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Bolton: Israeli PM Won't Get a Cup of Coffee at the White House

Bolton says upcoming meeting between Netanyahu and Obama is going to be “very unpleasant,” but unavoidable.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 2/23/2012, 3:57 PM

Former United States ambassador to the U.N., John Bolton, appeared on Fox News on Thursday, explaining why he believes that the upcoming meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama is going to be a “very unpleasant” one.

He said it is “no accident” that the Unites States is sending senior officials to meet with Israeli leaders prior to the “crucial sit-down” between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu on March 5th

The visits of General Martin Dempsey, U.S. National Security Advisor Thomas Danilon, and Director of Intelligence Tom Clapper to the region, he said, are all unremitting attempts at dissuading Israel from attacking Iran.

It is more like “an invasion plan of the United States invading Israel, as opposed to dealing with the real problem, which is Iran,” Bolton claimed.

“The reason you see these top officials going to the region,” he continued, is that they are telling Prime Minister Netanyahu that he “better give President Obama the answer he wants to hear” during their upcoming meeting, which is that Israel will not attack Iran.

“Netanyahu is not going to say that,” he said. “This is going to be a very unpleasant meeting between the two leaders when it occurs.“

Netanyahu is scheduled to travel to Washington, D.C. to address The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference and, as Bolton said, he “can’t come to Washington without meeting with the President, so it may be one of those meetings where Netanyahu doesn’t get a sandwich and a cup of coffee at the White House, but they have to have it. “

Obama is also scheduled to address the pro-Israel lobby, as well.  When asked why he believes Obama is going to do so, Bolton replied that the President needs “to try to make the case that he is standing right there, shoulder to shoulder, with Israel to try to protect them against an Iranian nuclear threat, but the fact is that administration has just lost its compass when it comes to a policy. They are still are arguing that sanctions can be effective… I think that is completely inaccurate.”

Bolton continued to say that he believes it would be in Iran’s best interests to give off the impression that the sanctions are effective.

“Iran’s most valuable commodity is time,” he said. “All they need is just a little bit more time and then they can get nuclear weapons.”

Bolton was surprised that they rebuffed the UN inspectors so abruptly, but hopes that “world leaders, in some countries, at least, [will] say [that] diplomacy does not have a chance here… We’ve to confront the reality that if we don’t, or if someone doesn’t act, that Iran will get nuclear weapons and then there won’t be any point in sanctions or diplomacy.”