Olmert Examines Peace, the Arab Spring in Dartmouth Address


Editor’s note: Ehud Olmert’s address on Tuesday, November 12, has been moved to a new venue. His address will take place at Cook Auditorium in Murdough Hall at the Tuck School of Business. View the live webcast of Olmert’s address. 

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who many say came as close as any politician to a peace agreement with the Palestinians, welcomes the opportunity to outline his thoughts on the prospects for peace amid the Arab Spring in an address at Dartmouth, “where so many heads of state and world leaders have visited before me.”

Olmert, who served as Israeli prime minister from 2006 to 2009, has recently re-emerged as a voice for centrist policy in Israeli politics. “I look forward to engaging with the students and the entire community during my stay in Hanover, and to addressing the critical confluence of political forces at play amid the search for peace in Israel and the region,” Olmert says.

The John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding and the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace are sponsoring the address, set for Tuesday, November 12, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in Cook Auditorium in Murdough Hall at the Tuck School of Business. The event is free and open to the public.

Olmert will also meet with student groups and Dickey Center post-doctoral students over lunch earlier in the day.

Daniel Benjamin, director of the Dickey Center, notes that Olmert is an important figure in Israeli and Mideast politics because of his political evolution from the political right “to become a leader of the peace process who came tantalizingly close to forging a peace with the Palestinians.”

Olmert came to power as a leader in the newly formed centrist Kadima party after leaving the right-center Likud party. His government actively engaged the Palestinians in peace negotiations, and he led his country through a military conflict with Hamas as well as protracted struggle with Hezbollah that led to Israel’s involvement in a war in Lebanon. In the past year, he returned to the political stage after being cleared of finance-related charges stemming from his time as mayor of Jerusalem.

Olmert is a vocal critic of Israel’s posture toward Iran under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud party majority in the Knesset, Israel’s legislature. In his Dartmouth address, Olmert will offer his analysis of Israel’s strategic situation and its prospects for peace with its neighbors amid the turmoil of the Arab Spring.

“This is great timing and an important visit,” says Benjamin. “Olmert remains a leading public figure in Israel and on the world stage. He has strong views that command great interest.”

General public seating is first come, first served. The auditorium will open at 4 p.m. There will be reserved seating for Dartmouth students. Bags and backpacks will not be permitted in the auditorium. For more information, contact Sharon Tribou-St. Martin sharon.m.tribou-st.martin@dartmouth.edu.

Bill Platt