Olmert defends Netanyahu in wake of 'pathetic' Trump remarks

Former PM describes 45th U.S. president as 'crazy' following released recordings lambasting current opposition leader for congratulating Joe Biden on his victory in the 2020 American elections, which he continues to claim was 'rigged'

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Former prime minister Ehud Olmert defended Benjamin Netanyahu following remarks made last week by former U.S. president Donald Trump.
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  • At the opening session of the 13th Annual Leadership Dialogue on Israel-UK-Australia Relations, the former primer described Trump as "pathetic and crazy."
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    אהוד אולמרט ובנימין נתניהו
    אהוד אולמרט ובנימין נתניהו
    Then-opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu and then-prime minister Ehud Olmert in Knesset
    (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
    Recently released recordings of Trump lambasted the current head of the opposition for the recorded video, he sent to then-President-elect Joe Biden congratulating him on his victory in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
    “Nobody did more for Bibi. And I liked Bibi. I still like Bibi," he told Israeli journalist Barak Ravid, referring to Netanyahu by his nickname. "But I also like loyalty. The first person to congratulate Biden was Bibi. And not only did he congratulate him, he did it on tape. And it was on tape."
    Trump then reiterated yet again about the anger he felt when he saw that Netanyahu posted a clip congratulating Biden. He says his wife Melania was the one who saw Netanyahu’s video and told him about it. “She said, Wow, look at this”, he recalled in the interview in April 2021 in Mar-a-Lago.
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    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands with US President Donald Trump after signing the Abraham Accords, at the White House
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands with US President Donald Trump after signing the Abraham Accords, at the White House
    Then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands with then-U.S. president Donald Trump after signing the Abraham Accords, at the White House in 2020
    (Photo: Reuters)
    "The first person who congratulated Joe Biden, because this was an election in dispute, it's still in dispute. The first person who congratulated 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 claimed that unlike Netanyahu, other leaders like Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro and Russian President Putin did not congratulate Biden right away because “they felt the election was rigged”.
    According to Trump, Netanyahu's message came too early. “Early, okay? Let's use this. He was very early. Like earlier than most. I haven’t spoken to him since. Fuck him”, he says.
    Amid ongoing nuclear talks in Vienna between Iran and the P5+1, Olmert also expressed strong opposition to Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA — which is said to have been made with encouragement from Netanyahu.
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    שיחות הגרעין בווינה
    שיחות הגרעין בווינה
    World powers meet with Iranian officials in Vienna to discuss a return to the 2015 nuclear deal
    (Photo: Reuters)
    “The American withdrawal from the nuclear deal was a major strategic error that moves Iran closer to a nuclear weapon,“ he 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.
    ”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. 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.”
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