J’Accuse…! – Former Israeli Prime Minister Attacks Netanyahu is Strongest Terms Yet

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (R) and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. (Design: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

In his strongest criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made a series of accusations in a column published in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. 

Olmert joined other Israeli voices who are accusing their leader of destroying the country.  His words, however, are the strongest and most elaborate of all criticisms. 

His first accusation of Netanyahu focused on “taking deliberate action to prolong the war” in Gaza. “The desire to drag out the fighting without specifying an end date is the reason precise objectives have not been set for the combat forces.”

He then accuses Netanyahu of the “intent to expand the war and initiate a direct, all-out military confrontation with Hezbollah in the north, instead of reaching, with French and U.S. mediation, an agreement with the Lebanese government that will bring an end to the current violent conflict.”

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He went further: 

“I accuse the prime minister of Israel of taking deliberate actions meant to cause a widespread flare-up of violence in the West Bank, in the knowledge that this would trigger the expansion of war crimes against Palestinians who are not involved in terrorism in any way.”

“I accuse the prime minister of Israel of deliberately abandoning the Israeli hostages who are still being held by Hamas murderers,” he wrote. “His refusal to reach an agreement that would allow all the hostages to return to Israel is based on the argument that it would prevent a total victory over Hamas,” he added.

“But total victory is not an option now and it has not been an option from the day the prime minister first presented it. It was meant to be an impossible goal that would allow the prime minister, any time he chooses, to blame the failure to achieve it on the military and the fighting forces in general and on the person who leads it, Lt. Gen. Herzl Halevi, in particular.”

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The list of Olmert’s accusations continued, to include, 

“I accuse the prime minister of Israel of deliberately endangering the lives of the soldiers out of a clear intention of exposing them to dangers that end in the loss of life almost daily ..”

“I accuse the prime minister of forming a security cabinet comprised of a rare assortment of people lacking skills, experience or understanding of the very complex system that is supposed to provide innumerable services and handle endless problems ..”

“I accuse the prime minister of Israel of deliberately thwarting the chance to establish a new regional axis based on a partnership between moderate Arab states such as Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, and possibly additional Muslim countries beyond the Middle East ..”

“I accuse the prime minister of Israel of a deliberate attempt to destroy the political-security-military alliance between Israel and the United States ..”

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Equally important to the nature of the accusations is the context. 

The term ‘I accuse’ – or ‘J’Accuse…!’ in French – is a reference to an open letter that was written in response to the events of what became known in history as the Dreyfus affair.

The letter was published in January 1898, and was addressed to the then-President of France, Félix Faure. It accused Faure’s government of antisemitism and the unlawful jailing of Alfred Dreyfus, a French Army General Staff officer who was sentenced to life in prison for espionage. 

The letter caused a major political controversy in France. Its writer was himself prosecuted for libel and found guilty on 23 February 1898.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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