Netanyahu-Bolton meeting reaffirms US commitment to Israel

“I think in fact, under your leadership, Mr. Prime Minister – you and President Trump – we now have the best U.S.-Israel relationship in our history,” Bolton said.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton on Sunday evening. Bolton visited Israel partly to signal that the U.S. withdrawal of its troops from Syria will not affect America’s support for the Jewish State.

In a joint press conference following the meeting, Bolton said that the withdrawal would be done in a way that ensures “the security of Israel and other friends in the region.” No timetable has yet been set for the U.S. troop withdrawal, which President Donald Trump had abruptly announced on Dec. 19, causing consternation among many U.S. allies, including Israel.

“I think in fact, under your leadership, Mr. Prime Minister – you and President Trump – we now have the best U.S.-Israel relationship in our history,” Bolton said at the press conference.

The prime minister, for his part, praised the Trump administration on a number of issues important to Israel, including leaving behind the Iran deal, moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and “unequivocally” backing Israel at the U.N.

“And you have backed Israel’s right to defend itself which we exercise constantly. It’s important to know that we have the backing of our great friend and ally the United States of America,” Netanyahu said.

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The prime minister also used the opportunity to urge U.S. recognition of the Golan Heights. “The Golan Heights is tremendously important for our security,” Netanyahu said at the press conference.

Last month, U.S. Senators Tom Cruz (R-Texas) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) introduced a bill calling for U.S. recognition of  Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which was won by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War and annexed in 1981.

Weather permitting, Netanyahu plans to take Bolton on a helicopter tour of the Golan Heights on Monday, telling Bolton  “you will be able to understand perfectly why we will never leave the Golan Heights, and why it is important that all countries recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”

Bolton tweeted after the meeting, “The alliance between the United States and Israel is unbreakable, and under this Administration, our ties grow ever stronger by the day. U.S. support for Israel’s right to self-defense is unwavering.”