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Video: Olmert booed in NYC for saying Israel should re-engage in the ‘peace process’

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on 23 Comments

Over the weekend former Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert spoke at a conference organized by the Jerusalem Post in New York City. As the the video above shows the crowd did not support his argument that a Palestinian state is in Israeli self-interest.

From the settler-affiliated news service Arutz Sheva:

Speaking to an audience of thousands of Jews and supporters of Israel in New York Sunday morning – in front of a crowd shouting both cheers and jeers – former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that he supported the “new politics” represented by both Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid and Bayit Yehudi head Naftali Bennett. Their way of doing things “deserved to be strengthened,” although he had no desire to run for office again.

With that, Olmert reiterated his long-standing policy of a major Israeli withdrawal from much of Judea and Samaria, saying that recent declarations by Binyamin Netanyahu showed that the Prime Minister concurred with his opinions. “I am the realistic one,” Olmert said. “Bibi is saying today what I was saying then.” Israel, he said, could not continue “to rule over a million people without giving them democratic rights” without becoming internationally isolated. “In order to preserve Israel we must renew dialog with the Palestinians,” he said.

(h/t Ira Glunts)

Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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23 Responses

  1. Les on April 29, 2013, 11:54 am

    Give some credit to the NY Times for making sure its readers, Jewish and non-Jewish, are aware that Israel’s Jews are victims of Palestinians and not as the occupiers and ethnic cleansers of the Palestinians.

  2. Ira Glunts on April 29, 2013, 11:59 am

    “All of the leaders of Europe came to the home of the Prime Minister [his home after the attack] and congratulated Israel for attacking the Hamas in Gaza” — Ehud Olmert

    This is about as believable as most of the rest of what Olmert says. Although I believe that Netanyahu and Olmert are actually pretty close in what they would offer the Palestinians — not real sovereignty.

    I wonder if Peter Beinart still refers to Olmert as an example of a good liberal Zionist Israeli politician (as opposed to Netanyahu).

  3. pabelmont on April 29, 2013, 1:05 pm

    Words, words, words — altho welcome words from a (former:natch!) big-shot. I much doubt he speaks for, or in accord with the deep thought and desires of, N’yahu or ther others. When he (or any other (former) big-shot) proposes either [1] that Israel withdraw from OPTs, roll-back all existing settlements, or the like or [2] USA, UNSC, EU apply force to Israel to do these things — because Israel will not do them as acts of free will — then it will make sense to listen. As with the EU-19 mere words are small comfort.

  4. Justpassingby on April 29, 2013, 1:14 pm

    Whats worse with this video?

    People booing the aspect of peace-talks or the screaming olmert-demagogue?

    • W.Jones on April 30, 2013, 12:42 am

      The former, for whom the latter was not demagogic enough.

      • James Canning on April 30, 2013, 2:23 pm

        Good point, and I agree.

  5. James Canning on April 29, 2013, 2:58 pm

    Olmert is quite right. It is in Israel’s own true best interests to get out of the West Bank.

    • pabelmont on April 30, 2013, 11:45 am

      James Canning: I do not know how to distinguish a nation’s “true best interests” from its [untrue?] [not-best?] “national interests”.

      The very notion of a “national interest” — whether USA’s or Israel’s or any other democratic nation’s — is incomprehensible to me. The “national interest” (a non-sensicval or tqautological bumper-sticker slogan if ever there were one) is a minute-by-minute averaging over all private interests, or in realpolitik terms, an averaging over all the private interests THAT MATTER (mostly the interests of the CEOs of large corporations and banks and hedge funds, plus a Koch or Adelman or Bloomberg or two).

      So what Israel’s interest is depends on whom you ask. The settlers like the settlements “jez fine”. It seems that the settlements are also in the USA’s “national interest” (i.e., what BIG-ZION wants and what no other BIG such as BIG-OIL, BIG-ARMAMENTS cares to oppose).

      • James Canning on May 1, 2013, 1:58 pm

        pabelmont – – The assessment of a nation’s true best interests is an obligation of the political leaders of that nation. Very often, those leaders give excessive wieght to what is in their own personal best interests, rather than those of the country.

        For example, was it in the true best interests of the American people to invade Iraq in 2003? Answer obviously is negative. But, current leaders of the US often do what they can to confuse the American people, to cover up astounding arrogance, stupidity, and worse, that brought on the catastrophe in Iraq.

  6. David Doppler on April 29, 2013, 5:10 pm

    “Israel, he said, could not continue ‘to rule over a million people without giving them democratic rights’ without becoming internationally isolated.” Simple truth, succinctly put (although he could have gone farther than the consequence of merely becoming internationally isolated). All arguments/responses/rationalizations against this view are just BS.

    • Nevada Ned on April 30, 2013, 2:17 am

      David Doppler:

      You wrote…

      “Israel, he said, could not continue ‘to rule over a million people without giving them democratic rights’ without becoming internationally isolated.”

      This has already happened.

      For decades, Israel has ruled over a million Palestinians in Gaza, on the West Bank, and within the 1967 Green Line. The Palestinian in the OPT cannot vote in Israeli elections (of course Jewish settlers in illegal West Bank settlements can vote in Israeli elections). Palestinians are the victims of systematic racial discrimination.

      And, Israel has become internationally isolated: as shown by the vote to admit the state of Palestine to the U. N., and as shown by international opinion polls. Of course, it can become even more isolated.

      Rashid Khalidi remarks somewhere: the whole world supports the Palestinians, except for the US and Israel. But the US and Israel are so powerful that they can to pretty much whatever they want.

      • James Canning on April 30, 2013, 1:51 pm

        Nevada Ned – – Other countries can do more to help the Palestinians end the occupation of the West Bank. Yes, Israel lobby in US and other countries does its best to prevent this from occurring.

      • James Canning on April 30, 2013, 2:03 pm

        Systematic religious discrimination, against Muslims and Christians, by Israel, Nevada Ned.

  7. Kathleen on April 29, 2013, 5:12 pm

    Olmert “painful concessions” He has seen the writing on the wall for a long time. Israel starts to play fair or one state one vote is coming sooner than later.

    Adam over at Huff Po they have the Conan O’Brien white house correspondents speech up there are some funny lines towards the end about Congressman Israel’s last name. Conan “there is pandering and then there is PANDERING” Damn funny. Conan also takes a swipe at Eric Cantor for being just another Republican Jewish Congressman from the South. Conan rolls his eyes as if there are so many of these Reps who falls into that category. Funny

  8. flyod on April 29, 2013, 7:23 pm

    cast lead… olmert should only be speaking from behind bars

    • Kathleen on April 30, 2013, 1:09 pm

      important point

    • James Canning on April 30, 2013, 1:48 pm

      flyod – – Did Obama operatives encourage the Israeli rampage in Gaza in 2008, in hopes it would be over before Obama entered the White House?

  9. ToivoS on April 29, 2013, 8:07 pm

    Olmert makes the sensible suggestion in NY that Israel can not rule the WB and he is booed and jeered by a presumably American Jewish audience. This I believe is the reality of the tribal thinking among those who identify with Israel.

    How long has it been that these people knew the whole Oslo process was a sham? It didn’t occur to me untill about 2000 or so. This is not going to end well for either Israelis or Palestinians. American Jews should do OK though.

    • James Canning on April 30, 2013, 1:47 pm

      ToivoS – – Regarding Oslo, to what extent can we credit the Israel lobby in the US for encouraging frantic growth of illegal colonies in the West Bank, after the deal was made?

  10. MRW on April 29, 2013, 11:16 pm

    “REPORT: The Israeli Air Force Flew Into Syria And Bombed A Chemical Weapons Plant”
    They did over the weekend. WTF?
    http://www.businessinsider.com/report-israeli-bombed-syrian-chemical-weapons-plant-2013-4

  11. Mayhem on April 30, 2013, 3:03 am

    Some booed and some applauded – what’s new?
    Title of this piece is misleading, gives false impression.

    • Cliff on April 30, 2013, 3:18 pm

      Title is accurate.

      The point is that they booed. Not ‘some blah, some blah’.

  12. eljay on April 30, 2013, 8:58 am

    Zio-supremacists – through their hatefulness, immorality and greed – will destroy the supremacist state they worked (and stole and colonized and terrorized and cleansed and killed) hard to create.

    It is more important to them to maintain Israel as an oppressive and supremacist state than it is to be held accountable in any way for past (war) crimes and to work earnestly toward a two-state solution that is just and mutually-beneficial, and which results in two secular, democratic and egalitarian states:
    – a “Jewish culture” Israeli state for all its citizens, equally; and
    – a “Palestinian culture” Palestinian state for all its citizens, equally.

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