Former prime minister Ehud Olmert on Thursday accused Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu of threatening the nation’s future by placing the country in direct
conflict with Washington.
“Is it in our interest to get into a blatant
confrontation with the strongest man in the world?” Olmert asked during a
conference in Tel Aviv, referring to US President Barack Obama. “Who builds
airplanes? Likud Central Committee members who need to pose and flex muscles, or
the president of the US?”
Olmert’s comments came after American journalist
Jeffrey Goldberg earlier this week reported that Obama had said, “Israel doesn’t
know what its best interests are,” and that Netanyahu was leading Israel into
When asked at a Likud Beytenu event to respond
to Olmert’s comments, Netanyahu stated: “We know how to take care of our own
national interests and stand up to international pressure.”
Olmert, the Netanyahu government chooses to argue with Obama despite his aid to
“Even when the American defense budget is cut, the US continues
to support the Iron Dome [missile- defense system]. This is a president that
says, in the middle of an argument, that he will not let Israel lose its
[defense] advantage. But the Israeli government doesn’t think so,” Olmert told a
business forum in Tel Aviv, sponsored by the University of Haifa.
also accused the government of “refusing peace. Refusing to take part in a
process, refusing to talk to Palestinian moderates. It does not want an
agreement. There is no other way to say it.”
The former prime minister
added that world leaders fear for Israel’s future in light of its current
The comments come in the wake of Olmert’s recent
attack on Netanyahu on Channel 2, in which the former prime minister accused
Netanyahu of wasting billions of shekels in planning an operation against the
Iranian nuclear threat.
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