Former PM says his successor is sincere about making peace.By GIL HOFFMAN15/02/2010 03:17 (Israel time)Former prime minister Ehud Olmert, who led Israel’s efforts to prevent a nuclear Iran during his three-year premiership, expressed certainty on Sunday that the Islamic Republic’s nuclearization can be prevented without resorting to a military confrontation.Speaking to a gathering of the Israel Friends of Tel Aviv University at the campus’s Green Building, Olmert said the Iranian threat should not be underestimated and was a genuine reason for concern, but that Israel should not initiate a military strike on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear sites.He appeared to confirm Israel’s involvement in alleged covert operations that have reportedly hindered Teheran’s nuclear program.“There are a huge range of options between a full military attack and accepting a nuclear Iran,” Olmert said. “There are other means that – together with other things happening, and they are happening – can create a result that would not allow the Iranians to reach what they are trying to reach.”Olmert acknowledged to an Israel audience for the first time that he had been ready to divide Jerusalem and allow its holy basin (the area surrounding the Old City) to come under the stewardship of five countries, and to accept Palestinian refugees into Israel. He said he regretted not saying earlier that Israel had to be divided on the basis of the pre-1967 armistice lines.Olmert said he did not know why Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas did not accept the deal he negotiated with him. But he said world leaders and Arab leaders did and that he believed most of the people of Israel would have as well. Olmert expressed hope that the Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would adopt his plan.
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Sunday, February 14, 2010
From The Jerusalem Post (JPost.com)