Olmert: Netanyahu causing U.S. rift

Jan. 17, 2013 at 9:25 AM
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JERUSALEM, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Days before Israel's elections, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Thursday incumbent Binyamin Netanyahu is causing a rift with the United States.

The criticism came after reports indicated U.S. President Barack Obama criticized Netanyahu for supporting a plan to build a settlement in a sensitive area in the West Bank, Ynetnews reported.

"Israel doesn't know what its own best interests are," Obama reportedly said during closed-door meetings.

Olmert said Netanyahu's actions are threatening U.S. support of Israel.

Olmert also condemned the government's approach to the conflict with the Palestinians, Ynetnews said.

The Israeli government "rejects peace. It rejects the process and refuses to talk to the moderates on the Palestinian side. It doesn't want an agreement. There's no other way to say it," he said.

Ynetnews said Olmert also criticized the government's financial policies, arguing the defense budget has exceeded approved spending by 20 percent.

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