A Public Advocate for the United States; Bolton Deserves Bipartisan Support for U.N. Post

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), July 28, 2006 | Go to article overview

A Public Advocate for the United States; Bolton Deserves Bipartisan Support for U.N. Post


Byline: Alan Dershowitz, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

As a liberal Democrat, I listened carefully to the opposition voiced by many Democratic senators to the nomination of John Bolton as our chief representative to the United Nations. Mr. Bolton has been representing us at the United Nations since August. During the current Middle East crisis, I have been able to listen for myself to what Mr. Bolton has been saying at the United Nations.

On the basis of his performance, I have become a Bolton supporter. He speaks with moral clarity. He is extremely well prepared. He is extraordinarily articulate. He places the best face on American policy, particularly in the Middle East during this crucial time.

During the late 1960s, I worked closely with our then-representative to the United Nations, Arthur Goldberg. Goldberg gave up his lifetime seat on the Supreme Court in order to serve at the United Nations in an effort to end the war in Vietnam. He was hopeful that he could make a greater contribution to his country at the United Nations than on the high court.

He too was our representative during a critical period in the Middle East. It was Ambassador Goldberg who helped draft the famous Resolution 242, which has served as the basis for Mideast peace efforts since 1967.

During the 1970s, Daniel Patrick Moynihan served with distinction in that position. He too stood up to the enemies of the United States and other democracies, such as Israel. When, during his term, the General Assembly introduced its most overtly bigoted resolution equating Zionism with racism, it was Mr. Moynihan who fought tirelessly, if ultimately futilely, against its passage. He continued to identify rampant anti-Semitism as the scourge of the United Nations until his death three years ago.

Now, there's John Bolton, who follows in that tradition with distinction. Were he not to be confirmed as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations at this crucial juncture it would send a powerful message to the international community that Senate Democrats do not stand behind our policy in the Middle East. It would be seen as undercutting American policy toward Israel. Even if that were a misunderstanding, it would have a devastating impact on the world's perception of America's solidarity with Israel.

Following his nomination, Senate Democrats asked the White House to release documents prepared under Mr. Bolton's supervision during his tenure working for the administration. The president ultimately released some of the documents for senior Democrats to review, albeit with redactions. …

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