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      Olmert: It's Time We Say Thank You to the Americans

      Former PM blasts the MKs from the Land of Israel Lobby who made tough comments during meeting with Ambassador Shapiro.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 2/27/2014, 6:13 AM

      Ehud Olmert
      Ehud Olmert
      Flash 90

      Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Wednesday evening once again attacked the current Israeli government over its attitude towards the United States.

      Olmert, who spoke at a lawyers’ conference in Tel Aviv, addressed in particular the tense meeting between MKs from the Land of Israel Lobby and the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro.

      Channel 2 News reported on Wednesday that the Land of Israel Lobby had issued an apology to Shapiro, after MKs who participated in the meeting delivered tough comments about the U.S.-Israel relationship and the American role in peace talks.

      As expected, Olmert blasted the MKs over their behavior, saying, "To say that the U.S. does not support Israel is hallucinatory.”

      "The U.S. administration is cutting back its army, but not one cent of the aid given to Israel is being cut," he continued. "Are these our enemies? It's time that the people of Israel say thank you to the United States."

      This is not the first that Olmert has criticized Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government over its relationship with the Americans. Several months ago, Olmert accused Netanyahu of “declaring war” on the Obama administration because Netanyahu had voiced his disagreement over the interim deal that was reached with Iran.

      Netanyahu responded at the time, "In contrast to others, when I see that interests vital to the security of Israel's citizens are in danger, I will not be silent.”

      Other officials also blasted Olmert over his comments, branding him “a continuous failure.”

      In his remarks on Wednesday, Olmert once again encouraged a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), as he has done in the past.

      “We must be the initiators, not those who are being led by others,” he said. “The longer we put off the decision, the harder will be our ability to make that decision and the price will be heavier.”

      The speech was made as reports surfaced that Shula Zaken, Olmert’s former office manager and close confidant, had changed her mind about defending him and would reveal everything she knows about Olmert’s part in the Holyland case.

      Olmert did not address Zaken’s change of heart in his remarks.