LTHOUGH Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert is peeved at Hillary Clinton for snubbing him during her recent trip to Israel, he says he’ll still meet with her any time she chooses.
“She was too busy with Suha Arafat to find time to see me,” Olmert said. “And when she sat and said nothing while Mrs. Arafat made such false accusation against the Jews, I found that obnoxious and terrible.”
Olmert was guest speaker at a Middle East Forum luncheon at the Harmonie Club in Manhattan. The organization is a think tank headed by Mideast expert Daniel Pipes and based in Philadelphia.
The Jerusalem mayor resisted endorsing either Hillary or Rudy Giuliani in their race for the senate seat from New York, saying, “I’m not going to tell you how to vote, but I must say I don’t find a more devoted friend of Jerusalem than Giuliani.”
He was particularly dismayed that the Vatican signed an agreement with the Palestinian Authority regarding Jerusalem.
“The status of Jerusalem,” he insisted, “will not be determined by the Vatican or the Palestinians. It was determined by history. It became the capital of the Jewish people 3,000 years ago.
“Some say you have to be creative. I say you have to be straightforward. There is a solution. It was made 33 years ago by the Israel government and the paratroopers, and I like that solution” (when Israeli troops liberated the Old City in the Six-Day War).
When he declared that moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would help the peace process, his audience cheered.
“Friends,” he said, “I need applause in Israel. What does it help me here?”
While the U.S. refrains from relocating the embassy, he said, it creates inflated and impossible expectations for the Palestinian Authority.
“As long as the PA knows that America will not move the embassy, they will not compromise.”
Olmert said he would continue to speak out: “I was elected not only to collect the garbage – which I’m proud to do – but also to deal with issues of Jerusalem.”