State Dept Urges Olmert to ‘Clarify’ UN Vote Claims

McCormack Declares Olmert's Claims of Shaming Rice on Vote

Yesterday’s claims by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that he single-handedly prevented the United States from voting for the United Nations Security Council ceasefire in the Gaza Strip with a single phone call have certainly gained a lot of attention, but not the good kind like you want.

Instead the claims from Olmert that he interrupted Bush in the middle of a lecture and ordered him to stop Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from voting in favor of a ceasefire resolution she had helped to draft and rally support for has drawn a harsh rebuke from State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.

The claims, according to McCormack, “are wholly inaccurate as to describing the situation, just 100-percent, totally, completely not true.” The spokesman also suggested “the Israeli government might want to clarify or correct the record.” Another State Department official who wished to remain nameless added that “the government of Israel does not make US policy.”

On the one hand, the US abstention stunned a lot of people who assumed Rice would vote in favor of the resolution after spending several days shoring up international support for it. Yet Olmert’s version of the story, which his spokesman today said he was standing behind, does contain at least one significant hole: the lecture he allegedly called during finished uninterrupted, President Bush never left the podium in mid-speech.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.