Israel Welcomes an American Friend

The Fellowship  |  January 7, 2019

Several Israeli men standing on a bridge with a crumbling building beside them.
Israel Welcomes an American Friend

American National Security Adviser John Bolton has long been seen as a true friend of the Jewish state, always standing for Israel. This week, the former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. was warmly welcomed to the Holy Land by current ambassadors. JNS’ Malkah Fleisher tells us that Bolton was also called a friend by PM Netanyahu and treated as a friend by Israeli officials who gave him a wonderful tour of the holiest site in Judaism:

After a visit to the Western Wall and its tunnels on Sunday, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton met with  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss regional and security issues at the prime minister’s residence, meetings that were condemned by Palestinian Authority officials.

On his tour in Jerusalem, Bolton was accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer and Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat.

The group participated in a tour of the ancient historic tunnels underneath the Western Wall plaza, led by chairman of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation Soli Eliav, and saw a virtual reconstruction of the Holy Temple, which once stood on the site under the reigns of King Solomon and again under the prophet Ezra, and were completed by Herod the Great…

In the guestbook following his tour, Bolton wrote: “This is a great accomplishment to uncover all of this history, from the very start of our common civilization…”

Netanyahu issued a statement thanking Bolton for his visit, saying it gave Israel “an opportunity to thank the Trump administration for the extraordinary support you’ve shown Israel” by reimposing sanctions on Iran, recognizing Jerusalem and supporting Israel at the United Nations, and said he intended to take Bolton to the Golan Heights in Israel’s north, to show him “why it’s important that all countries recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”

“Welcome, friend,” he concluded.

The visit was blasted by senior Palestinian Authority official Saeb Erekat, who took to Twitter to say that the “behavior” of visiting the Western Wall and its tunnels “will not change the fact that East Jerusalem is occupied territory and the capital of the state of Palestine.”