Bolton to Stewart: Leave Jews alone?


John Bolton and Jon Stewart go at it about whether an Israeli military strike makes sense in terms of curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions., and starting at 5:09 Bolton (who is not Jewish) chides Stewart (who is Jewish) for stereotyping Jews.

In the middle of the interview, Stewart hears thunder and jokes about mistaking it for an Israeli strike.

Stewart:: Was that Israel? Are we being bombed? He shakes his fists and cries out "Israel!!!"

Bolton tells Stewart he has "nothing to worry about:"

Stewart:   (Agreeing) "It’s New York City it’d, be like bombing their second home."

Bolton: "I’m sure that’ll go over real well."

Stewart: "Forget it."

In text form, one it might seem as if Bolton as joking that an Israeli strike on New York would go over "real well," but listen: it sounds like he’s referring to Stewart’s quip.

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Steve Clemons is going for the old stretcheroo here at Talking Points Memo, when he suggests Bolton opposes Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons based on the following exchange:

Stewart: Who wouldn’t you bomb?

Bolton: There’s not that much difference between me and the people who want a world where no government has nuclear weapons. There’s not much difference. I only want one government to have nuclear weapons.

(Bolton makes clear he is referring to the United States.)

Here’s Clemons:

Given Bolton’s typical precision, whether deployed bluntly or with a lighter touch, John Bolton not standing up for Israeli nuclear weapons might be considered "progress".

I don’t think so.

Bolton is describing a utopia (and knows it), and one not inconsistent with Israeli aspirations;  Israel likely would also prefer a world in which the United States is the only nation with the bomb.

In the real world — and I’m sure Bolton knows this too — Israel could not even contemplate a strike on Iran without its own nuclear capacity.

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