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A Conversation with John Bolton

PM Netanyahu and John Bolton, August 19, 2018 (Photo: Haim Zach/GPO)

A career foreign policy expert, John Bolton has served as an ambassador and adviser. But perhaps his greatest accomplishment for those who stand for Israel is the decades of friendship he has shown to the Jewish state. Speaking with Bolton during his recent trip to the Holy Land, The Jerusalem Post's Caroline B. Glick was assured that when Israel has a case to make, her friends in the U.S. will listen:

There are two aspects of the Trump White House’s relationship with Israel that distinguish it from its predecessors. Unlike his predecessors, but like Bolton, Trump relates to Israel as a key US ally and a partner. Trump’s predecessors generally viewed Israel as a supplicant.

Trump and his advisors are willing to listen to Israel’s positions objectively. They don’t assume, as many of their predecessors did, that their Israeli counterparts are hustling them...

Consider the attention the White House is paying to Iran’s entrenchment in Syria.

Bolton said, “Syria was the main topic of discussion during President Trump’s meeting with President [Vladimir] Putin in Helsinki [on July 16]. This was the case both during their meeting with their advisers and during their one-on-one meeting.”

He added that the importance both leaders attributed to the issue didn’t come out of thin air.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu’s discussion of the issue during his phone call with the president earlier that week and during his visit with Putin during the FIFA tournament contributed to making Syria such an important issue,” he explained.

In other words, when Netanyahu expressed his concerns about Syria, Trump listened.

Until recently, the Trump administration’s position on Syria was the same as the Obama administration’s. That is, the US is involved in Syria to fight Islamic State. Iran’s takeover of the country is not its problem.

Today the Trump administration shares Israel’s position that all Iranian forces must withdraw from Syria.

Trump’s decision is not evidence that he is beholden to Israel. It is instead a demonstration of his determination to base US foreign policy on reality...

Tags: US-Israel Relations

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