Skip to main content
CNN.com /TRANSCRIPTS

CNN TV
EDITIONS





CNN BREAKING NEWS

Interview With Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert

Aired March 9, 2002 - 17:23   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: We want to now bring on the phone with us the mayor of Jerusalem, who is in the middle of now dealing with a very bloody Saturday there. The mayor Ehud Olmert, he is on the phone with us now. Can you hear me OK?

EHUD OLMERT, JERUSALEM MAYOR: Yes.

WHITFIELD: OK. Well, you've got your hands full there with more than 80 people who are injured and now 11 people reported killed in two separate violent attacks there in Israel. What is taking place there in Jerusalem where there you had an explosion that took place at the cafe there? How are things being managed at that point?

OLMERT: Well, I'm standing right there at the (UNINTELLIGIBLE), one of the peaceful neighborhoods in Jerusalem, in the cafe, (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I must say, I have a very special pain at this point, first and foremost because a lot of people were killed. This is a coffee shop where I used to spend my time in Jerusalem many years ago (UNINTELLIGIBLE). The last placed you would expect to be involved (UNINTELLIGIBLE) bloody war that the Palestinians are fighting against us.

And this is very tragic. It's again (UNINTELLIGIBLE) operated by Yasser Arafat, and this is the bottom line. And I know that many political leaders are involved in the political analysis (UNINTELLIGIBLE) about this situation. But the bottom line is that every single day of the week (UNINTELLIGIBLE) innocent civilians being killed in their homes, in the coffee shops, in the streets or in the bars (ph). And (UNINTELLIGIBLE) seem not to listen to the political advice coming from overseas. They are just after blood, after Jewish blood, every day.

WHITFIELD: Well, mayor, this has to be an incredibly heartbreaking and difficult time for everyone who lives there. How is anyone to have any hope, even in a week such as this one, when there may be some U.S. help, in terms of bringing the opposing sides to the table with special envoy Anthony Zinni now making his way to Israel, as well as Vice President Dick Cheney? In what way can anyone there have hope that the two sides might be brought together for talks?

OLMERT: I'll tell you, I know Vice President Cheney, and I think he's an incredible person and a very experienced and (ph) (UNINTELLIGIBLE) political observer, and he knows that at this point the one major effort that has to be made is to use all of the power that the United States can possess in order to stop this bloody war by Arafat. This is a terrorist war, the same that America is fighting in Afghanistan. Yasser Arafat is doing this, and he hopes to get away with it, in contrast to the Taliban and the others in Afghanistan.

WHITFIELD: What kind...

OLMERT: Something must be done to stop it. No political negotiations will be meaningful, believe me. I mean, this is ridiculous. You're seeing that the democratically elected government of the state of Israel could negotiate with Arafat, when today we had to pull out pieces of bodies from the center of Jerusalem? Do you think it is possible? Do you think that it can be done?

WHITFIELD: So you do see it...

OLMERT: It's not possible.

WHITFIELD: You do see that there's a direct link between the fight against terrorism ongoing now in Afghanistan and the escalating violence there in Israel?

OLMERT: No, I'm not saying this. I just say that what America is doing there, which we wholeheartedly support, which we think is the right approach, the same thing must be done here without any compromise. It must be done with power and with determination.

It is heartbreaking for us. Believe me, it is heartbreaking for the Israelis. But nothing will break our spirit. What aggravates us is the fact that sometimes, somehow, the real perspective of this war (ph) are not fully understood outside of Israel. There might be many political differences that we have to work out through the Palestinians, but none of which is relevant to what Arafat is doing. He believes that he can continue this bloody war, that he can continue to kill people, and that nothing will happen to him.

And if the international community, led by the United States, will not work out jointly to stop it, it will not stop, no matter how many negotiations will take place.

WHITFIELD: Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert, thank you very much for joining us on the telephone there, explaining that this is really a heart rendering, heartfelt, difficult time throughout Jerusalem, throughout Israel, quite particularly, as the Palestinians and Israelis continue to have it out violently.

Today alone, more than 85 people injured in two separate attacks there in Israel, and now at least 11 people who have been killed. We'll continue to follow this story here on CNN.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com





 
 
 
 


 Search   

Back to the top