Olmert: Peace talks would've prevented Goldstone

Former PM blames Netanyahu government for not preventing publishing of report following Cast Lead; slams Barak for 'Mavi Marmara' raid.

Ehud Olmert speech 311 (photo credit: Yossi Zamir)
Ehud Olmert speech 311
(photo credit: Yossi Zamir)
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert on Tuesday criticized the government for failing to prevent the Goldstone Report from being published and Defense Minister Ehud Barak for his actions during the IDF raid on the Turkish flotilla ship the Mavi Marmara in May.
"I heard recently that the political echelon is only responsible for authorizing an action and not for the technical details of an action. There has never been a defense minister that didn't know all the technical details of an operation before giving it approval," said Olmert at a homeland security conference in Tel Aviv.
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Olmert also addressed the Goldstone report that condemned Israel's actions during Operation Cast Lead, seemingly blaming Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who followed him as prime minister, for allowing the negative report to be published.
"If there would have been a peace policy in Israel, we would not have had problems like what happened with Goldstone. I had an agreement with the UN that there would be an investigation and that the results would not be published until Israel had a chance to read it. What happened afterward I don't know, because I was no longer the prime minister," said Olmert.
Olmert expressed his beliefs that the continuing of the peace process is imperative to Israel's security.
"The more dialogue we have with the Palestinian Authority, the better we can fight terror, as we did in my time."
Olmert was complimentary of the Palestinian Authority's activities in the West Bank.
"For the first time there's real hope that the Palestinians can create a leadership that can be trusted to secure a real political process," said Olmert.
The former prime minister added that world terror could be better combatted if Western legal systems were given a heavier hand to deal with terrorists.