Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert accused Benjamin Netanyahu of declaring war on the United States.
“We’ve declared war on the American government. You can’t deny this,” Olmert said Sunday at panel discussion during a special conference on the Geneva agreement at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, according to Israeli media.
Olmert said Israel should not be leading the international effort against Iran’s nuclear program and that that role should be left to the United States.
“Israel should be a partner in this fight but cannot and should not lead the international fight,” Olmert said. ”This was the Sharon government’s position and the position of my government as well.”
Netanyahu has publicly called the agreement arrived at in Geneva last month between Iran and the world powers, under which provides some sanctions relief for Iran in exchange for rollbacks in Iran’s nuclear program, a “bad deal” and a “historic mistake.”
“I hope this will not be perceived as an attack on the prime minister,” Olmert said. “But the state of Israel should cease to criticize the policy of the U.S. and the policymakers of the United States.”
Netanyahu, in Rome for a meeting with Pope Francis, responded to Olmert’s barbs, saying, according to the Jerusalem Post: “When I see that our vital interests are at stake I will not shut up.”