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November 29, 2014 / 7 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Olmert’

Former PM Olmert: Divide Jerusalem For Peace

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday urged Israeli leaders to surrender large swaths of Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority if they want peace.

In honor of the 45th annual Jerusalem Day, Prime Minister Olmert – who served as Jerusalem’s Mayor from 1993 to 2003 – told the Maariv daily newspaper that  Jerusalem was never truly united, and while he called that a “tragedy”, he also said it will mean “inevitable political concessions”.

The Israel Defense Forces liberated eastern Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount and the Tomb of the Prophet Samuel from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War, as well as the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria, including heritage sites the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem.

In his interview with Maariv, Olmert highlighted the division and separation between Jewish and Arab neighborhoods, and lamented that not enough had been done to homogenize the city.

Regarding Arab neighborhoods, Olmert said “apart from heartache we get nothing from them,” saying that peace will require Arab neighborhoods to be separated and given to a Palestinian state.

He also said that the Old City and the Temple Mount should be up for discussion in final peace talks.

Olmert lamented the peace deal he could “touch” in 2007 and 2008, and said that if he had been prime minister for a few more months, he believes an agreement on a Palestinian state would have been completed.

Israel’s current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, had very different things to say about Jerusalem on this year’s Jerusalem Day.

“Israel without Jerusalem is like a body without a heart. And our heart will never be divided again,” he said.

He warned that dividing Jerusalem would lead to a war pitting Jews against Muslims in the city, and boasted that Israeli control of holy sites provided the highest level of accessibility and religious freedom to all citizens.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat chastised Olmert, calling the idea of dividing Jerusalem “a bigger mistake”.

“He lost his faith in Jerusalem when he was mayor,” Barkat said, accusing him of wanting “to run from conflicts in Jerusalem and give in to them, instead of coping with them and directing them.”

Bibi Will Fail, Like Other PMs Who Evicted Jews: Begin, Sharon, Olmert

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

I had just wrapped up a pleasant visit with my good friend Jack from the US. As he pulled away, the beeper beeped, with something of a blood-chilling message: “Police have broken into Machpelah House and are expelling its residents.”

Over the past few days, a number of important politicians had visited Machpelah House, including Ministers Yuli Edelstein, Yisrael Katz, Moshe Kachlon, Deputy Minister Gila Gamliel, and MKs Uri Ariel and Tzippy Hotoveli. And there may be others that I’ve forgotten.

When Barak insisted on expelling the families from the building, others, including Gideon Sa’ar and Limur Livnat, protested publicly.

Last night, as we were conducting a small dedication in Machpelah House, Bibi was meeting with a group of ministers to discuss the “crisis.” Unofficial results consisted of “no decision yet” and “no change in status,” at least until of end of April.

So when the storm-troopers crashed the party early Wednesday afternoon, very few people were home. Most were at their “other homes,” getting ready for Passover. It only took a few minutes for the hundreds of police, border police, soldiers and riot squad to round up a few women and kids, and see them to the door. Quiet, peaceful, almost pastoral. Almost. But not quite. Watching a group of about twenty Border-police women surrounding and escorting a young woman with her two very small children isn’t really tranquility-in-action. Actually, it’s rather sickening.

So what happened? Yesterday Bibi said that we’d have some time to prove our case. And today?

It seems that our Prime Minister, as we get close to the holiday celebrating our exodus from Egypt, decided to dress up as the Pharaoh and to assist with another exodus. This one from Hebron. Of course, his original great great granddaddy tried to keep us in Egypt. His great great grandson, the new version of the Pharaoh, is doing the opposite, which is, expelling us – from our homes, our property, our land.

Good ol’ Bibi is the same Prime Minister whose actions took Hebron into Hell. The decision to split the city, leaving most of Hebron with Arafat, including the hills surrounding the Jewish community, led to massive gunfire directed at us for two and a half years. Leading to the killing of Shalhevet Pass, and to the injuring of others, physically and otherwise. Bibi promised us we’d be safe. He lied.

In the government decision of January, 1997, Bibi promised to assist Hebron, building and developing its Jewish community. He lied.

A day ago, Bibi promised that Machpelah House residents would have a chance to prove that they really own the building. He lied.

A true Pharaoh at heart.

Bibi’s coalition is fairly right-wing. The people in his cabinet certainly lean right. Likud’s MKs, for the most part, certainly lean right. His coalition partners certainly lean right.

Except for one: Ehud Barak. Barak is, for all intents and purposes, partyless. He left Labor, and doesn’t have a spot in the polls. He’s a nothing, a political nobody. Yet he is Defense Minister of the State of Israel, and as such, wields tremendous authority. So much so that his lone opinion outweighs that of Netanyahu’s party, MKs, Ministers and coalition. So if Ehud says…, Bibi does.

What a mighty, powerful Pharaoh!

It’s clear that this is not an isolated incident. It fits, hand–in-hand, with Barak’s plans to expel Jews from Migron, Beit El, and who knows where else. This is just the beginning of the rolling of the snowball, whose true goal is the deletion of all Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria.

Other Prime Ministers have expelled Jews from their homes: Menachem Begin, Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert. What happened to them?

That’s where Pharaoh Bibi is headed. In the same direction. He will fizzle and fail. And Machpelah House, as ensconced in the name (Machpelah means ‘double’), will double, triple and quadruple itself, many times over.

Guaranteed!

Olmert’s ‘Peace Partner’ Cannot Deliver and Has No Mandate

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert insisted this week that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is a “partner for peace.” “No one can say to me after hundreds of hours of discussing peace with Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] that he is not a partner because he doesn’t want peace,” Olmert said in a speech at J Street’s annual conference. “He wants peace with Israel and he accepts the existence of Israel as Israel declares itself to be.”

But if Abbas were really a “partner for peace,” how come he did not accept the generous offer he received from the Olmert government in 2008?

At that time, Olmert presented Abbas with a map that would have given the Palestinians control over most of the West Bank, and that also included the transfer of 327 square kilometers of territory from inside Israel to the Palestinians. In return, Israel would have annexed 6.3% of the West Bank to Israel.

Olmert’s peace plan would have involved the evacuation of dozens of settlements and the creation of a safe passage route connecting the West Bank to the Gaza Strip via a highway. But as Abbas never responded to Olmert’s plan, the negotiations between the two sides ended.

Olmert’s plan was the most generous offer the Palestinians had ever received from an Israeli prime minister. Yet, Abbas the “peace partner,” chose to ignore Olmert’s plan even though it had included the division of Jerusalem into two cities.

The question today, however, is not whether or not Abbas is a peace partner. Rather, what Olmert needs to ask himself is whether the Palestinian president can deliver or not. The answer is very simple and clear – even if Abbas wanted to deliver a peace deal, he cannot. Abbas’ term in office expired in January 2009, but, because the US Administration wanted him to stay in power, he remained. The result is that he is seen by many Palestinians as an illegitimate leader. No Palestinian leader has a mandate to make any concessions to Israel in return for peace.

It is also not clear how Abbas is supposed to implement any peace agreement with Israel when he can not even visit the Gaza Strip, which Hamas ordered him to leave in 2007.

Abbas has no direct control over the more than 1.4 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip. He also does not enjoy the backing of millions of Palestinian refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. Most of these refugees are strongly opposed to any compromise that does not secure the “right of return” to their former villages and homes inside Israel.

Further, It is not even clear today whether Abbas enjoys the full backing of his own Fatah faction. A growing number of disgruntled Fatah officials are beginning to challenge Abbas’s policies, with some going as far as calling on him to step down and pave the way for some new, emerging, and younger leaders.

Abbas’s actions and words in the past few years show that he is a peace partner not for Israel, but for Hamas. Instead of returning to the negotiating table to talk with Israel, he has been talking with Hamas, which seeks the destruction of Israel, about ways of achieving “reconciliation” and forming a Palestinian unity government.

Just as Arafat dismissed the generous offer he received from former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak during the failed Camp David summit in 2000, Abbas rejected Olmert’s plan because it did not satisfy all of the Palestinian leader’s demands. Perhaps one of the biggest problems is the precedent set in Israel’s negotiations with us in Egypt over the Camp David Accords: Egypt got 100% of what it asked for from Israel. How, after that, can any Arab leader ever settle for anything less?

 

Originally published by Gatestone Institute http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

Embarrassed by J Street’s Olmert Connection, B’Tselem Lies, Gets Caught… By Palestinians

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Ali Abunimah, co-founder of The Electronic Intifada, does not forgive betrayal easily, especially when it comes from left-wing Israeli and Jewish-American organizations. Which is why he is such a wonderful source of information on groups who have made it their life’s mission to point fingers at the behavior of others. In this case – B’Tselem.

First, for readers who need it, the Wiki: B’Tselem (Hebrew for “in the image of,” as in Genesis 1:27) is an Israeli, non-governmental organization that calls itself “The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories.” Founded in 1989, its official goals are “to document and educate the Israeli public and policymakers about human rights violations in the Occupied Territories, combat the phenomenon of denial prevalent among the Israeli public, and help create a human rights culture in Israel.”

And while on its face (disregarding the “occupation” jargon) it’s not necessarily such a bad thing to have someone alert the public on illegalities anywhere, NGO Monitor has suggested that B’Tselem, from its inception, has been focusing only on the things Jews do, to the point of willfully subverting the truth: “B’Tselem has faced serious criticism for its misrepresentations of international law, inaccurate research, and skewed statistics (including casualty lists). Relies on statistics and reports of other NGOs, despite the political agendas and credibility problems of these other groups.” The same website offers a long list of such misrepresentations of the truth.

But that kind of dishonesty never bothered Ali Abunimah, whose website engages daily in exactly those kinds of misrepresentations. He lost it, however, when it came to the upcoming J Street Conference, which will feature as keynote speaker the man who didn’t meet a law he didn’t find as way to subvert, disgraced former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

In the Electronic Intifada narrative, Olmert is “responsible for extensive war crimes including during Israel’s 2006 war on Lebanon and its 2008-2009 attack on the Gaza Strip. Thousands of people were killed in the occupied Palestinian territories and Lebanon by Israeli forces during Olmert’s term of office.”

And so, Ali Abunimah demands: “B’Tselem USA should withdraw its sponsorship of this politically biased conference whose goal is to whitewash Israeli war crimes, if it is to maintain any credibility as a human rights organization.”

Yes, yes, metaphors involving kettles and frying pans do come to mind, but wait, it gets even better.

On March 19, the blog “I’m an alien, I’m a legal alien” run by Uri Horesh, published an email from Jessica Montell, Executive Director of B’Tselem, who wrote him:

In fact, B’Tselem is not a sponsor of the J Street conference. This was a mistake in the e-mail and will be corrected later today. We are a participating organization, and are very glad to be part of a long list of Israeli and American groups participating in J Street and dedicated to pursuing a different and better reality for Palestinians and Israelis alike… Aside from organizing this panel, B’Tselem was not involved with any other aspects of the conference, including the decision to feature former PM Olmert.”

And, indeed, when you check the B’Tselem website, they’ve revised their own history with the same dedication they’ve been revising everybody else’s, and their now scrubbed announcement reads: “B’Tselem USA is a participating organization in the J St Conference.”

But Ali Abunimah has the goods, because he, apparently, received the original email from Rachel Sussman, Associate Director of B’Tselem USA:

B’Tselem USA is proud to be a sponsor of J Street’s third annual conference, Making History, in Washington later this month. J Street is the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans. The conference will feature former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Israeli writer Amos Oz, a member of B’Tselem’s Public Council, journalist Peter Beinart, a member of B’Tselem USA’s Advisory Council and Anat Hoffman, the Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center.

Not only did they not see anything wrong in having Olmert speak at the conference, heck, they were delighted to have him there, ensconced among the members of their own advisory council.

Now poor Jessica Montell received, on March 19, an outraged email from Raji Sourani, Director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights: “I am writing to express my extreme shock and disappointment regarding B’Tselem’s announcement as a ‘proud sponsor’ of an event in the US with Ehud Olmert.”

On March 20, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights issued the demand: “We call upon B’Tselem to withdraw from this event, and to use this opportunity to highlight the need for accountability, justice, and the enforcement of the rule of law.”

Plagued by Charges of Ineptness and Corruption, Olmert to Keynote at J Street Conference

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

JTA reports that Ehud Olmert, the former Israeli prime minister who was a key figure in the removal of close to 10,000 Jews from their homes in Gaza, and then blundered the Second Lebanon War, is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the annual J Street conference.

Olmert will speak at the pro-Palestinian state group’s gala dinner on March 26, according to an invitation sent Thursday morning to members of the US Congress. JTA obtained an invitation, and a J Street official confirmed its authenticity.

As of early Friday morning, the J Street website has made no mention of Olmert’s participation in the event, to be held in the Washington DC Convention Center from March 24-27 .

Olmert, who was forced to step down as prime minister in 2008 to face criminal investigations, is still facing corruption trials in Israeli court. But corrupt or not, J Street has found the one Israeli ‘right-wing’ politician (Olmert started his political career in the Likud Party) with whom it has a true understanding.

Although J Street describes itself as a pro-Israel organization that supports peace between Israel and its neighbors, many Israelis and US Jews, including many public figures, have said that J Street is anti-Israel, particularly in relation to the security challenges facing the Jewish state. Several US Jewish leaders have objected to J Street’s position on Israel, and have publicly disassociated themselves from the organization.

J Street has had tense relations with Olmert’s replacement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose government has sought to marginalize the group for failing to support Israel’s efforts to push back against investigations of Israel’s conduct in the 2009 Gaza war, and for equivocating on Iran sanctions until late 2009.

Following Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s stroke in 2006, Olmert became prime minister and led their Kadima party to a decisive victory in elections that year. He then led negotiations with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, and now says he was prepared to make the most far-reaching compromises with the Palestinian leader in 2008, only to be turned down.

Palestinian officials say Olmert by that time was too damaged by corruption scandals for the offer to be credible.

As a member of Sharon’s government, Olmert participated in forging Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan to evict all Israelis  from the Gaza Strip and four settlements in the Samaria. Israeli citizens who refused to accept government compensation packages and voluntarily vacate their homes prior to the August 15, 2005 deadline were evicted by Israeli security forces over a period of several days. The eviction of all residents, demolition of the residential buildings, and evacuation of associated security personnel from the Gaza Strip was completed by September 12, 2005. The eviction and dismantling of the four settlements in Samaria was completed ten days later.

Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

  Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s attempts to negotiate with Syria collapsed this past week when Israel received a private message from Damascus that the Jewish state must first agree to relinquish the entire strategic Golan Heights as a starting point to commence talks, according to informed diplomatic sources speaking to WorldNetDaily.

  Olmert went to Turkey on Monday for a meeting with the country’s prime minister, Tayyip Erdogan, to discuss Israel’s indirect negotiations with Syria aimed at an Israeli retreat from part or most of the Golan.

  Olmert said last week that negotiating a peace treaty between Israel and Syria is possible, adding that it would require “tough sacrifices” – alluding to some sort of Israeli retreat from the Golan.

  According to the informed diplomatic sources, Turkey passed a Syrian message to Olmert requiring Israel to first pledge to a complete retreat from the Golan Heights as a starting point for Israel-Syrian talks. Olmert apparently refused to do so.

  Olmert wanted to open direct negotiations with Syria and favors fast-tracking talks to reach understandings on some key issues before he leaves office in February.  According to a top Syrian government source speaking last May, Olmert did not ask Syria to curb its relationship with Iran or its support of the Hizbullah or Hamas terrorist organizations as a condition for the talks.
 
Israel, PA Won’t Reach Agreement
During Olmert’s Tenure

  It is extremely unlikely that Israel and the Palestinian Authority will reach any final understandings regarding the creation of a Palestinian state before Prime Minister Ehud Olmert leaves office in February, according to senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.

  Erekat told this column that the PA is set to refuse Olmert’s request to reach understandings on some key issues but to postpone until a later date a final-status agreement on Jerusalem or so-called refugees.

  Israel and the PA were quietly working to conclude a major agreement before President Bush leaves office, according to informed Israeli and Palestinian sources. The agreement was to seek an eventual major West Bank withdrawal and would have granted the PA permission to open official institutions in Jerusalem. But it was to postpone talks on the future status of the capital city until new Israeli and U.S. governments were installed.
 
Carter Writes Kindly Of Hamas, Hizbullah

  Hamas is putting all its eggs in the basket of President-elect Barack Obama, according to former president Jimmy Carter, who met with the chiefs of the terror group in Syria last week.

  “Like the Syrians, they [Hamas] are patient, relatively satisfied with the status quo, and putting all their eggs in Obama’s basket. We had to caution them about expecting too much of an immediate change in U.S. Middle East policy,” Carter wrote in a first-person report posted on his Carter Center website.

  Carter recounted how on the anniversary of Hamas’s founding, he met last week in Damascus with Hamas chieftain Khaled Meshaal “and his fellow Hamas politburo members, all of whom are scientists, medical doctors, or engineers – none trained in religion.”

  A senior Israeli security official who was made aware of Carter’s description of Meshaal and other top Hamas members as “scientists, medical doctors, or engineers,” said such descriptions were “simply outrageous apologies for evil.”

  The official pointed out there is strong evidence that Meshaal, who heads an active terrorist organization, directly ordered numerous Hamas terror attacks over the years, and, until Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in 2007, controlled the flow of money for all Hamas activities, including terrorism and the group’s vast civilian infrastructure in Gaza and the West Bank.

  Carter continued by stating that he discussed with Meshaal “items on my agenda that included an extension of the cease-fire in Gaza.” About an hour after he met with Carter last Sunday, Meshaal announced at a press conference that Hamas would not renew the cease-fire, although spokesmen for the terror group later clarified that a decision had not yet been made.

  Aside from Hamas, Carter, who visited Lebanon, also lamented that the Lebanese Hizbullah terrorist organization lacks missiles to “defend” itself from Israeli aircraft.

  “The general showed us a graph of the many flights of Israeli planes over all parts of Lebanon, averaging about a dozen each day. Neither Hizbullah nor the Lebanese Armed Forces have any anti-aircraft weapons for defense,” wrote Carter.

  Carter’s information may not be accurate. Israel has some intelligence indicating that Hizbullah may have smuggled anti-aircraft missile batteries along the Syrian-Lebanese border. Regardless of whether Hizbullah possesses anti-aircraft missiles, Israeli overflights, which have been ongoing since the end of the Second Lebanon War, have not targeted or endangered Hizbullah operatives.

  Israel says the overflights are crucial to collect intelligence on the continued smuggling of mass quantities of weaponry to Hizbullah across the Syria-Lebanon border – an area that is supposed to be patrolled by UNIFIL. Israeli security officials complain that the Israel Air Force routinely provides UNIFIL with exact smuggling routes backed up with photographic evidence but the international force does almost nothing to stop the smuggling.

  Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs and is the author of the book “Schmoozing with Terrorists.”

Whoops, Missed!

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

      Tony Blair, the Middle East envoy for the Four Great Powers, told an interviewer that PM Olmert has already made a deal with Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Palestinian Arab Authority. While Olmert, the lame-duck prime minister, has no authority to sign agreements, he still can cause a great deal of trouble for Israel and for the next prime minister by making verbal agreements.  

           Many wonder exactly what Olmert is attempting to do. Maybe his actions are a form of revenge against Israel for rejecting him and forcing him to resign over his alleged criminal activities. How sad that the police do not arrest and incarcerate him to stop him from selling Israel down the river in his last month as prime minister.

      At the same time, Defense Minister Barak, for his own political reasons, has been allowing Hamas terrorists to carry out daily rocket attacks against Israeli towns with impunity. No serious response is made by Israel, except for daily statements of, “Nu, Nu, Nu, you had better stop.” Hundreds of rocket shells have been fired by Hamas, but little has been done to stop the terror.

     With elections in the offing, Barak seems to want to prove that he is a liberal and a “man of peace.” He has even agreed to send a million shekels to Gaza banks without first demanding a stop to the shelling and the release of Gilad Shalit. How dumb does Barak think the Israeli electorate is, and how much damage can he cause before the coming election?

      The latest Olmert action is the freeing of Arab terrorists as a “confidence-building” measure. Why we want to give more confidence to Arab terrorists is unclear. Abbas has clearly stated that there will be no peace until all Palestinian prisoners are released. What is Israel receiving for the released prisoners?

      I checked the website to see the identity of these 288 Arab prisoners “without blood on their hands.”  Sadly, their only reason for being released is that they failed to murder Jews the first time around. The list is available and here are some of the crimes they committed:  

     “Attempted murder of civilians” – he failed. 

     “Setting explosives without a permit” – he missed.

     “Throwing firebombs, shooting at civilians” – and missing them.

     “Throwing firebombs, attempted murder” – he only maimed children.

       “Setting explosives to murder” – but failing.

       “Selling weapons and setting explosives” – it seems that he missed.

       “Shooting a weapon illegally, attempted murder” – but he only wounded civilians.  

       The crimes are similar for every one of the terrorist prisoners to be released as a “good will gesture.” It seems that Olmert is saying, “Let’s give them a second chance!”

      A second chance to do what?  

      Where are our modern Maccabees?

      Happy Chanukah to all!                                       

Comments may be sent to dov@gilor.com.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns//2008/12/17/

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