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They -- secretary Kerry is in Iraq today President Obama last night.
-- returned from his four day tour of the Middle East and was of course the first foreign trip of his second term and his first trip to Israel as president.
Some do that trip as a so called charm offensive.
And in Israel and attempt to try and father Iraqi and strained relationship that he has with prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
So -- that relationship now flawed.
Willow -- what about Iran joining us is always on Sunday mornings former ambassador John Bolton and Fox's contributor good morning ambassador.
Good morning Eric -- to do it good to see is always a howdy do and how about the relationship between the president and the prime minister.
Well I think the president's trip always had two purposes one was the public political aspect of the trip to try and repair the very.
Visibly frosty relationship that he had -- Israel in his first term.
And I think -- largely accomplished that the photo opportunities were great the they had a little humor couple of thugs you know really what else could you ask for.
But underneath the second purpose of the trip I think continue to.
Highlight the vast differences and geo strategic outlook that President Obama and prime minister Netanyahu have.
On the Iran in nuclear weapons program number one and on dealing with the Palestinians.
-- other issues involved but those remain the two top sticking points.
In a relationship that remains very troubled despite the happy photo opportunities what do you think went on behind closed doors and the two sat next to each other that we're not hearing about.
Well I think the president let's take the Palestinian peace process is an example.
Obviously recognizes that there's a long long way to go before any possible.
Breakthroughs I think that's one reason he's not putting his prestige on the line is putting John Kerry's prestige on the line let him worry about it for a while.
And and the suppose -- major change and Obama's position of not insisting on Israel stopping settlement construction on the West Bank.
As a precondition to direct talks is only a change in tactics it's not a change in his preferred outcome of a Palestinian state.
With borders that approximate the 67 lines so I think you can go down the list of what the president said publicly in.
Israel and Jordan nothing real late.
Ships from his policy statements in the past.
And for that reason I think despite the optics have a happy visit.
The differences between Israel and the Obama administration remains well at present.
Prime minister Netanyahu thinks that Iran could get a bomb by this summer the president -- one year from now so when they're together there's Netanyahu -- look.
We think when they're gonna get a bomb and we're gonna launch an attack whether you like it or not.
And what does the president say and what do you think will happen.
Well I think exchange intelligence and I I do think despite that the difficulties and a personal relationship between Obama Netanyahu I'm sure these discussions are conducted on a very.
Frank and professional basis that country's vital national security -- are involved and I think both men recognize that personal feelings can't get in the way of that.
But I don't think there's any doubt that Israel sees a much shorter time frame.
Especially given its own more limited military capabilities.
What whoever's right on the intelligence and let's be clear we don't have perfect intelligence.
Iran could be a lot closer than anybody thinks.
That we have greater capabilities to stop Iran's nuclear program than Israel does.
So unless Israel's prepared to depend on the United States would which would represent a massive break from Israel's strategy over its entire history.
Netanyahu is faced with the decision I think in the very near future this year probably one way or the other do I attack -- runs.
Nuclear program we're -- -- And and what if he does with out as an in the US backing -- what is how much back and woody have a what does that mean.
Well I don't think Israel will ask permission they certainly didn't ask permission -- -- he had destroyed that North Korean nuclear reactor in Syria in September of 2007.
I think what they're worried about is that they won't have robust US backing from Obama he's been in it implicating in his first term implying in his first term that he wouldn't given that kind of backing I think Israel has overwhelming support in congress.
But certainly Obama is ambivalent attitude.
Has to concern top Israeli decision makers and simply saying.
As he did again on this trip to Israel has a right to defend itself is an interest an abstraction has nothing to do with the hard calculus that.
The Israelis have to undertake before deciding whether to attack Iran or is it fair to say that presents attitude is ambivalent than -- said the policy is prevention.
Got the policy is prevention today until today's policy fails which it manifestly as -- -- That once Iran has nuclear weapons that -- -- policy will be containment.
That is the problem I think Netanyahu and others have seen.
That the administration obviously doesn't want Iran to have nuclear weapons.
But it feels that a nuclear -- can be contained and deterred as the Soviet Union was during the Cold War I think that's completely wrong.
But that's the underlying feeling that causes the Israelis so much concern and should cause us concern because once Iran gets nuclear weapons.
It won't stop with a run Saudi Arabia Turkey Egypt will as well as former secretary of state Clinton said on several occasions.
Ambassador John Bolton it should be a very challenging few months and watch it with you every Sunday and I thank you so much a source for him.
Thank you are.
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