Olmert: The leaders of the United Arab Emirates have taken steps for peace; Israel, the Palestinians?
Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Wednesday thanked Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MBZ) for taking great risks to normalize with Israel, and questioned whether Jerusalem and the Palestinians would follow suit. not to reach a peace agreement.
He continued, “I am saying that they set an example that should be followed by many others. Therefore, they deserve to be recognized for their leadership which will set the trend for major change that can “improve the whole of the Middle East.”
Then the former prime minister said: “Now is the time for the leaders of other countries, starting with the leaders of the State of Israel, to take a giant step forward to resolve all the outstanding issues that still create difficulties on our part. of the world.
“Israel must intervene because we are stronger. Not because we are more or less responsible. We are stronger and we occupy the Palestinians. We must stand up and sit down without any preconditions for a two-state solution. And I hope that Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] will have the wisdom and the courage to do what it did not do when I proposed a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders ”in 2008.
Further, speaking to all future leaders of Israel, he said that whoever they are, “if they have the courage to do it [cut a deal with the Palestinians], the whole Middle East will change.
The former prime minister said both sides made terrible mistakes, missing out on chances for peace in the past.
He criticized Abbas for not giving a conditional yes to the Trump administration’s January 2020 peace plan in an attempt to capitalize on positive momentum and potentially expose Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as rejecting the plan.
In addition, he warned the Palestinian Authority that the world could lose patience with him for not having made enough efforts to compromise to resolve the conflict with Israel.
In 2008, Olmert offered Abbas the most ambitious Israeli compromise to date to resolve the conflict.
However, by the time he made the offer, he had already announced his resignation due to legal issues, which cast doubt on the offer, and various officials said even the then Foreign Minister , Tzipi Livni, had told the Palestinian Authority to wait until she is elected. .
She was defeated in the coalition-building race by Netanyahu in 2009, who has since served as prime minister.
Addressing potential new prime ministers Yair Lapid, leader of Yesh Atid and Naftali Bennett, leader of Yamina, Olmert cautioned: “Be careful until the very last minute – you never know in Israeli politics what can happen. I hope they will be successful. But even if they fail today, they will succeed in no time because Netanyahu is finished. “
He also turned to the audience and said: “While some Israelis think we come here to teach the Emirates how we build and create… we can learn a lot from you guys – the more we will be open to. mind about it. . “