John Bolton: I’m Concerned That U.S. Is Pushing Back on Israeli Settlements, Delaying Jerusalem Embassy Move

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Donald Trump
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On Thursday’s Breitbart News Daily, SiriusXM host Alex Marlow asked former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton about the Trump administration’s evidently softening support for Israeli settlement construction.

“I’m concerned about it. I’m concerned about the fact that the embassy hasn’t been moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” Bolton said. “It has the mark of the kind of thinking you hear at the State Department, that questions like the final status of Jerusalem and the argument that settlements are an obstacle to peace. We’ve been hearing these kinds of arguments for 30 or 40 years, and they appear to have gained some traction.”

“Now, I don’t want to read too much into it,” he added. “I’m not saying it’s the end of the world. But if you look at, for example, all of the campaign promises in effect that candidate Trump made, he’s really done an unbelievable job and showed, I think, he’s not a normal politician, in the number of those promises he’s already begun to fulfill or actually fulfilled. The embassy move is kind of conspicuous at this point, so I worry about it.”

“I understand, and I would certainly advocate that when you’re ready to announce it, you’re going to need some very active diplomacy to calm our European friends down, to talk to our friends in the Arab world, to explain why it is we’re doing it. You need a strategy. You need to be prepared for it. I grant all that. But that doesn’t take forever to do, and we’re now approaching the third week. So I don’t know where the vibes are coming from, but I have to say that the fact that this has slowed down, and the comments about the settlements should lead us to ask, ‘What’s the story?’ I think we need to hear more from the administration on that point,” he said.

“The State Department, all you have to do is tap them on the knee, and you get these kinds of responses. So it could be that somehow or another, this kind of thinking has wended its way over to the White House, and some people over there have been attracted to it, for reasons I don’t frankly understand,” Bolton suggested. “I mean, the ‘peace processers,’ as they’ve been called, have been at this for a long time, and ultimately it’s always Israel that has to strike the deal, as it did for Egypt and the Camp David accord, as it’s done with Jordan. Our theories about what’s going to lead to peace or what we think the best way to proceed is, is not necessarily as acutely aware of the sensitivities in the region as Israel is.”

“We’re fortunate, I think, that Prime Minister Netanyahu, who will be coming next week, he and President Trump can sit down and hash all this out. Hopefully, both on Iran and on some of these things like the embassy and the settlements, maybe we’ll see some clarity emerge from that meeting,” he said.

Bolton offered a fiery denunciation of British House of Commons Speaker John Bercow for effectively banning President Trump from speaking before Parliament.

“This man is an embarrassment to the British Parliament,” he declared. “There are just any number of stories of his behavior. The position of Speaker of the House of Commons is not the same as in our system, the Speaker of the House of Representatives that Paul Ryan holds. It’s much more of a ceremonial position. This fellow Bercow, again for reasons I don’t understand, is a Conservative Party member, but he doesn’t follow the leadership. He’s a completely independent figure. That’s fine. That’s the British constitutional tradition. But somehow, they’ve gotten somebody who seems to think that he has some voice that gives him a role in British politics way beyond his capabilities.”

“I think Theresa May’s government, the prime minister, I’m sure she’s outraged at this and would like to try and find a way to correct it. Hopefully, she will,” he added.

Marlow also asked Bolton about a new Rasmussen poll that shows Democrats believe Muslims in the United States are worse off than Christians in the Middle East.

“I hadn’t heard of that poll, but that is simply bizarre,” Bolton responded. “If you go to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom or look at any number of people who have studied this question of the persecution of Christians around the world – former Senator Joe Lieberman refers to it often – you can see the real threat that they’re under.”

“Right in the Middle East now, the Christians in Syria affected by ISIS and the civil war there, they’re the ones we should be granting refugee status to in the United States. But they’re even afraid to come into the refugee camps because the extremists are dominant there, and they’re worried they’ll be in danger even in U.N. refugee camps. So how people can come to that conclusion is beyond me. Maybe they just watch too much MSNBC,” Bolton said.

Marlow built on that point to suggest the Rasmussen poll is evidence that Democrats “live in a bubble, and they don’t seem to get any information outside of the establishment press.”

Bolton said he found the results of the poll “inexplicable” as anything but a partisan information bubble.

“There’s no reason, no justification for discriminating against anybody simply because of their religion in this country. That’s what we have a First Amendment for. It was vital to the founding of our country. I think most Americans, whatever their feelings about party affiliation, really are prepared to be tolerant of any religion that respects and tolerates other religions, as well. So I think your point about Democrats living in a bubble is absolutely right,” he told Marlow.

“That should trouble us. It’s not just that they’re wrong; it’s that fundamentally, this is going to have a negative effect on our democracy if people are operating in such a fact-free universe,” Bolton warned.

John Bolton is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and founder of his own political action committee, BoltonPAC.

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.



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