Photo: Niv Calderon
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
Photo: Niv Calderon
Photo: AP
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Photo: AP

Olmert on Iran: We won't repeat mistakes committed 60 years ago

Prime minister says Iranian president's comment won't be ignored, urges world to act to stop Iran

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Monday that since the Holocaust no statesman has openly called for the destruction of another country, saying that remarks by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that Israel will be destroyed are unacceptable.


"It is unacceptable that the same leader continues to be accepted as legitimate across the world," he said.


Speaking to businessmen and investors in Tel Aviv, Olmert called on world leaders to act against Ahmadinejad.


"We won't repeat mistakes committed 60 years ago," he said, referring to the world's failure to take seriously threats by the Nazis to annihilate Europe's Jewry in the lead-up to WWII.


"We will tell everyone, everywhere: It is impossible to ignore these remarks. The responsible, moral and visionary world ... cannot continue to live with a reality where a country's leader says there is a need to wipe out a country that is a member of the United Nations like Israel," Olmert said.


"This struggle is not just Israel's. We will continue to deal with preventing Iran from becoming a non-conventional nuclear power," he added.


Turning his attention to plans to change the government system in Israel, Olmert said the current system paralyzed the 31 governments that led Israel since its conception 59 years ago as a government's average lifespan doesn't exceed one and a half years.


Olmert said he doesn't remember the last time a state budget was approved on time. "I have been in politics for many years. I was first elected on December 31, 1973. I am completing my 33rd year as a politician who held senior positions and I ask myself: When was the last time that a budget was approved in the State of Israel by December 31?"


Olmert explained why he believes a change in the government system would engender political stability. "The stability of the political system is not measured by a daily test of the system's functioning. When you think what is required of a political system to pass the State of Israel budget in way that would foster stability, you reach the conclusion that system change is needed."


פרסום ראשון: 10.23.06, 13:00
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