Friday, March 23, 2018

White House Appears To Stiffen Against Iran, Palestinians With Bolton Appointment

Israeli ministers praise appointment of John Bolton

Two ministers from the right-wing Jewish Home party and another from the ruling Likud party congratulated former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton on Friday for his appointment as US President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett tweeted that it was a “great appointment” and that Bolton, considered a foreign policy hawk who is opposed to the Iran nuclear deal, was a “stalwart friend of Israel.”

Environment Minister Ze’ev Elkin of Likud said Bolton was “not unknown to Israel.
“He has been, unquestionably, a friend of Israel for many years, including in his position as US ambassador to the UN,” Elkin told Tel Aviv radio station 102 FM. “I have no doubt it will be comfortable for us to work with him.”
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked posted in Hebrew that “President Trump continues to appoint true friends of Israel to senior positions. John Bolton is one of the most outstanding.”

Trump brings in hardliner, who has been an opponent of the two-state solution and advocated striking Iran, just ahead of big moves on Middle East peace and nuclear deal

US President Donald Trump’s decision to nominate hawkish former diplomat John Bolton as his national security adviser brings a figure known for pushing for pre-emptive strikes on burgeoning nuclear powers as well as skepticism toward Palestinian statehood into the administration’s powerful inner circle.

A vocal advocate of the Iraq war, he has also advocated preemptive strikes against North Korea and war with Iran.

With the White House preparing to unveil its Mideast peace plan in the near future, the ascension of Bolton, who has declared the two-state solution dead, could further chill the administration’s chances of getting moribund negotiations off the ground.

Bolton is highly defensive of Israel. After former president Barack Obama allowed passage of a UN Security Council resolution in December 2016 that condemned Israeli settlements, Bolton said Obama “stabbed Israel in the front” and that the measure was “clearly intended to tip the peace process toward the Palestinians.”

He further scolded Obama’s secretary of state John Kerry for his speech laying out principles for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, in which Kerry warned a two-state future was slipping away as Israel continued to accelerate its West Bank settlement presence.

“Just as a matter of empirical reality, the two-state solution is dead,” Bolton told Breitbart Radio at the time. “That’s about the only thing John Kerry came close to getting right.”

In a 2014 Op-Ed in the Washington Times titled “A ‘three-state solution’ for Middle East peace,” Bolton argued that Gaza should be given back to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan.
“The only logic underlying the demand for a Palestinian state is the political imperative of Israel’s opponents to weaken and encircle the Jewish state, thereby minimizing its potential to establish secure and defensible borders,” he wrote. “As long as Washington’s diplomatic objective is the ‘two-state solution’ — Israel and ‘Palestine’ — the fundamental contradiction between this aspiration and the reality on the ground will ensure it never comes into being.”

Bolton, who’s been a resident at the conservative American Enterprise Institute since he left the Bush administration, has advocated for Israel bombing Iran to curtail its nuclear ambitions.

Left-leaning organizations immediately came out Thursday to condemn the move and warn of Bolton’s inclination for armed confrontation.

No comments: