Olmert: PM wasted billions on 'security delirium'

Former PM: NIS 11 billion spent on defense in last 2 years, budget must be cut; accuses election field of ignoring Palestinian issue.

January 11, 2013 23:37
1 minute read.
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert

Ehoud Olmert 521. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has wasted billions of shekels in planning an operation against the Iranian nuclear threat, former prime minister Ehud Olmert suggested on Friday.

In the past two years we have spent more than NIS 11 billion on “security hallucinations that were not performed and will not be performed,” Olmert said, speaking in an interview to Channel 2.

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He said that there was a surplus in the defense budget that should be cut, but that politicians were not willing to discuss this possibility in the lead-up to an election.

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Olmert said the stalled peace process with the Palestinians should be the central issue being debated in the election campaign and that the candidates were not addressing the issue.

He criticized Labor chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich specifically, saying that she had once been a supporter of the Hadash party, which supports withdrawing to the pre- 1967 lines, but was now a “supporter of the settlers.”

The former prime minister said that as long as the peace process remained stalled, Israel’s situation would become increasingly difficult, the country would become further isolated and ties with the US would become increasingly strained.

Olmert reiterated his support for Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz in the current election, saying that he had never left the party.

Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan responded on Saturday night, saying that if Olmert did not think Iran was a serious threat to Israel, he was gravely mistaken.

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