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Yesterday, the President signed a proclamation recognizing the Golan Heights as part of the State of Israel. (Here is the declaration, if you’re interested.)
No, I’m not getting tired of the winning!
The Golan Heights is a region of about 500 square miles, in the extreme northeast of Israel. Israel seized the territory from Syria in the Six-Day War of 1967. Israel effectively annexed the territory, under its internal law, in 1981, but this has not been recognized internationally and was declared “null and void and without international legal effect” by a UN Security Council resolution later in 1981.
This is plainly within the President’s power. In 2015, the Supreme Court held that: “The President’s exclusive recognition power encompasses the authority to acknowledge, in a formal sense, the legitimacy of other states and governments, including their territorial bounds.” Zivotofsky v. Kerry (here, p. 13).
Ironically, the Zivotofsky case upheld the authority of the Obama administration to refuse to comply with an Act of Congress requiring that the place of birth on a US passport be listed as “Jerusalem, Israel” (for a person born there, obviously). The Obama administration wanted to list the place of birth as simply “Jerusalem” — no Israel. It was this case that settled the question of President Trump’s authority to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel previously, and to recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel yesterday.