heard yesterday

Olmert: I hope Biden will return to the Iran deal

The former Israeli prime minister said Biden's approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict 'fits in with what I tried to do'


Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert

In a webcast hosted by Long Island University’s Global Service Institute yesterday, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed his hope that President-elect Joe Biden will have the “courage” to return to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and renegotiate “an even better agreement” that will “deter them from even trying to” advance their nuclear program.

A welcome friendship: Olmert, who preceded Netanyahu in office and negotiated a failed peace deal with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, also remarked that — notwithstanding President Donald Trump’s friendly approach to Israel — he “prefers” Biden’s “attitude” toward solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “because it fits in with what I tried to do” when President George W. Bush was in office. “I think that Joe Biden’s attitude is the right attitude. It is based on friendship and commitment to the security of the State of Israel, I have no doubt about it,” said Olmert, adding, “I have no fears whatsoever about his presidency as far as Israel is concerned.” 

Good for America: Pointing to Trump’s refusal to concede the election and his questioning of the integrity of the vote count, Olmert said that Israel shouldn’t judge the American president only by his gestures and treatment of the Jewish State. “Donald Trump was a friendly president to the State of Israel, there is no question about it. We are grateful for him. But… it would be somewhat presumptuous and arrogant to think… [only] who is good for Israel. No! We first and foremost have to think who is good for America. And if most of the people think Biden is good for America, then we think and hope that he will be good for the world… And if he will be good for America, if he will be good for the world, almost inevitably he will also be good for us.” In a weekly column for The Jerusalem Post, Olmert wrote that Biden “will be a friend of Israel and not of Israel’s right-wing bloc.”

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