John Bolton: Israel can serve as a model for American security

Former US ambassador to UN joins NRA delegation for tour of Jerusalem’s Police Intelligence Center.

John Bolton 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
John Bolton 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A National Rifle Association delegation from the United States was joined by former US ambassador to the UN John R.
Bolton Thursday for a tour and briefing at the capital’s Police Intelligence and Observation Center, located in the Old City.
The state-of-the-art center, which features nearly 40 highdefinition screens monitoring the Old City 24 hours a day, is utilized to alert officers to any potential threats.
Bolton, who served under former president George W. Bush and is an honorary NRA member, joined the 30 delegates, who came for 10 days to tour and learn more about police practices in Israel as a model for US crime prevention.
Now a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Bolton said he had worked with the NRA over the years on issues ranging from illegal arms trade to national security.
He cited Israel as a country facing unrivaled security challenges, yet having the capability to effectively protect its citizens.
“The number of threats Israel faces is unique,” Bolton said. “It’s a very complex environment from a security point of view, so it’s important that civilians like these see the nature of the threats Israel faces.”
Asked where he thought Israel ranked internationally in terms of overall security, Bolton said the country was “near the top of the list.”
“In many respects, Israel can serve as a model for American security, which is one of the reasons we’re here,” he said.
During a brief presentation, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld played a clip illustrating a real-time crime in the Old City during which a terrorist followed two undercover officers, stole one’s gun, shot an officer and fled. The clip went on to clearly show every frame of the subsequent chase through the labyrinthlike alleys of the Old City until the terrorist was apprehended.
“This is just unbelievable,” said one middle-aged female delegate watching the clip.
“We need to have surveillance like this back home.”
Rosenfeld said the Israel Police had worked with the NRA in the past to share information on operations, intelligence and gun-control management.
“We offer them an inside perspective of how the Israel Police carries out operations and community policing, with an emphasis on prevention and responding to incidents – both criminal and terrorist related,” Rosenfeld said.
He emphasized the importance of gun control as a preventive measure, the locating of illegal weapons, and making sure that gun owners regularly renew their gun licenses and provide up-to-date and accurate information to police.
The NRA delegation’s leader, Joseph R. Gregory, serves as co-chairman of the organization’s Ring of Freedom National Advisory Council. He called the tour a “good-will visit” intended to show support for Israel while learning about its sophisticated security measures.
“We want to demonstrate our appreciation and support of the Israeli people because we feel Israel is important to the United States and we love our country,” said Gregory.
“We know security issues are a big deal in Israel, and one of the things the NRA is focused on is personal security, self-defense and national security.”
Gregory said he attributed Israel’s high level of security to an unusual “grasp of history and national heritage” accompanied by pronounced patriotism.
“The spirit of the people here is exceptional in their love of their country and affinity for the land,” he said. “One of the first things I’ve learned is how exceptional Israeli security and national defense has become, and I think Americans could learn a few lessons from that.”