Alex Massie

How do you know Obama will defend Israel? John Bolton says he won’t.

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How do you know the Obama administration isn't "soft" on Israel? John Bolton says it is. To wit, Bolton was asked at CPAC today if Obama would defend Israel "when" the "Arab nations" attack it and here's what he said:

BOLTON: I would certainly hope they would come to Israel’s assistance, but I think there’s no guarantee of it. I think the more likely response is to appoint a special envoy and try to negotiate an end the hostilities.

Q: Your short answer then would be “no”.

BOLTON: I very much fear that’s right. Bolton is an engaging fellow who is always good copy (apart from anything else he is very diligent about returning reporters' phone calls) and sure this is just CPAC and all that, but still, this is, in a word, nuts. Perhaps my imagination is lacking, but I really cannot conceive of any semi-realistic hypothetical scenario in which the United States would not support Israel if it were attacked by any Arab (or Persian) state. John Bolton, however, obviously has a keener imagination than I do.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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