Daily Israel Report

Olmert: ‘Right-Wing Americans’ to Blame for Peace Failure

Right-wing Americans are to blame for the failure of Israel-PA negotiations to yield a peace deal, former PM Ehud Olmert accuses.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 5/5/2012, 10:47 PM

Ehud Olmert
Ehud Olmert
Israel News Photo: Flash 90

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has accused right-wing Americans of being responsible for the lack of peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Wealthy Americans ousted him from power and derailed negotiations, he told CNN.

Olmert said he was committed to reaching peace, “But I had to fight against superior powers, including millions and millions of dollars that were transferred from this country [the United States] by figures who were from the extreme right wing that were aimed to topple me as prime minister of Israel.”

Olmert left office amid accusations of corruption involving several different issues. His bureau chief has since been convicted in one case.

He declined to name specific individuals who gave money to get him out of office, but said, “I know the names.”

He argued that most Israelis would have supported his planned deal with the PA.

In previous interviews, Olmert has said he offered Abbas more than any previous Israeli leader, including a PA capital in Jerusalem, more than 94% of the land he asked for in Judea and Samaria, and Israeli recognition of millions of foreign Arabs as PA refugees.

Abbas did not accept the deal. He has refused to negotiate with Olmert’s successor, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, instead naming several preconditions including a complete stop to construction in Judea and Samaria. Netanyahu did stop construction in Judea and Samaria for several months, but PA leaders did not meet with Israel until the construction freeze had nearly ended and refused to continue unless it was extended.