Bolton blasts Obama as ‘vindictive’ for abstaining from UN vote

Bolton said that President Obama thinks Israel is “the obstruction in the peace process in the Middle East.”

John Bolton, an adviser to President-elect Donald Trump, blasted President Obama Sunday as “vindictive,” a week after the U.S. abstained from voting on a UN resolution declaring Israeli settlements in occupied territories illegal.

“President Obama has very negative views on the state of Israel. He thinks they’re the obstruction in the peace process in the Middle East, not the Palestinians,” Bolton, who served as Ambassador to the UN under President George W. Bush for 17 months, said on “The Cats Roundtable” on AM 970 in New York.

“In many respects what he did in this resolution by the Security Council … is try to define the boundaries of the state of Israel. It’s a rejection of 50 years of bipartisan American foreign policy and the doctrine of land for peace,” Bolton, who is thought to be in the running for a high-ranking position in Trump’s State Department, said.

“It was vindictive,” he added. “I’m just worried that more is coming from him.”

John Kerry says Israel settlements jeopardize two-state solution

Bolton said he would recommend retaliating against the UN by shifting funding from the U.S. for the international body “to being purely voluntary” and cutting foreign aid to “bad actors,” like Venezuela and Malaysia, that voted for the resolution.

“We ought to take other steps against those countries to show how unhappy we are,” he said.

The UN measure — which declared that settlements built by Israel on land it has occupied since 1967 have “no legal validity” and condemned them as a “flagrant violation” of international law — passed by a 14-0 margin and soured an already bitter relationship between Israel and the U.S.

The American abstention move triggered a furious response from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who publicly slammed Obama and called the move a “shameful ambush.”

Kerry rejects Netanyahu’s claims that U.S. drove UN resolution

Netanyahu also ordered the freezing of millions of Israeli funds aimed at UN institutions.

Obama’s stance on the resolution also drew strong rebukes from members of his own party, including incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).

The U.S. was the only member of the Security Council to abstain in the 14-0 vote. The U.S. has in the past vetoed similar resolutions.

The resolution’s immediate impact was largely symbolic, but Israel fears it could open the door to an increase in international steps, including economic measures.

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