Syrian envoy to the United Nations Bashar al-Jaafari has suggested that the United States offer Israel two of its own states – which Washington actually had jurisdiction over – rather than the occupied Golan Heights.
Jaafari made the remarks at a Security Council session organized Thursday at his country’s request in the wake of President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize “Israeli sovereignty” over the Syrian territories of Golan Heights.
He called the decision “null and void” and warned of “a serious and unprecedented delinquency in the current US administration toward undermining international law and insulting the United Nations.”
“The Syrian Arab Golan is ours and will return to us,” Jaafari said, arguing the occupied land would not “be part of some damned and wicked deal, or a pawn to be exchanged for support in your electoral games,” which should instead concern “the territory of the American administration.”
“America is a wide and vast country, so why doesn’t it give up a state or two of the United States to the Israelis, for example, North Carolina or South Carolina?” Jaafari asked, as his Israeli counterpart, Danny Danon, laughed and shook his head.
“South Carolina is nice, because it’s the land of Senator Lindsey Graham, who supported President Trump in his actions.”
Trump’s decision came two weeks after Graham visited the Golan Heights and called on the US to recognize it as part of Israel.
The president first hinted at the landmark policy decision in a tweet last Thursday as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Israel to shore up ties with the White House’s closest ally.
On Monday, Trump made it official during a visit from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The move was widely condemned by world powers, many of whom cited UN resolutions that still consider the Golan Heights part of Syria after it was seized by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed without international recognition in 1981.