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  • Left to right: Rennert Center Director Prof. Joshua Schwartz, Amb. Bolton, Mrs. Ingeborg Rennert and University President Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz

    Left to right: Rennert Center Director Prof. Joshua Schwartz, Amb. Bolton, Mrs. Ingeborg Rennert and University President Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz

    Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies Bestows Guardian of Zion Award upon Ambassador John Bolton

    Date: 2017-06-06 Hour: 15:15

    In Israel to accept the Guardian of Zion Award from Bar-Ilan University’s Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies, former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton asserted that the two-state solution is no longer a viable option for peace in the Middle East. 

    "I don't believe there is a future for the two-state solution. We have been pursuing it for 70 years without success. I don’t think year 71 of pursuing it will make any change.”  Instead, Bolton advocated for a three-state solution which would merge Gaza with Egypt, and parts of the West Bank with Jordan," said Bolton, while delivering the Distinguished Rennert lecture entitled The Old Jerusalem and The New Jerusalem at the Award ceremony. 

    "I don't think there is a viable Palestinian state. I don't think there are institutions on the Palestinian side that can live up to the commitments of a treaty with Israel, that could give Israel or the US or anyone confidence that such a state could provide for the wellbeing of the Palestinian people or could resist takeover by terrorist elements. That's why to me the best solution for the Palestinians is to tie them in to existing economies and societies where the potential for a better life for them and their families is real, rather than pursuing a political objective that ultimately won't work and certainly won't benefit the daily lives of average Palestinians,” added Bolton.

    Prior to receiving the Guardian of Zion Award, Bolton discussed the transfer of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem: "Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. That isn't going to change. And putting the American embassy on a piece of ground well within the existing green line isn't going to offend anybody who is serious themselves about wanting peace. And I have a further objection. I don't think anybody should tell the US where it puts its embassy, anywhere."

    Regarding the nuclear deal with Iran: "I think people need to pay more attention to the connection and collaboration between Iran and North Korea. We know that they've collaborated for nearly 30 years on ballistic missiles, and there's every reason to think that they've collaborated on the nuclear side. The day that North Korea gets a deliverable nuclear weapons capability, Iran can have it the next day by writing a check in the right amount of money. I have a zero risk tolerance for nuclear weapons in the hands of rogue states like Iran and North Korea because the threat to innocent civilians around the world, not just in America but in Israel and across the world, is very real."

    The Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies was established at Bar-Ilan University in 1995 by US Jewish community leaders Ingeborg Hanna and Ira Leon Rennert as an expression of their heartfelt commitment to the preservation and advancement of Jerusalem's unique heritage. Integrating studies on the history, archaeology, geography, demography, economy and sociology of Jerusalem, the Rennert Center has become the foremost academic center in the international academic community studying aspects of Jerusalem's past and present.

    This is the twenty-first year the Rennert Center conferred the Guardian of Zion Award, which honors those dedicated to the perpetuation and strengthening of Jerusalem.  Last year's award was bestowed upon World Jewish Congress President Ambassador Ronald S. Lauder.  Additional recipients have included former US Senator Joe Lieberman, Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Israel Museum Director James S. Snyder, former US Ambassador to the United Nations Dore Gold, Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations CEO Malcolm Hoenlein, journalists Caroline Glick and Norman Podhoretz, the late William Safire, Dr. Charles Krauthammer, Cynthia Ozick, the late A.M. Rosenthal, Herman Wouk, and the late Prof. Elie Wiesel. 

    At the Guardian of Zion Award ceremony Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat welcomed Bolton to the "prestigious club of people to whom we are all grateful for guarding our country".

    Ambassador John Bolton's speech