Administration

Bolton: Obama ‘dislikes American exceptionalism’

Former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton, once on the shortlist to be the next secretary of State, said President Obama is uncomfortable with the U.S. leading the world on issues like Israeli settlement building.

“I think this is a deep reflection of Obama’s ideology,” he said Tuesday of the United States’ recent abstention from a U.N. Security Council vote on a resolution condemning Israel’s settlement policy. “He sees Israel in much the same way he sees the United States.”

“[Obama] dislikes American exceptionalism, he dislikes Israeli exceptionalism,” Bolton added on Fox News’s “The O’Reilly Factor.” “They’re just one more country, just like the United States is just one more country.”

{mosads}“That’s what this vote was about in my view. I think he sees this as his way to set it straight. He’s going to try to affect that in his remaining days in office,” he said.

The Security Council last Friday passed a resolution, 14-0, demanding an end to Israeli settlement building in occupied territories disputed with the Palestinians.

The U.S. had the power to veto the measure but abstained, despite pressure from President-elect Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., condemned Netanyahu last Friday for allowing settlement expansion while seeking a two-state solution with the Palestinians.

“One cannot simultaneously champion expanding Israeli settlements and champion a viable a two-state solution that would end the conflict,” she said in a statement to the Security Council. “One has to make a choice between settlements and separation.”

The Obama administration’s abstention was a break from a longstanding U.S. policy of shielding Israel from U.N. reproaches.

Critics say Israeli settlements are an added obstacle to the Israeli–Palestinian peace process, with some viewing them as a human rights violation.

Trump said the U.S. should side with Israel ahead of the Security Council’s vote by vetoing any resolution attacking Israeli settlements.

“As the United States has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations,” he said in a Dec. 22 statement.

Tags Diplomacy Donald Trump Foreign policy Israel Politics Samantha Power settlements U.N. United Nations

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