Ehud Olmert tells FRANCE 24: ‘Benjamin Netanyahu has to go home’

In a large interview in Tel Aviv, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert discussed the ongoing government formation in the country and openly criticized his successor and rival Benjamin Netanyahu who, he said, “is not capable to continue”. He also addressed the issue of Iran, which regularly threatens Israel.

Addressing FRANCE 24 correspondent in Jerusalem, Antoine Mariotti, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed hope that Benny Gantz, the transformer army chief responsible for forming a government this week, would succeed and change the Israeli political landscape.

Olmert said it was “obvious” that his successor and rival Benjamin Netanyahu, whom he accused of wanting to stay in power “at almost any cost”, had to leave: “A Prime Minister who failed three times , several times in a row, in a year to have enough support to form a government, he is unable to continue. He must go home. “Netanyahu’s Likud party won the most seats in the elections for March 2, but did not reach majority and has since failed to form a government.

The former Israeli prime minister also raised the corruption charges against Netanyahu. Olmert himself resigned on allegations of corruption in 2008 and then spent 16 months in prison, which contrasts with Netanyahu’s position: “No one is above the law. I suffered from it but I bowed my head and said the courts were above me. Netanyahu thinks he is not only above the courts, but that he is above the country and it will not work. “

“Iran is not an existential threat to the State of Israel”

Finally, Olmert addressed the issue of Iran – which regularly threatens Israel – calling it “a problem”. “But we have to deal with Iran,” he said. “I have dealt with Iran for many years and I think we can handle the threat from Iran. It is not an existential threat to the State of Israel.”

Olmert also accused Netanyahu of using “rhetoric” to exaggerate the threat posed by Iran to Israel.