Bolton Blasts State Dept. for Western Wall Debacle
Photo credit: Israel Bardugo
Speaking on the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, Former UN Ambassador John Bolton on Monday criticized the body he just recently wanted to head, blaming the State Department for the recent controversy surrounding Trump’s visit to the Western Wall.
“Even as we had a wonderful scene – the first sitting American President visiting the Western Wall – we also remember the controversy that took place before that happened when a lot of people had hoped that the President would be accompanied by Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu. But the ever-vigilant State Department rose and said that can’t happen, “Bolton, one of the runner-ups to become Secretary of State in the Trump Administration, said in a speech at the Ateret Cohanim “Jerusalem Chai” dinner in Queens, NY.
Ahead of Trump’s trip to Israel last month, the U.S. advance team reportedly rebuffed a request from the Prime Minister’s Office to accompany Trump while he visits the Western Wall. U.S. officials explained that the site is part of disputed territory in the West Bank and not under Israeli sovereignty.
Bolton debunked Foggy Bottom’s explanation that the final status of Jerusalem has yet to be determined. “Really? Where have they been? The final status of Jerusalem has been determined,” the former diplomat said to loud applause, later adding that since he does not believe the Palestinians deserve a state of their own, there’s no reason to consider Jerusalem as their capital.
Earlier on Monday, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. Introduced by Senate Majority Leaders, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Charles Schumer (D-NY), the bipartisan resolution recognizes the 3 millennia Jewish presence in Jerusalem and reaffirms the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Ac. But the measure -approved by 90 Senators in the affirmative – also reiterates the longstanding U.S position that the permanent status of Jerusalem remains a matter to be decided between the parties through final status negotiations towards a two-state solution.
Bolton expressed hope that Trump and Netanyahu would visit the Kotel together in the future. “I think you have to look at it as merely being postponed,” he emphasized, “as I think has been postponed the moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. That’s coming too. You can count on it.”