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Olmert: We've Declared War on Obama Gov't

Former prime minister says 'attempts to sic Congress against the American administration' are a serious mistake.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 12/1/2013, 8:50 PM

Olmert at the Israel Business Conference
Olmert at the Israel Business Conference
Flash 90

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert criticized Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's handling of current disagreements with the United States, regarding the deal the US negotiated with Iran over its nuclear weapons program.

"We've declared war on the United States administration,” Olmert said at a special debate at the Institute for National Security Studies on Sunday.

"First and foremost,” said Olmert, “we must steer clear of anything that might give the impression that we want to lock horns with our biggest ally."

Disagreements with the US must never be handled in a way “that might give the impression, G-d forbid... of a provocative tone of personal confrontation with the man whose goodwill and support for the state of Israel are perhaps the most important basis for the state of Israel's strategic interest.”

"There is one state in the world that votes for Israel in the UN throughout the years, systematically, even in cases when we were not necessarily 100% right. They always stood at our side. All of these attacks, all the attempts to sic Congress against the American administration – this is a very serious mistake. The only way is to cooperate with the US, modestly, with restraint, with wisdom, and not carry out the argument in unceasing attacks on the Amercian administration.”

Olmert said that when he was prime minister, Israel faced threats that were no less existential than the current Iranian crisis, and that these threats included Iran's nuclear program. However, he said, governments led by him and by Ariel Sharon worked differently.

“We did not voice threats or eliminate people with words. We operated quietly. There are those who believe that there were very painful and strong operations...that perhaps contributed to the fact that Israel's concerns in 2009 that Iran would have nuclear force, have not turned into reality even now, in late 2013...”