of previous peace-making efforts, accelerate the demise of the two-state option and fatally damage the cause of a durable peace for Palestinians and Israelis alike.

    “It is, of course, preferable for Europe to be working in tandem with the US to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as to address other global issues in a strong, transatlantic alliance. However, in situations in which our vital interests and fundamental values are at stake, Europe must pursue its own course of action.

    “In anticipation of this US plan, we believe Europe should formally reaffirm the internationally agreed parameters for a two-state solution. Doing this in advance of the US plan establishes the EU’s criteria for supporting American efforts and facilitates a coherent and unified European response once the plan is published.

    “European governments should further commit to scale up efforts to protect the viability of a future two-state outcome. It is of the utmost importance that the EU and all member states actively ensure the implementation of relevant UN security council resolutions – including consistent differentiation in accordance with UN security council resolution 2334, between Israel in its recognised and legitimate borders, and its illegal settlements in the occupied territories.

    “Furthermore, recent escalating efforts to restrict the unhindered work of civil society have made European support for human-rights defenders in both Israel and Palestine, and their critical role in reaching a sustainable peace, more important than ever.

    “Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories are sliding into a one-state reality of unequal rights. This cannot continue. For the Israelis, for the Palestinians or for us in Europe.

    “Right now, Europe is facing a defining opportunity to reinforce our shared principles and long-held commitments in relation to the Middle East peace process and thereby manifest Europe’s unique role as a point of reference for a rules-based global order.

    “Failing to seize this opportunity, at a point in time when this order is unprecedentedly challenged, would have far-reaching negative consequences.”

    Douglas Alexander Former minister of state for Europe, United Kingdom
    Jean-Marc Ayrault Former foreign minister and prime minister, France
    Carl Bildt Former foreign minister and prime minister, Sweden
    Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz Former foreign minister and prime minister, Poland
    Dacian Cioloș Former prime minister and European commissioner, Romania
    Willy Claes Former foreign minister and Nato secretary general, Belgium
    Massimo d’Alema Former foreign minister and prime minister, Italy
    Karel De Gucht Former foreign minister and European commissioner, Belgium
    Uffe Ellemann-Jensen Former foreign minister and president of the European Liberals, Denmark
    Benita Ferrero-Waldner Former foreign minister and European commissioner for external relations, Austria
    Franco Frattini Former foreign minister and European commissioner, Italy
    Sigmar Gabriel Former foreign minister and vice-chancellor, Germany
    Lena Hjelm-Wallén Former foreign minister and deputy prime minister, Sweden
    Eduard Kukan Former foreign minister, Slovakia
    Martin Lidegaard Former foreign minister, Denmark
    Mogens Lykketoft Former foreign minister and UN general assembly president, Denmark
    Louis Michel Former foreign minister and European commissioner, Belgium
    David Miliband Former foreign secretary, United Kingdom
    Holger K Nielsen Former foreign minister, Denmark
    Marc Otte Former EU special representative to the Middle East peace process, Belgium
    Ana Palacio Former foreign minister, Spain
    Jacques Poos Former foreign minister, Luxembourg
    Vesna Pusić Former foreign minister and deputy prime minister, Croatia
    Mary Robinson Former president and United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Ireland
    Robert Serry Former UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, the Netherlands
    Javier Solana Former foreign minister, Nato secretary general and EU high representative for common foreign and security policy, Spain
    Per Stig Møller Former foreign minister, Denmark
    Michael Spindelegger Former foreign minister and vice-chancellor, Austria
    Jack Straw Former foreign secretary, United Kingdom
    Desmond Swayne Former minister of state for international development, United Kingdom
    Erkki Tuomioja Former foreign minister, Finland
    Ivo Vajgl Former foreign minister, Slovenia
    Frank Vandenbroucke Former foreign minister, Belgium
    Jozias van Aartsen Former foreign minister, the Netherlands
    Hubert Védrine Former foreign minister, France
    Guy Verhofstadt Former prime minister, Belgium
    Lubomír Zaorálek Former foreign minister, Czech Republic

    • echinococcus on April 18, 2019, 11:56 am

      Not impressed at all by your list. They only sign that after they have become “Former”, i.e. totally worthless.

  4. James Canning on April 18, 2019, 11:05 am

    The arrogant sh*t in the White House apparently thinks he can change international borders. Grotesque!

    • echinococcus on April 18, 2019, 11:54 am


      The US has been changing international borders as a matter of routine for the last 150+ years. All the arrogant shits have done that, one after the other. How’s that news?

  5. eljay on April 18, 2019, 12:42 pm

    I’m shocked that this new map appears anti-Semitically (and “Jew hatred-ly”, of course) to restrict Israel’s size to less than “Greater”.

Leave a Reply