A former US ambassador to the UN has urged Donald Trump to punish the Obama administration for deliberately sabotaging relations with Israel.
John Bolton says that the recent UN Security Council resolution on Israel was a deliberate ploy by Obama and others to “box Donald Trump in.”
“I just think it was a very bad idea,” Bolton said during an interview with John Catsimatidis on AM 970 in New York. “It was vindictive, because everybody knows that Donald Trump has a different policy view and this is intended to try to box him in.”
In a strange turn of logic, though, Bolton also called for the incoming administration to take action against the United Nations and the member countries who supported the resolution, despite the fact that the US’s historic decision to abstain from voting and not use its veto power that let the resolution pass. Previously, the United States had always exercised its veto right to block resolutions that it considered too harmful for Israel.
“I think what Israel together with the incoming Trump administration should do is say, ‘Look, we’re going to give everybody a chance to do this over again, repeal this resolution and pass something that’s acceptable,’” Bolton said.
“And if not, we’re going to take steps to show our unhappiness,” he added, proposing financial methods of pressure, including cutting foreign aid to some countries — in particular, Malaysia and Venezuela, where people are starving because of the sharp drop in oil prices in 2014.
Earlier in November, Bolton also gave advice to departing US President Barack Obama, warning him not to take any actions that could hurt Israel at the UN, according to The Hill.
“[There is] a lot of speculation over in Turtle Bay at UN headquarters about resolutions that recognize a Palestinian state or that try and set a boundary for Israel based on the 1967 ceasefire lines,” he said during earlier interview with Catsimatidis. “I think that’d be very inadvisable for the president to do that,” he said that time.
Bolton was under secretary of state for arms control and international security in George W. Bush’s administration, and was later nominated to the post of permanent US ambassador to the United Nations in 2005. While broadly supported by Republicans, he often faced fierce opposition from Democrats due to his negative and strongly expressed views on the United Nations, which he reiterated for The Hill.
“It’s the political bodies in the UN — the Security Council, the Human Rights Council, the General Assembly — that are fundamentally broken,” Bolton said. “In my experience over a long period of time of dealing with the UN… what they really listen to when it concerns the United States is our money.”
Bolton resigned after one year, earning the title of “the most controversial ambassador ever sent by America to the United Nations,” according to a 2006 article in The Economist. He was seen as a likely candidate for secretary of state under Trump, but the two differ sharply in their view on Russia, which some speculate is the reason Trump named Rex Tillerson for the position instead.