Olmert: Kollek was one of the giants of our nation

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who defeated Teddy Kollek as Jerusalem's mayor in 1993, issued a statement saying that Israel mourned the loss of "one of the giants of its founding fathers." Olmert, who characterized Kollek as "the builder of the new Jerusalem after the Six Day War," noted that when Kollek was elected Jerusalem's mayor in 1965, it "was a divided city that did not enjoy the credit it was worthy of. When he finished his term in 1993, Jerusalem was a large, modern city, united and blessed with many residents. Teddy Kollek spread Jerusalem's fame around the world." Olmert said that Kollek had a deciding influence on Jerusalem's way of life, culture, and inter-relationship between its residents. He fashioned its vistas, Olmert said, and built its institutions. "Kollek's name will forever be a part of the glory of Jerusalem," he said. Olmert said that Kollek did not only work on behalf of Jerusalem, and cited his days as David Ben-Gurion's long-time adviser during which he "had a decisive contribution to the diplomatic and military efforts that brought about Israel's independence in 1948."