Tags: john | bolton | israel | obama

Bolton: Obama Turns on Israel

Friday, 13 Mar 2009 07:14 PM

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Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton says the Obama administration has turned on Israel in its determination to resolve the Israeli-Arab dispute.

Bolton, now an American Enterprise Institute senior fellow, writes in an opinion column appearing in the New York Post that U.S. pressure to find a solution to the decades-old conflict will be the greatest on Israel, because it is an ally.

"Almost invariably, Israel is the loser -- because Israel is the party most dependent on the United States, most subject to U.S. pressure and most susceptible to the inevitable chorus of received wisdom from Western diplomats, media and the intelligentsia demanding concessions," Bolton writes. "When pressure must be applied to make compromises, it's always easier to pressure the more reasonable side.

"How will diplomatic pressure work to change Hamas or Hezbollah, where even military force has so far failed? If anything, one can predict coming pressure on Israel to acknowledge the legitimacy of these two terrorist groups, and to negotiate with them as equals (albeit perhaps under some artful camouflage). ...

"Why would America subject a close ally to this dynamic, playing with the security of an unvarying supporter in world affairs? For America, Israel's intelligence-sharing, military cooperation and significant bilateral economic ties, among many others, are important national-security assets that should not lightly be put at risk.

"The only understandable answer is that the Obama administration believes that Israel is as much or more of a problem as it is an ally, at least until Israel's disagreements with its neighbors are resolved. Instead of seeing Israel as a national-security asset, the administration likely sees a relationship complicating its broader policy of diplomatic 'outreach.'"

Bolton argues that America's focus should instead "be on Iran and the manifold threats it poses to Israel, to Arab states friendly to Washington and to the United States itself."

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