By saying it was in favour of the recognition of the sovereignty of Israel on the Golan heights, Donald Trump breaks again with the international consensus, to the risk to justify the expansionism of other countries, according to experts.
Israel has conquered a large part of the Golan during the Six Day war in 1967 and annexed in 1981, but the international community has never recognized this annexation. On Thursday, the us president has tweeted that “52 years after”, it was “time” for the United States to recognize it.
The international law “it is prohibited to increase his territory by war”, recalled Friday, a former diplomat, Richard Haas, president of the think-tank Council on foreign relations (CFR).
“This is one of the most fundamental principles of the international order, and it is this which has served as the basis for american opposition to the conquest of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein and of the Crimea by Putin”, he added.
He was referring to the Gulf war, which was itself eliminated the former iraqi dictator out of Kuwait in 1991 and the annexation of the Ukrainian region of Crimea by the Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2014.
This is not the first time Mr. Trump sweeps of the hand the international conventions in order to provide its support to israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today faces a re-election uncertain: in December 2017, he had recognized the unilaterally east Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
– “Law of the jungle” –
But this time, Washington goes a step further, said the former head of the Swedish diplomat Carl Bildt. “It is again the law of the jungle”, he tweeted. “The Kremlin will applaud and apply the same principle to the Crimea, Beijing will applaud and apply the same principle to the south China sea”.
The Europeans and the arab countries are in fact concerned about the plans announced by Mr. Trump, who has not yet been formalized.
France immediately felt that the recognition of that annexation would be “contrary to international law”, recalling that “this situation has been recognized as null and void, by several resolutions of the security Council of the united Nations.
Syria dismissed on Friday as “a flagrant violation of international law”, swearing that “the Golan is and will remain arab and syrian”.
In New York, the ambassador of Syria to the UN, Bashar Ja ‘ afari said that the regime in Damascus would not hesitate to use force to recover the Golan heights. “This is our territory, and we récupèrerons sooner or later”, he said.
The Turkish president has ruled that the region was on the brink of a “new crisis”. “We will not allow ever the legitimization of the occupation of the Golan heights”, said Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who, although hostile to syrian president Bashar al-Assad, continues to say his attachment to the territorial integrity of Syria, fearing the emergence of an entity in kurdish in the border areas of Turkey.
For Ilan Goldenberg of the Center for a new american security, the decision of Mr. Trump on the Golan heights “will have a bitter taste: it weakens the security of Israel and affects the interests of the United States in the Middle East and beyond, while giving a kick in an anthill that had really no need”.
“If Washington ceases to comply with the principles of the international (…) it must be expected that other States lay claim to territories of their neighbours,” added the expert, raising the possibility that saudi Arabia invades Qatar.
For Steven Cook, an expert on the middle East at the CFR, Donald Trump would have done better to refrain: the status quo is met throughout the world, including Syria, then that officially recognize the annexation of the Golan “will create opposition where there had previously of acceptance”.
“Israel is on the Golan heights for its own reasons, and nothing that the administration Trump will decide won’t change anything,” he concludes.