By Donna Rachel Edmunds, World Israel News
Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert mounted an unexpected defense of former rival Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, slamming former U.S. President Donald Trump for his recent criticism of Netanyahu.
Taking part in the opening session of the 13th Annual Leadership Dialogue on Israel-UK-Australia Relations via video-link, Olmert said: “Everyone knows my opinion of Netanyahu. I am not fond of him, I don’t appreciate him, I don’t trust him, I don’t believe in his integrity. But Trump’s interview is a living example of a man for whom everything is personal. Everything is judged according to his own personal interests.”
Olmert’s criticism came in reference to remarks made by Trump to Israeli journalist Barak Ravid, during interviews for Ravid’s book Trump’s peace: The Abraham Accords and the Reshaping of the Middle East.
“The first person who congratulated [Joe Biden] was Bibi Netanyahu, the man that I did more for than any other person I dealt with… Bibi could have stayed quiet. He has made a terrible mistake.” Trump said.
Olmert leapt to Netanyahu’s defense during the dialogue, saying: “The fact that Netanyahu congratulated Biden on his election victory shows that he acted as we should expect the Israeli PM to act – to congratulate the duly elected American president. He even hesitated in releasing his congratulatory video and waited until it became an embarrassment that the State of Israel, the stalwart ally of the US, would not congratulate the President-elect of the US on his election victory.”
Olmert added: “Trump said that the fact that Netanyahu congratulated Biden is a betrayal of the special relationship between Israel and the US; that is crazy and beyond understanding, he is a pathetic man.”
Netanyahu responded himself Friday to the Trump’s coarse attack, saying “it was important’ that he congratulate the American president-elect on his victory.