Binyamin Netanyahu meets with Donald Trump at Ben Gurion Airport
Binyamin Netanyahu meets with Donald Trump at Ben Gurion Airport FLASH90

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert gave a rare show of support for his successor, former Prime Minister and current Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu, following former President Donald Trump’s criticism of Netanyahu.

On Monday, Olmert spoke at the opening session of the 13th Annual Leadership Dialogue on Israel-UK-Australia Relations, an initiative of the International Institute for Strategic Leadership Dialogue founded by Jewish philanthropist and businessman Albert Dadon.

During the event, Olmert defended Netanyahu from Trump’s recent criticism, calling the former president “pathetic”.

“Everyone knows my opinion of Netanyahu. I am not fond of him, I don’t appreciate him, I don’t trust him, I don’t believe in his integrity,” said Olmert. “But Trump’s interview is a living example of a man for whom everything is personal. Everything is judged according to his own personal interests.”

“The fact that Netanyahu congratulated Biden on his election victory shows that he acted as we should expect the Israeli PM to act – to congratulate the duly elected American president. He even hesitated in releasing his congratulatory video and waited until it became an embarrassment that the State of Israel, the stalwart ally of the US, would not congratulate the President-elect of the US on his election victory.”

“Trump said that the fact that Netanyahu congratulated Biden is a betrayal of the special relationship between Israel and the US; that is crazy and beyond understanding, he is a pathetic man.”

Olmert also criticized Trump’s decision to leave the Iran nuclear deal.

“The American withdrawal from the nuclear deal was a major strategic error that moves Iran closer to a nuclear weapon”

On Friday, excerpts were released from Barak Ravid’s upcoming book, Trump’s peace: The Abraham Accords and the Reshaping of the Middle East.

In the book, Ravid quoted Trump as harshly criticizing Netanyahu for rushing to congratulate then-President-elect Joe Biden in November 2020.

In recordings from interviews used in the book, Trump was heard saying that he effectively gave Netanyahu a boost ahead of Israel’s 2020 election by recognizing Israelis sovereignty over the Golan Heights, arguing that Netanyahu was too quick to congratulate Biden.

“Nobody did more for Bibi. And I liked Bibi. I still like Bibi. But I also like loyalty. The first person to congratulate Biden was Bibi. And not only did he congratulate him, he did it on tape.”

"I'll tell you what - had I not come along I think Israel was going to be destroyed. Okay. You want to know the truth? I think Israel would have been destroyed maybe by now. And the first person that congratulated Joe Biden, because this was an election in dispute, it's still in dispute. The first person that congratulated was Bibi Netanyahu, the man that I did more for than any other person I dealt with…Bibi could have stayed quiet. He has made a terrible mistake."

"Early, okay? Let's use this. He was very early. Like earlier than most. I haven't spoken to him since. F*** him," Trump answered.

On July 11th 2021 during a second interview over the phone Trump said about Netanyahu’s fall from power: "Well, I like him but he has been there a long time."

Then Trump repeated his grievances with Netanyahu: "I can tell you that people were very angry with him when he was the first one to congratulate Biden," Trump said. "I wasn't thrilled, to be honest because nobody's done more for Israel outside of potentially a prime minister or two, than President Donald Trump. And I said, Oh, that's great loyalty."

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