'I regret not finishing the job.' Olmert
Photo: Avi Peretz
'Israel not moving forward.' Netanyahu
Photo: Noam Moskowitz
Among the guests was former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who ended his term in office two years ago over allegations of corruption. Speaking to the audience, Olmert harshly criticized the current government and its leader, Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahu.
"There is no escape from saying that the State of Israel has not moved forward in the past two years," he said, adding, "You have to be blind and detached from reality not to understand that important processes are taking shape in our region."
In his speech, the former prime minister commented on the revolution in Egypt and the opportunities it has presented to the Palestinian society.
"When we look at the Palestinian public we need to ask ourselves – has nothing changed in Judea and Samaria in the past few years? Is our cooperation the same as it was 10 years ago, or is it completely different nowadays? Are there only dangers, or also opportunities?
"I would like to carefully propose, that those who are not willing to look for the opportunities in this complex reality, will not march forward, and will jeopardize Israel's existence and status more than any other threat in our immediate surroundings," he added.
The former prime minister, who was in office during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip, addressed the recent escalation in the south: "If there's one thing I regret – it's that we didn't finish the job back then – we cannot avoid the need to complete the job.
"Israel cannot accept the presence of a terror entity in Gaza, which threatens the citizens of the State of Israel, without taking action. Not random action, but controlled, precise and organized action with enough force to bring a change to the reality in Gaza," Olmert said.
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