Olmert, Netanyahu's centrist predecessor who led Israel from 2006 to 2009, met with Abbas in NY hours after the Palestinian leader went before the United Nations Security Council to denounce US President Donald Trump's Middle East plan.
Glass half full: Olmert told Jewish Insider that he implored Abbas to embrace the "one basic principle" of two states as a starting point to relaunch talks.
Abbas also said Tuesday he was prepared to launch negotiations with Israel under the patronage of the Quartet, made-up of the US, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union, and on the basis of worldwide resolutions, if Israel showed it was a partner for peace.
"Any other country can join the Quartet.to be honest, the U.S. alone cannot be the sole mediator", Abbas told diplomats from the United States and Israel among many other countries in the chamber. "We don't want violence".
"President Trump I met was not like that", Abbas said.
"I came to all of you today to affirm the Palestinian position which rejects the American-Israeli deal", Abbas told the council Tuesday at United Nations headquarters in New York City.
The plan allows Israel to annex large parts of the Palestinian-controlled West Bank, while giving Palestinians conditional and limited self-rule in areas linked by roads, bridges, and tunnels.
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They could complicate the situation on the ground and would serve only those who seek to radicalize people and undermine efforts to achieve peace, he said. "You know very well that the road to resolving this conflict does not pass through NY, but only through Jerusalem and Ramallah". "He is the only partner that we can deal with", Olmert said about the PA leader while sitting next to Abbas. "It's an opportunity and I think today was the beginning".
"I do not know who gave him this advice".
The other two members are France and Belgium. "We have come a long way".
The worldwide community does not recognize Israel's land seizures and believes the status of Jerusalem must be agreed upon with the Palestinians, who claim its eastern part as the capital of their state. He added that his views reflect those of many Israelis. "I have to be honest and emphasize that he never said "no" to my proposal". "Complaining instead of leading, that is Abbas' way".
But with the Palestinian public overwhelmingly opposed to the plan, Israelis expecting Abbas's successor to discuss it may be in for a shock.
A number of African Union member states also rejected the proposal during their recent summit.
The text, which faced a near-certain USA veto, did not go forward in part because it failed to garner the support needed by the Palestinians to isolate the United States, two diplomats at the United Nations said.
Waving a copy of a map that the Trump plan, Abbas said the state envisioned for the Palestinians looked like a fragmented "Swiss cheese". The following year, Benjamin Netanyahu became the prime minister and has been serving since in the office.
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To combat crime, he said , "put a lot of cops where the crime is, which means in minority neighborhoods". During his tenure, use of the practice increased sevenfold.
He called on the Security Council to be more involved in addressing the Palestinian struggle. He called the plan a "propaganda windfall" for Netanyahu and expressed concern that Israel was drifting toward becoming an apartheid state.
His main challenger, former army chief Benny Gantz, has also endorsed Trump's plan.
"Many diplomats are minded to run the clock down until November and cross their fingers that after the U.S. presidential election there will be a different president and perhaps a different policy".
Such project tries to legalize what is illegal: the Israeli occupation in Palestine, the construction of settlements by the settlers and the confiscation and annexation of Arab lands, he stressed. "It will take some more time, but these negotiations will take place, and the partner of Israel to these negotiations will be Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority".
In the end, no peace agreement was signed, and in 2008 Olmert left office amid a corruption scandal. Olmert has not held any elected office since his release from prison in 2017.
"Rest assured of the full commitment of the United Nations to a just and comprehensive peace between Palestinians and Israelis based on our shared multilateral framework set by United Nations resolutions and global law", he said.
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