Former PM Ehud Olmert tells CNN ´certain elements in the Jewish
community in the United States had deliberately derailed the peace
Did right-wing elements in the United States undermine former Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert´s efforts to achieve regional peace? According
to Olmert, the answer is yes.
In an interview with CNN´s Christiane Amanpour, which aired on
Friday, Olmert said that "certain elements in the Jewish community in
the United States had deliberately derailed the peace process."
Olmert was referring to a peach initiative he presented in 2008,
which was based on two-state solution and one he claims would result
in a "full comprehensive peace between Israel and the Palestinians."
Olmert told Amanpour the decisions his proposal entailed "broke my
heart. It was the most difficult decision of my life… Because for me
to propose a division of Jerusalem was really terrible. I did it
because I reached a conclusion that without which, there will not be
The fact that the plan was quickly rejected, he added, "Was a killer
for me – not only because of the opposition in Israel. I think that,
by the way, in Israel the majority of the Israelis would have
supported my plan, had it come for elections."
Defeated by ´superior powers´?
Olmert said he believes his peace plan failed because it was up
against much more that his government´s own Opposition. Much of the
blame, he told CNN, lies with the political Right in the United
"I had to fight against superior powers, including millions and
millions of dollars that were transferred from this country (the US)
by figures which were from the extreme right wing, that were aimed to
topple me as prime minister of Israel. There is no question about
He did not elaborate on the identity of those figures.
Asked whether he believed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be
willing to propose a similar plan, he said: "That´s why you are prime
minister… That´s why you take the responsibility of leadership – to
do things which are right for the nation that you want to lead."
Leadership is not without its tolls, he added: "I paid personally,
dearly. But there was no option for me but to do what I did. And I
know for sure, and I know the names, of the people that spent
millions of dollars in order to stop me - from the United States."
´Time for peace plan running out´
Still, the former premier said he believes that the two-state
solution is still viable: "There is time – but time is running out."
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, he added, never actually agreed
to his 2008 proposal, "But he never said no. So why not reintroduce
this plan again and present the challenge to the Palestinians?"
Olmert had previously doubted Netanyahu´s judgment when it came to
the more difficult decisions of leadership, such as a possible strike
againt Iran – a doubt he reiterated in regards to the Israeli-
Palestinian peace process as well.
"My dream is that Netanyahu will adopt my plan, and will introduce
it, but the fact is that we don’t negotiate with the Palestinians,
and the fact is that we have not proposed anything," he told CNN.
"Peace is important for Israel. We want peace. We need peace," he
continued. "We want to separate from the Palestinians. We don’t want
to control the life of the Palestinians. We want them to have their
own separate state."