Ehud Olmert served as Prime Minister of the State of Israel from 2006 to 2009.
Born in Binyamina in 1945, Olmert studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and worked as a lawyer.
He was first elected to the 8th Knesset in 1973 at the age of 28 and was reelected eight times. In 1993, Olmert was elected as Mayor of Jerusalem and led the city through the difficult years of Palestinian terror attacks.
In 2003, he returned to national politics holding many senior ministerial positions and serving as PM Ariel Sharon’s Vice Prime Minister. Following Sharon’s stroke in 2006, Olmert became acting Prime Minister.
In the March 2006 elections, Olmert led the Kadima Party to victory and was elected as the 12th Prime Minister of the State of Israel.
During his time as Prime Minister, he led the country during the Second Lebanon War which re-established Israeli deterrence giving Israel quiet on its northern border for over a decade. He also worked towards a peace agreement with the Palestinians and in November 2007, attended the Annapolis Peace Conference led by President George W. Bush.
At the end of 2008, in response to ongoing attacks on Israel, Olmert ordered the launch of Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.
Following accusations of corruption, Olmert resigned from his position to fight for his innocence, leaving the premiership in February 2009.
Olmert was acquitted of the central corruption charges levied against him but convicted of lesser charges of obstruction of justice and the misappropriation of political contributions and served a 16 month sentence in a correctional facility.
Olmert is soon to publish his autobiography which will shed light on the conspiracy that Olmert and many in Israel believe was supported and financed by right-wing circles in the United States and their counterparts in Israel in order to prevent the peace agreement which Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas were very close to concluding.
Olmert continues to promote efforts to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He currently heads a private consulting practice and enjoys spending time with his wife Aliza, their five children and 12 grandchildren.
Civilisation State: Multilaterism and Globalisation
16:30 – 17:45