13 July 2008
Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate: "We are surprised by the current investigation. Throughout his public service, Prime Minister Olmert has actively assisted the Yad Vashem Societies around the world in their fundraising activities. It must be noted that approximately half of Yad Vashem's operating budget is from private donations, and Prime Minister Olmert always willingly responded to help raise those donations." Yad Vashem Spokesperson Iris Rosenberg added that when Prime Minister Olmert was invited by Yad Vashem's Societies, they reimbursed him for his flight and hotel expenses, as is customary.