Ehud Olmert canceled a trip to Switzerland after the former Israeli prime minister was warned that he would be arrested on suspicion of war crimes.
Olmert had been scheduled to travel to Switzerland on Monday, but was warned over the weekend by Israeli defence and justice officials that he would be detained for questioning upon landing, Israel’s Channel 12 first reported Wednesday evening.
According to the report, Olmert at first said he would still travel to Switzerland, but backed down after the officials said his detention would cause great embarrassment to Israel.
Olmert was prime minister during the 2006 Second Lebanon War and the three-week Gaza military operation known as Cast Lead that started in late December 2008.
He reportedly told the officials that he would tell the Swiss that Israel was fighting terrorist organisations – Hezbollah and Hamas, respectively — during the wars.
Olmert is not the only Israeli official who has been under threat of being arrested in a foreign country for war crimes. Former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni canceled a trip to London in 2009 after threats that she would be arrested, and on a private visit to Britain in 2016 managed to evade arrest after a warrant for her arrest was sought by anti-Israel activists.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.