Former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert supports Palestinian UN bid

By Anna Sheinman, November 29, 2012
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (Photo: AP)

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (Photo: AP)

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert does not oppose the Palestinian Authority’s UN bid for non-member observer status, saying it is “congruent with the basic concept of the two-state solution”.

Mr Olmert wrote to Hebrew University professor Bernard Avishai saying he would not oppose the bid for the upgrade of the Palestinians to non-member observer status, due to be heard at the UN General Assembly on Thursday.

Prof Avishai published the letter on the Daily Beast. In it, Mr Olmert states: “Once the United Nations will lay the foundation for this idea, we in Israel will have to engage in a serious process of negotiations, in order to agree on specific borders based on the 1967 lines, and resolve the other issues.

“It is time to give a hand to, and encourage, the moderate forces amongst the Palestinians. Abu-Mazen [Abbas] and Salam Fayyad need our help. It's time to give it.”

During his time as Prime Minister Mr Olmert agreed a peace deal with President Abbas but the effort failed.

Germany has announced its intention to abstain from the vote, as has Britain, whereas Switzerland, France and Austria are all intending to support the motion. European voting is expected to make little different to the outcome – the motion is likely to pass with overwhelming support from Africa, Latin and South America and the rest of the Middle East.

Last updated: 11:07am, November 29 2012