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Olmert: Diaspora Jews should speak out

Ehud Olmert told Jewish leaders they have the right to speak out on peace and negotiating issues.

The Israeli prime minister spoke in a conference call with U.S. Jewish leaders on Tuesday in the aftermath of President Bush’s visit to the region to promote renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Olmert was asked about Jewish leaders who say Israel must take Diaspora Jewish voices into account when negotiating over Jerusalem’s future.

Olmert’s comments come just a week after the president of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald Lauder, sent the prime minister a letter urging him to take into account the wishes of Diaspora Jewry on the issue of Jerusalem.

Olmert told the conference callers that Israel could not reasonably ask Diaspora Jewish voices to keep silent when it relies so heavily on Jewish support overseas.

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