On Thursday’s Breitbart News Daily, SiriusXM host Raheem Kassam asked former U.N. ambassador John Bolton if the long-promised relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem will finally happen under the Trump administration.
“Yes, I think it is,” Bolton replied. “I think Trump was serious about it when he said it. I think in David Friedman, who he’s nominated or will be nominating to be U.S. ambassador to Israel, he’s got somebody committed to it.”
“I think there are good substantive reasons for the United States to move its embassy there, in much the same way it was a good thing for Donald Trump to take the congratulatory call from Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen,” he said. “People should not tell the United States, certainly not its President, who he can talk to. They should not tell the United States where we place our embassy. There are a whole range of things we have limited ourselves to suit foreigners that really impairs the United States.”
“I really think there’s one other thing for Trump here, and it will show that he is not a typical politician. He said he was going to move the embassy, like almost every other presidential candidate, as you correctly pointed out, for several decades,” Bolton told Kassam. “Others have been elected, they haven’t done it. He’s going to do it.”
“What are the stakes if he does, and if he doesn’t?” Kassam asked. “I mean, obviously the ‘does’ is far more interesting, because presumably the ‘doesn’t’ just means the status quo. But what are the stakes? What will happen? Will the Palestinian Authority lash out? Will Hamas start firing rockets over from Gaza? What do we expect on Day One of the embassy moving?”
“I think there is a possibility of all of that kind of activity, but on the other hand, the movement of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem would only be Excuse 342 on a long list of prior excuses for exactly the same kind of behavior,” Bolton responded.
“Let me make one thing clear that perhaps many listeners don’t understand: the U.S. embassy can be in a part of Jerusalem that nobody – not even the Palestinian Authority – has ever claimed ought to be part of a Palestinian state,” he added. “This is East Jerusalem versus West Jerusalem, West Jerusalem being unquestionably Israeli territory, and there’s plenty of space there for an American embassy, a residence for the ambassador, and all the rest of it.”
“So the notion that somehow we’re violating some commitment to the Palestinians, or prejudging the outcome of negotiations over the future status of Jerusalem, is absolutely wrong, if the embassy is ultimately placed in West Jerusalem – which no one has argued, since 1948, was ever going to be anything other than Israeli territory,” he said.
When Kassam asked if such a move might start a “domino effect” of other nations, such as the United Kingdom, relocating their Israeli embassies to West Jerusalem, Bolton said, “Well, they should.”
“The fact is, the key government offices – the Prime Minister, the Foreign Ministry, and others – are in Jerusalem,” he observed. “For the convenience of everybody’s diplomats, it’s good to be there.”
“Look, it’s also the case the Defense Ministry is in Tel Aviv, and is likely to stay there. So all of our diplomatic colleagues do a fair amount of commuting back and forth. To me, it’s more a question of, name one other country where the United States doesn’t have its embassy in the capital of that country. That’s what’s so bizarre about this,” Bolton said.
Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.