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29 March, 2018

Bolton’s past advocacy for Israel at US expense heralds dangerous new era in geopolitics

Notorious war hawk John Bolton – who has long been vying for a position in Trump’s administration – has been especially eager to work with a president with minimal foreign policy knowledge or experience, allowing him maximum effect in achieving his policy goals.

by Whitney Webb

Part 3 - Billionaire Adelson gets his way

Bolton’s commitment to the Israeli state has manifested in other ways. For instance, he has remained a constant critic of Palestine’s right to self-determination, calling an independent Palestinian state a plot “of Israel’s opponents to weaken and encircle the Jewish state.” Bolton has called for the Gaza strip and the West Bank to be given to Egypt and Jordan, respectively. This approach, nicknamed the “Three State solution,” would eliminate any hopes for Palestinian sovereignty by giving Palestinian territories to two U.S.-allied countries that enjoy cordial relations with Israel, making this solution preferable for Israel hard-liners that wish to see an end to the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

Bolton has also praised President Trump’s recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and relocate the U.S. embassy in Israel accordingly – a policy change allegedly orchestrated by pro-Israel Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson — as an “injection of reality.” In addition, he has strongly promoted the construction of illegal settlements on Palestinian land, stating recently that Israelis “ought to be able to build houses wherever they want to, including all of the lands of Judea and Samaria [Palestine’s West Bank].

Given his embrace of extremist Zionism, it is no surprise that Bolton has found himself replacing H.R. McMaster, whose ouster was orchestrated by billionaire Republican donor Sheldon Adelson. Bolton has long been promoted by Adelson, as the latter personally intervened to keep Bolton in contact with the Trump throughout his presidency and had lobbied soon after Trump’s election to have Bolton appointed to his cabinet. Like the embassy move to Jerusalem, Adelson has again gotten his wish.

Adelson’s push to have Bolton installed comes at a crucial time, as Israel is currently preparing for war on “three fronts” — Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria – and is actively lobbying for American aid and involvement in launching that war. With Bolton in the Trump administration, along with numerous other staunch Israel allies in key government positions, Israel will likely get that aid in addition to American troops fighting alongside them, even if Israel is the aggressor in the imminent conflict.

The timing of Bolton’s appointment as National Security Adviser is also noteworthy, as it comes little over a month before the U.S. embassy is set to move to Jerusalem, when tensions between Israel, Palestine and its neighbors will be at their highest and when a war is most likely to break out. Bolton is set to ensure strong U.S. support for any Israeli military action that takes place during this time, even though Israel is explicitly planning to target civilians and civilian infrastructure.

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