Explosive Allegations Against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says the government of Benjamin Netanyahu spent almost $3 billion in the past two years preparing for a war against Iran’s nuclear program that it probably never intended to wage.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Olmert said the sum was above and beyond the billions allocated to the defense budget and helped raise Israel’s fiscal deficit to heights it hadn’t reached in years. As a result, he said, Netanyahu would be forced to make broad spending cuts, if reelected next week, upsetting potential coalition partners that are accustomed to having their sectarian causes generously financed.
“The security establishment…on the instructions of the government spent an additional 11 billion shekels ($2.95 billion) beyond the regular budget of the Defense department to make preparations regarding a possible Israeli operation against Iran,” said Olmert, who is Netanyahu’s political rival.
He said the extra spending was designed to make the United States believe that Israel genuinely intended to attack Iran’s nuclear program. Netanyahu hoped the perception would prod President Obama, who opposes an Israeli strike, to organize tighter sanctions against Iran and take action of his own to prevent it from crossing the nuclear threshold.
“The general opinion of those that were involved [in the preparations] was that this was much more about rhetoric and less about a real determination to activate it,” Olmert told The Daily Beast.