Olmert sees ratification for peace deal


Ehud Olmert said the Knesset would ratify a future Israeli-Palestinian peace accord.

The Israeli prime minister, introducing President Bush to parliament Thursday, reiterated a pledge to achieve a peace accord with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas by year’s end.

“When the time comes and there is a peace accord between us and the Palestinians, it will be brought to this house, where all points of view are represented, for ratification,” Olmert said in his speech.

Turning to Bush, he continued, “I am convinced that a peace accord which reflects the vision you presented to the world, and which will be based on the principle of two states for two people, will be approved in the Knesset by a great majority and be supported by a sweeping majority of the public.”

The statement drew no response from the packed parliament, prompting Olmert to chuckle and quip to the president, “I bet you didn’t think the Knesset was so orderly.”

Olmert then repeated his pledge, which was greeted with applause from lawmakers with the exception of two right-wingers who left the plenum in protest at the government’s peacemaking strategy. Several Israeli-Arab lawmakers also stayed away to show their disapproval of Bush.

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