Former U.N. Ambassador Bolton: Obama is “the Most Anti-Israel President in the History of the State, Without Any Question”
July 14, 2011


Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, American Enterprise Institute Fellow and possible Republican presidential aspirant, John Bolton, has said during a visit to Israel that Barack Obama is “the most anti-Israel president in the history of the State, without any question.” In an interview with the Jerusalem Post, Mr. Bolton emphasized that the tensions that have beset the U.S./Israel relationship are not the result of misunderstanding, saying, “If you think that this is just a misunderstanding of where the green crayon went in 1949, then think again.” Mr. Bolton said that President Obama bought in to what he said was the “European line,” namely, that if you make progress between Israel and the Palestinians “sweetness and light” will break out in the region, and every other problem from Iran to terrorism will be easier to solve. “I think that is like looking through the wrong end of the telescope.”


Mr. Bolton also criticized President Obama’s policy towards Iran, saying that he believed the Obama administration’s “real Plan B for the Iranian nuclear weapons program is that it can be contained and deterred, much as we contained and deterred the Soviet Union in the Cold War. I think that is fundamentally wrong.” Mr. Bolton stated that in his view, the only way to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons was through military action and that “Diplomacy and sanctions are not going to work. The Obama administration certainly isn’t going to use force against the Iranian program, and Israel is obviously very reluctant to do it as well … If Israel is not prepared to strike, then get ready for an Iran with nuclear weapons, and you can draw your own conclusions. If you think Iran’s behavior is bad now, imagine what it will be if it gets nuclear capability. I think we are all sleepwalking past this … If I had been in charge of the Israeli government, I would have attacked in 2008 for several reasons. First, it was three years ago, so you are much more likely to have eliminated the key elements of Iran’s nuclear weapons program … [Secondly] in 2008 you had a president sympathetic to Israel – so you calculate the next time that is going to occur.”


Mr. Bolton also argued that the Palestinian Authority’s bid for recognition of Palestinian statehood at the U.N. should not – as it is in Israel and elsewhere – be getting more attention and energy than the Iranian nuclear threat. Israel’s proper response to the move, he said, is “not to pay any attention to it, and to care no more about it than the grass you tread beneath your feet … if you make the General Assembly into something more than what it is, than you are giving it authority and legitimacy it doesn’t have.” Mr. Bolton said that the only way to get this move stopped in the UN was for the U.S. Congress to pass legislation saying that if the move did go through, Washington would cut off funding to the international body, as the U.S. successfully threatened in 1989 when the UN was moving towards accepting the PLO as a full U.N. member (Herb Keinon, ‘Bolton: Obama worst president for Israel – ever,’ Jerusalem Post, July 13, 2011).


[Note: The full text of Mr. Bolton’s interview will appear in the Friday edition of the Jerusalem Post].


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “Mr. Bolton’s assessment of President Obama and his policy towards Israel is one with which we agree and which, indeed, we have long suspected to be true. In fact, immediately following President Obama’s June 2009 Cairo speech, we predicted in a press release that President Obama “may become most hostile president to Israel ever.” We also published an opinion piece in the Jerusalem Post in January 2009 and other publications regarding ‘Hillary Clinton’s troubling transformation on Israel,’ detailing several of the swings towards pro-Palestinian positions and ignoring of Palestinian incitement to hatred and murder under President Obama. Clearly, there is a range of issues relating to Israel in which President Obama’s policy is of deep concern to the pro-Israel community.”


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