Former prime minister Ehud Olmert blamed right-wing extremists in the United States for the collapse of peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, in an interview with CNN released Friday.

Speaking at the sidelines of this week's Jerusalem Post Conference in New York on Sunday, Olmert said his peace plan would have been accepted by the Israeli public, but was hampered by radical elements in the Jewish diaspora. "I had to fight against superior powers," he said, "including millions and millions of dollars that were transferred from this country by figures from the extreme right wing."



Olmert added that figures "wanted to prevent the government, led by me, from achieving peace on the basis of principles I outlined."

The former prime minister said that his political career was killed by his attempt at peace-making, but added that he pursued his course for the good of the nation. "I paid personally, dearly, but there was no other option for me but to do what I did," he said.

At the Jerusalem Post Conference panel discussion on Sunday, Olmert defended PA President Mahmoud Abbas for not accepting the peace deal that Olmert himself offered the Palestinians during his tenure. "the Palestinians did not say no to my peace plan," adding that Israeli ministers advised the PA president not to accept the plan.

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