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September 25, 2016 12:23 pm

Ambassador John Bolton: Netanyahu’s Behavior, Strategy ‘Sensible’ in Face of US Abandonment

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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John Bolton. Photo: Raymond Hamlin. Courtesy/Gatestone.

John Bolton. Photo: Raymond Hamlin. Courtesy/Gatestone.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is doing what is sensible, from the perspective of a leader of a country whose principle ally, America, appears to be abandoning it, a former United States ambassador to the United Nations told The Algemeiner on Thursday.

John Bolton, who — during his tenure at the UN from August 2005 until December 2006 — was responsible for having General Assembly Resolution 3379 (more commonly known as “Zionism is racism”) rescinded, was responding to a query about Netanyahu’s recent visits to Moscow, rapprochement agreement with Turkey and bolstering of ties with African nations and with those Arab countries concerned about Iran’s ability to acquire nuclear weapons.

“Now, I understand that the US has just signed this ‘wonderful’ Memorandum of Understanding with Israel, which the administration in Washington correctly says represents the largest military-aid package over time in its history. But it’s inadequate and everybody knows it,” said Bolton, during an event held by the Gatestone Institute — a New York-based think tank that specializes in strategy and defense — on the day that Netanyahu addressed the 71st session of the UN General Assembly.

Bolton, who serves as Gatestone’s chairman, added that, during a recent visit to Israel, he told Netanyahu that he was right to sign the MoU, and that “if the election has the right outcome, he should re-open it – something that would be met with great receptivity. The greater risk would have been not signing an agreement, and getting an administration after the presidential elections that gave an even worse deal.”

Bolton continued:

It’s understandable, although unhappy, that Netanyahu is trying to make accommodations with the likes of Turkey and Russia. But if he can’t count on the United States – and he certainly can’t count on Western Europe – he has to do what he can to mitigate the potential threats from them and their friends around the region.

We know that Russia has enormous influence with the Assad regime in Syria, which wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for Russia and Iran, and influence, obviously, with Iran itself.

Where Egypt is concerned, and Netanyahu’s increasingly strengthening ties with President el-Sisi, I think Netanyahu is ahead of the United States, because we ought to be finding ways to have a better relationship with that government. We’ve succeeded in the past six years, since the beginning of the Arab Spring, in alienating every significant faction of political Egypt: the military doesn’t trust us; the Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t trust us; what’s left of the more western, pro-liberal part of society doesn’t trust us…

The point, stressed Bolton, is that Netanyahu is left no recourse, due to US weakness.

“If you believed in American commitments, and if you believed we understood, as we once did, what was at stake in seemingly remote places, you wouldn’t need to do what Netanyahu has been doing – certainly not to the extent he has — or what our Arab friends, the oil-producing monarchies on the Arabian Peninsula, are doing by talking to China and Russia. They’re not moving out of the neighborhood; the neighborhood’s getting more dangerous for them, too. So they’re going to look after Number One from their perspective. And they’re worried about America’s long-term commitment.”

This, said Bolton, author, most recently, of the best-selling book, Surrender Is Not an Option, “creates a cycle of estrangement from the United States that feeds on itself. We hear politicians in America saying, ‘Our allies are ungrateful; they’re not pulling their weight.’ Well, it’s true about a lot of them. But that doesn’t mean you abandon your allies. It means you get your house in order and get back to doing basic alliance-management, which we haven’t done in the past eight years.”

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  • YJ Draiman

    Barack Obama’s relations with Israel and other Nations
    Obama has no respect from many of the International community. Obama has no credibility, he has the least experience in real politics, he is the worst president the U.S. has ever had. Obama has alienated many nations and has caused foreign policy damage that is costing the American taxpayer trillions. Obama has abused his executive powers and should be prosecuted for his violations. Obama is ignoring the true sovereignty of the Jewish people in Israel and the various treaties and international agreements entered into after WWI. Obama’s blatant disrespect of Netanyahu and Israel’s International legitimate rights shows his naivety in International matters and foreign policy. Obama’s lack of etiquette is an outright embarrassment to the United States.
    Netanyahu is trying his best, but he will not compromise the security of Israel and that is the way a leader should perform. It is interesting to note, that Jordan is a country that never existed in history before WWI and nobody is contesting its legitimacy or its territorial sovereignty and control. The same powers that established 21 Arab States on over 12 million sq. km. after WWI, also re-established the State of Israel based on the Balfour Declaration. On the other hand, Israel and its Jewish people have over 3500 year history. Many Nations and people are questioning Israel’s control of its liberated territory. No one is mentioning that the Arab countries had terrorized and expelled over a million Jewish families from their countries, confiscated all their assets, businesses, homes and over 120,000 sq. km. of Jewish owned land for over 2,200 years which is valued today in the trillions of dollars. About 750,000 of these expelled Jewish families were resettled in Greater Israel and now comprise over half its population.
    If this is not discrimination against Israel, I do not know what is.
    It seems like nobody cares about land violations in other countries in the world, but when it comes to Israel, everyone has a say. Israel’s rights in the treaty of San Remo of 1920 are in affect in perpetuity, clearly states that the Jewish people are the only ones with political rights in all the British Mandate of Palestine and that the Jewish people can live anywhere in the British Mandate.
    If the U.S., Europe and other countries will stop meddling, and stop its criticism and involvement in the politics of Israel and the Arabs, than there will be a chance for peace.
    We know the great powers are only interested in the OIL and nothing else, that is the bottom line.
    YJ Draiman…/20…/july/san-remo-resolution-revisited/

  • Keith James

    the Likud has never been an ally of America, time to rein them in, no more money for Settlements…..they abandoned America when Begin became P/M.

  • Peter Joffe

    I don’t think that Obama is a weak leader? He is a strong leader but not for America. Obama is the Ayatollah of the West and wants to see the end of civilized America. As far a Islam is concerned doing nothing to criticize it is as bad as openly supporting it. Why Clinton has the same goals is a mystery unless she is a convert to Islam?

  • Principal ally …. not principle ally. I guess they don’t teach that at Ohelei Torah!

    • Mercworx

      You sure showed them.

    • Joel_18

      I believe it’s Oholei Torah.