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Olmert to Netanyahu: 'We've declared war on the American government'

February 10, 2014 at 11:23 am

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has attacked current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his candid criticism of the recent US-brokered deal on Iran’s nuclear programme.

Speaking at a conference held at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, Olmert boldly asserted that: “We’ve declared war on the American government. You can’t deny this.” He also asked whether the saviour in the Iranian matter will be Putin, or Obama.

He called Netanyahu’s policy of publicly confronting the US over its Iran policy “utterly misguided”, suggesting that it was unwise “going into battle against our best ally and to whip up [the] Congress” against the Obama Administration.

Olmert also pointed out that” “There is one country in the world that regularly votes in favour of the State of Israel at the United Nations over all those years, in cases in which we were 100 per cent correct and in cases when we perhaps weren’t 100 per cent correct,” referring to the US.

He then posed the rhetorical question, “What do you want from them?”

Olmert also criticised Netanyahu for wasting ten billion shekels, around $2.8 billion, on unnecessary war preparations.

Netanyahu, who is away in Italy, did not wait until he was back to respond to his predecessor. From Rome, he remarked: “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.”

Attacking Olmert personally, Netanyahu added: “I am committed to the future of my state and in contrast to periods in the past, we have a loud and clear voice among the nations and we will sound it in time in order to warn of the danger.”

This was not the first time for Olmert to severely criticise Netanyahu over his Iran policy. Speaking to Israeli Channel 2 television last January, Olmert accused Netanyahu of spending 11 billion shekels out of the defence budget on “hallucinatory escapades that will never be realised”.