Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton is calling Barack Obama “the most hostile president” toward Israel since the Jewish state was created, saying his policies have “actually set the peace process back” in the Middle East.
Responding to a tweet Tuesday from Vice President Joe Biden that Obama “has done more for Israel’s security than any president since Harry Truman,” Bolton declared, “That’s just ridiculous.”
“This is the most hostile president since the state of Israel was created,” Bolton told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Tuesday night. “He’s demonstrated that hostility right from the beginning of his administration.”
Bolton – now a Fox News contributor who supports Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign – accused the president of putting “the responsibility for all the turmoil in the region on Israel.”
“By relieving the Palestinians of any real obligation to negotiate, he’s actually set the peace process back,” Bolton charged, referring to early speeches in which the president suggested Israel should be confined to the boundaries established following the 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict known as the Six-Day War.
“This has been very, very restrictive on Israel, and it has cost the United States, and Israel, and its Arab friends in the region,” he added.
Bolton also said Obama’s “treatment of Iran’s nuclear weapons program has been profoundly mishandled” to the point of endangering not only Israel’s security, but the rest of the world as well.
Bolton made the comments as Romney headed off on his first trip abroad as a presidential candidate. Stops are planned for Israel, Poland, and the Olympic Games in London before he returns home to the campaign trail.
Bolton described it as “significant” that Obama has yet to visit Israel as president and chose Egypt as his first trip abroad after taking office.
“The fact that the president went to Egypt to give a major speech to the Muslim world but couldn’t find time to slip into Israel for a visit – you can’t miss the symbolism of that,” Bolton said. “I think, though, it is the broader mistreatment of Israel, of denigrating its role as an important ally, not understanding the contribution it has made to security in the Middle East, that’s the real problem.”
Bolton suggested the point of Romney’s specific visit to Israel is to make it clear that “his administration will treat its friends like friends and its adversaries like adversaries.”