Israeli politician, prime minister of Israel
Ehud Olmert (born September 30, 1945) is an Israeli politician and lawyer. He served as Prime Minister of Israel from 2006 to 2009 and before that as a cabinet minister from 1988 to 1992 and from 2003 to 2006. Between his first and second stints as a cabinet member, he served as mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003.
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- The formula for the parameters of a unilateral solution are: To maximize the number of Jews; to minimize the number of Palestinians; not to withdraw to the 1967 border and not to divide Jerusalem.
- We are approaching the point where more and more Palestinians will say: we have been won over. We agree with [National Union leader Avigdor] Liberman. There is no room for two states between the Jordan and the sea. All that we want is the right to vote. The day they do that, is the day we lose everything. Even when they carry out terror, it is very difficult for us to persuade the world of the justice of our cause. We see this on a daily basis. All the more so when there is only one demand: an equal right to vote. The thought that the struggle against us will be headed by liberal Jewish organizations who shouldered the burden of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa scares me.
- Had I believed that there is a real chance of reaching an agreement, I would have recommended making an effort. But that is not the case. The choice we will be facing will be between less than a Geneva Accord—which means a return to the 1967 border, the crushing of Jerusalem, and a struggle to our last breath to ward off the international pressure to absorb hundreds of thousands of refugees into the shrinking State of Israel—and a comprehensive unilateral move, and I stress the word comprehensive. Through such a move we will define our borders, which under no circumstances will be identical to the Green Line and will include Jerusalem as a united city under our sovereignty.
- For thousands of years, we Jews have been nourished and sustained by a yearning for our historic land. I, like many others, was raised with a deep conviction that the day would never come when we would have to relinquish parts of the land of our forefathers. I believed and to this day still believe in our people's eternal and historic right to this entire land.
- The day will come when the two-state solution collapses and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights. As soon as that happens, the state of Israel is finished. The Jewish organizations, which were our power base in America, will be the first to come out against us, because they will say they cannot support a state that does not support democracy and equal voting rights for all its residents.
- Financial Times (30 NOV 2007)
- When we saw that the Secretary of State, for reasons we did not really understand, wanted to vote in favor of the U.N. resolution... I looked for President Bush and they told me he was in Philadelphia making a speech, I said, 'I don't care. I have to talk to him now'. They got him off the podium, brought him to another room and I spoke to him. I told him, 'You can't vote in favor of this resolution.' He said, 'Listen, I don't know about it, I didn't see it, I'm not familiar with the phrasing.' [I said to him] 'I'm familiar with it. You can't vote in favor.' He gave an order to the Secretary of State and she did not vote in favor of it -- a resolution she cooked up, phrased, organized and maneuvered for. She was left pretty shamed and abstained on a resolution she arranged.
- Reuters (13 Jan 2009)