Snippet from Obama's speech today to the United Nations (read the full transcript here)
[Obama at U.N. today] Let us be honest with ourselves: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. Israel’s citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses. Israel’s children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them. Israel, a small country of less than eight million people, look out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map. The Jewish people carry the burden of centuries of exile and persecution, and fresh memories of knowing that six million people were killed simply because of who they are. Those are facts. They cannot be denied.
The Jewish people have forged a successful state in their historic homeland. Israel deserves recognition. It deserves normal relations with its neighbors. And friends of the Palestinians do them no favors by ignoring this truth, just as friends of Israel must recognize the need to pursue a two-state solution with a secure Israel next to an independent Palestine.
Let us be clear, the friends of Israel have no problem with a Palestinian state, so long as Palestinians recognize Israel's right to exist. Obama knows this.
Israel has simply asked to be recognized as human beings having the right to exist on the land granted to them in 1948 (most of which they no longer have). Palestine refuses even this simply decency.
Here is a portion of the conversation from the video:
[Bolton] Honestly, the U.S. could have stopped this a long time ago. I put a lot of blame here on the Obama administration's incompetent diplomacy.There is more beginning at about 4-minutes in.
[Great] Well the Obama administration is doing everything it can right now, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to make sure this vote doesn't happen.
[Bolton] No they're not. No they're not.
[Greta] Okay, what do you say they are not doing?
[Bolton] I would do what we did in the first Bush administration in 1989 when the PLO did exactly the same thing that the Palestinians are trying to do now, and I would tell the other 190+ members of the United Nations, if you vote for a declaration of Palestinian statehood, the U.S. will defund the United Nations.
[Greta] And if that happens what do you predict will be the natural sequence of events to follow?
[Bolton] Exactly what happened in 1989 when the PLO tried to get into the World Health Organization. It stopped their efforts dead in its tracks, and it stopped it for 20 years after that. I think it would work here. If the Obama administration had made this point 6 months, 9 months, a year ago, we wouldn't be here today.
Greta Van Susteran with John Bolton on Palestinian Statehood (video)
Posted by Maggie @ Maggie's Notebook