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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Olmert’

Olmert Flip Flops on E-1 Construction

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Olmert said, according to Maariv, quoting the Jerusalem Post:

“It is clear that at some point in the future there will be a contiguity between Maaleh Adumin and Jerusalem and the area will be built up.”
And from the New York Times:

Olmert Outlines Plans for Israel’s Borders By GREG MYREPublished: March 10, 2006

JERUSALEM, March 9 — In the most detailed description yet of his plans if elected prime minister this month, Ehud Olmert, Israel’s acting prime minister and the front-runner, said that he intended to set the country’s permanent borders by 2010 and that they were likely to run near the West Bank separation barrier.

Mr. Olmert also said he planned further development in Israel’s largest settlement, Maale Adumim, which would eventually link up with nearby East Jerusalem. Palestinians vehemently oppose such a move, because it would further isolate the Arab parts of East Jerusalem. The United States has also objected.

…But Mr. Olmert seems to believe that Israeli voters see the Hamas victory as an opportunity to set their own future borders without needing to negotiate with a Palestinian government, since Hamas refuses to recognize Israel.

…Mr. Olmert said he would wait a “reasonable time” to see if Hamas was willing to recognize Israel, disavow violence and accept previous agreements. But if Hamas “is not willing to accept these principles, we will need to begin to act,” he told The Jerusalem Post. He has also said he does not plan to meet with Mr. Abbas, regarding the Palestinian Authority as one entity that is now effectively controlled by Hamas.

Mr. Olmert said recently that Israel would not undertake any major infrastructure projects in West Bank settlements, though he appeared to be referring only to those that are beyond the separation barrier.

In his latest comments, he said he planned to go ahead with the so-called E-1 development plan, which calls for building some 3,500 homes in the land between East Jerusalem and the large Maale Adumim settlement. Maale Adumim, which has more than 30,000 residents, is a couple of miles from East Jerusalem.

“It’s entirely clear that the continuity between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim will be a built-up continuity,” Mr. Olmert was quoted by Haaretz as saying. “In my view there is an absolute consensus in Israel on this issue.”

There was this earlier:-

In early 2005, the Ma’ale Adumim city council announced plans for the residential neighborhood and the police station, and in August of that year, there were submitted for public review, a bureaucratic formality preceding final authorization. The same months, Netanyahu kicked off his campaign to regain leadership of the Likud in E1 and a day later, vice premier Ehud Olmert declared that Israel would build homes to connect Ma’ale Adumim to Jerusalem “at the appropriate time.”

 And this:

In October 1994, while in the midst of hammering out the Oslo Accords, then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin declared that a “united Jerusalem” would include Ma’aleh Adumim as the capital of Israel under Israel sovereignty. As part of the effort to make sure Ma’aleh Adumim remained an integral part of a “united Jerusalem,” Rabin provided then-mayor Benny Kashriel with annexation documents for the E1 area –a strip of land that connects the capital with Ma’aleh Adumim. As prime minister in 1996, Shimon Peres reaffirmed the government’s position that Israel will demand applying Israeli sovereignty over Ma’aleh Adumim in the framework of a permanent peace agreement. Dovish politician and co-author of the Geneva Initiative, Yossi Beilin, supported annexing Ma’aleh Adumim. And the 2000 Clinton Parameters called for Israel to be compensated for the partitioning of Jerusalem by annexing Ma’aleh Adumim. During the 2008 Annapolis negotiations, then-prime minister Ehud Olmert and then-foreign minister Tzipi Livni demanded that Ma’aleh Adumim remain a part of Israel.

So, who is kidding who when he now said:

“there was one request by the American government — and there was no question president [George] Bush and [secretary of state] Condoleezza Rice were friends of Israel — they asked me, ‘Please don’t build in E1, because if you do, it will be beyond the capacity of the Palestinian leadership to sit with you.’”

Olmert said he told the American administration that “one day Maaleh Adumim will be part of Israel because we will not leave them as an enclave.” But, he added, his government agreed not to build in the area in order to enable negotiations with the Palestinian Authority to take place.

E1, Olmert suggested, was a point of particular concern for the American administration.

“So [for the Netanyahu government] to build in this one piece of land,” he said, “requires creativity which is beyond my comprehension.”

The Ant-Churchill Tries to Rise Again

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Could there be an Israeli politician more cynical than Ehud Olmert?

Yesterday he accused PM Netanyahu of alienating President Obama — as if Obama could dislike him more — by ‘intervening’ in the US election:

“Following what Netanyahu did in the last few months, the question arises of whether or not our prime minister has a friend in the White House,” Olmert said in a meeting with New York Jewish leaders.

Olmert said that while the Israeli head of state was allowed to have a personal preference for one candidate over another, it would be “better, obviously, if he kept it to himself.”

“What took place this time was a breaking of all the rules, when our prime minister intervened in the US elections in the name of an American billionaire with a clear interest in the vote,” Olmert continued. “The very same billionaire used Israel’s prime minister to advance a nominee of his own for president.”

Olmert’s words were a clear reference to Jewish-American casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who according to reports donated some $100 million to Romney’s failed campaign. Adelson also owns the Israeli daily newspaper Israel Hayom, which is largely perceived as a stalwart backer of Netanyahu.

Olmert didn’t explain how he knows that Adelson was acting on Netanyahu’s instructions. He seems to think that it is impossible for a Jewish billionaire to prefer one or another candidate for US president or Israeli PM without engaging in a conspiracy. His remarks, intended to damage Netanyahu with the Israeli public, can only damage his relationship with Obama as well.

Olmert, who was probably the worst Prime Minister in Israel’s history, plans to return to politics after a miraculous escape, with his skin mostly intact, from a trial on several serious corruption charges. The Israeli state prosecutor’s office has filed an appeal of his acquittals on the major charges and an especially light sentence he received for one minor offense.

Olmert said that he would run only if Obama won the US election — which makes one wonder if he expects ‘intervention’ in the opposite direction, which apparently he considers appropriate! He is expected to join with Tzipi Livni and other outspoken enemies of PM Netanyahu, take over the moribund Kadima party, and run against him in upcoming elections on an anyone-but-Bibi platform.

Livni was Olmert’s partner in the government which so badly bungled the 2006 Second Lebanon War, leading to the unnecessary deaths of dozens of soldiers and a disadvantageous cease-fire which left Hizballah in a position to rebuild and rearm (which it has done with a vengeance).

Both Livni and Olmert are preferred to PM Netanyahu by the Obama Administration, because of their perceived willingness to withdraw from the territories in a deal with the Palestinian Authority. Olmert claims to have come close to such a deal in 2008, which thankfully fell through when he left office under a cloud of accusations of corruption.

He has recently criticized the PM for his tough position on the Iranian nuclear project and echoed Obama’s position that sanctions and diplomacy must be given more time to work. I’m sure this has endeared him even further to the president.

Olmert is also known for making one of the most embarrassing speeches in oratorical history in 2005, prompting me to call him “the anti-Churchill:”

We are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies, we want that we will be able to live in an entirely different environment of relations with our enemies. We want them to be our friends, our partners, our good neighbors, and I believe that this is not impossible… That it is within reach if we will be smart, if we will dare, if we will be prepared to take the risks, and if we will be able to convince our Palestinian partners to be able to do the same.

As I noted at the time, an unprecedented combination of defeatist rhetoric, bad politics, and fundamentally wrong analysis! But nobody ever accused Olmert of lacking arrogance or chutzpah, and he seems to think that with everyone to the left of Bibi and President Obama on his side, he can retake the Prime Minister’s chair.

Likud-Beiteinu Worrying Left

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

The merger of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and the Yisrael Beiteinu party of Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on Thursday has left-wing parties scrambling for a solution to the sudden show of solidarity on the part of the pro-nationalist camp.

In an article by Israel HaYom, an anonymous Kadima MK said unity on the left is a big item of discussion now, with emphasis on securing a great leader who will draw votes.

According to the MK, Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz, Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, and Labor chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich are being called on to unify under the leadership of either former Foreign Minister and failed almost-Prime Minister and Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni, or the recently acquitted former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Both are expected to announce whether they will re-enter politics early next week.

Mofaz has said he will relinquish leadership of Kadima if either party needs the position in order to run for prime minister.

The strong Sephardic party, Shas, has expressed its concern over the Likud-Beiteinu merger, saying it could mean the drafting of Hareidi Jews into the army.

Liberman Poll: Near-Tie between Olmert and Netanyahu

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

A new survey commissioned by Israel Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Liberman shows a near-tie between the Likud under Benjamin Netanyahu and a party led by former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, bolstered by Tzipi Livni.

A source in Olmert’s circle told Walla that this is an “interesting survey,” and that the former PM has not yet decided whether or not to participate in the upcoming elections.

The survey, commissioned by Liberman from Arthur Finkelstein, a New York-based Republican Party consultant who has worked for conservative candidates in the United States, Canada, Israel and Eastern Europe over the past four decades, presents an encouraging picture for Liberman and his party. According to the survey, Israel Beiteinu will get 14-16 seats, landing it in third place, ahead of the Labour Party with 13 seats and behind Olmert’s party and Likud which will receive 22 and 22-24 seats respectively.

Since the Prime Minister’s announcement of early elections, Israel Beiteinu Chairman Liberman, has not rested, and has been laboring intensely to sway voters. Nine days ago, he spoke at a meeting of Israel Beiteinu, he attacked the contenders on the left: “A party like Meretz is nothing more than a lobby for the Palestinians inside the Knesset,” he suggested, while also attacking the Labor Party chairperson, Shelly Yachmovitch: “Who speaks for social-democy, but confuses it with Communism.”

Former PM Olmert is rumored to be checking the lay of the land before declaring his run for the Knesset. Eight days ago, Judge Elyakim Rubinshtein, head of the Central Elections Committee, rejected a request from the Ometz (Courage) movement to declare Olmert unfit to serve as Prime Minister as long as he is the defendant in a corruption trial. Rubinshtein said it wasn’t up to him or the Elections Committee to disqualify a candidate for the role of Prime Miniaster.

Olmert and Livni Hold Elections Pow Wow

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and former Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni may be throwing their hats into the political arena once more, teaming up to attempt to defeat the nationalist camp headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

The pair met on Wednesday for an hour and a half just a day after prosecutors announced their plan to appeal the verdict and sentence in a court case charging the former prime minister with tax evasion, fraud, and breach of trust.

Olmert was found guilty of breach of trust, fined less than $18,000 and given a one-year suspended jail sentence, considered by analysts to be a very light sentence.

If the pair do run, and add celebrity Yair Lapid, son of politician Tommy Lapid, they could receive more votes than the ruling Likud party, according to a poll published by Haaretz on Thursday.

There had been speculation that a new political party headed by Olmert and Livni could defeat Netanyahu’s Likud in the election, but polls released last week found that Olmert and Livni would likely only achieve ten seats.

The poll says 25 seats would go to the tripartite team, one more than Likud’s 24 seats.

Yet the poll also says nationalists would win the majority of votes, which means Netanyahu would probably continue as prime minister.

If Olmert, Livni, and Lapid do not join up, nationalists would likely win 65 seats, with 55 to the left wing.

Israel’s State Prosecutor to Appeal Olmert Acquittals

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Israel’s state prosecutor will appeal the acquittals of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in two of three cases decided earlier this year.

The prosecutor informed Olmert’s attorney on Tuesday that it will appeal the July acquittals on charges of fraud, breach of trust, tax evasion and falsifying corporate records in what became known as the Talansky and Rishon Tours affairs, according to the Justice Ministry.

His sentence in the Investment Center Affair, in which the Jerusalem District Court found Olmert guilty on the lesser charge of breach of trust, also will be appealed. Last month Olmert was sentenced to one to three years of probation and fined some $19,000 for granting personal favors to attorney Uri Messer when Olmert served as trade minister. The former prime minister could have faced up to three years in jail.

The announcement came a day after the 18th Knesset voted to dissolve itself and go to new elections in January, and as Olmert reportedly was deciding whether to attempt a political comeback in the elections.

Last week, Likud Party lawmaker Tzipi Hotovely petitioned Israel’s Central Elections Committee to prevent Olmert from running for office, citing the July conviction. The sentence in the Investment Center case did not include a ruling of moral turpitude, which would have prevented the 67-year-old from re-entering politics for seven years.

Olmert had agreed to forgo the perks awarded to a former head of state, including a secretary, an office and a car, in exchange for the finding.

Olmert is the first former Israeli prime minister ever to stand trial. He officially resigned as prime minister in September 2008 after police investigators recommended that he be indicted in the Talansky case.

Likud Lawmaker Aims to Block Rumored Comeback by Olmert

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Likud Party lawmaker Tzipi Hotovely reportedly petitioned Israel’s Central Elections Committee to prevent former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert from running for office.

Israel’s Army Radio reported that Hotovely asked committee chair Elyakim Rubinstein, a Supreme Court justice and former attorney general, to disqualify Olmert, the former leader of the centrist Kadima Party, from contending in the upcoming elections because of his conviction in July for breach of trust during a stint as minister of trade and industry.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud said Israel would hold early elections early next year.

“It is inconceivable that Olmert be allowed to run for office in this situation, as elections are meant to increase the public’s trust in the political system, not diminish it,” Army Radio quoted Hotovely as saying in explaining her request.

In convicting and handing Olmert a suspended sentence, the court did not state that his offenses carried moral turpitude, which would have barred him from running. Olmert was cleared of more serious allegations of corruption that had forced him to resign in 2008.

Yoel Hasson of Kadima said that Hotovely’s request showed “Likud was panicking” because of the prospect of Olmert returning to public life.

Dalia Itzik, another Kadima lawmaker, said the party’s current leader, Shaul Mofaz, should step down and be replaced by Olmert.

Speaking with Army Radio, former Kadima minister Haim Ramon said he was talking to Olmert and former Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni about possibly forming a new political party. Ramon added, however, that Olmert has not yet made a decision on whether to return to politics.

Olmert “Standing Tall” After Receiving Commuted Sentence

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert told a press conference Monday that he leaves court “standing tall” after being handed a one year suspended sentence and a fine of NIS 75,300 for breaching the public trust in what has been called the “Investment Center Affair”.  Olmert was charged with using his position as Minister of Industry, Trade, and Labor to benefit his friends and colleagues.

If Olmert commits a similar crime in the next three years, he will have to serve jail time.

Analysts expected Olmert to be sentenced to at least six months of community service, which in and of itself would have been seen as a major coup. Though the state recommended a six month prison sentence to be served through community service, Olmert argued that he had been through enough after having given up his position as prime minister and undergoing 4 years of court cases and investigations and should therefore be given no penalty. The court ultimately agreed with his arguments.

Olmert was acquitted in July of all serious crimes related to a series of incidents.

Olmert, who turns 67 on September 30, has expressed an interest in re-entering the political arena.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/olmert-standing-tall-after-receiving-commuted-sentence/2012/09/25/

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