Goodbye Ehud

Not soon enough for some.
CNN (as well as everyone else) is reporting that in a special address this evening in Jerusalem, Ehud Olmert announced that “he will not be his party’s leader going into the next election.”

Citing “a wave of investigations and criticism” at the hands of his political opponents, he said he will resign once his Kadima party elects a new chairman… “I am not doing this out of a feeling that I cannot do my job … I believe in my ability to continue,” he said at a news conference at his official residence… “When forced to choose between my own personal standing and considerations that relate to the welfare of the state, it is the latter that will take precedence.”

Olmert’s party, Kadima will be choosing a new leader on September 17th. General elections will be held some time next year although no date has been set. Olmert seems to have gone back on his previous assertion that he would resign only if he is indicted on corruption charges.

Recent peace overtures with Syria and the Palestine Authority, which many have claimed were a stunt meant to deflect attention from corruption investigations, will probably be stalled as Israel deals with being lead by a lame duck leader.

I have to say this whole affair, and the general corruption one finds amongst many of our elected leaders has been kind of, well… embarrassing. The image of Olmert chowing down on lobster with his son in New York at a meal paid for with scads of cash provided by Moshe Talansky, a shul going Modern Orthodox New York Jew is like, just tip of the iceberg. Will this embarrassment, this national shame be the straw that broke the camels back? Will it lead to much needed electoral reform and a system of checks and balances in the justice system that will help ensure that this never happens again? I hope so, otherwise we’ll just keep plotzing along – condemned to living in what is effectively a banana republic run by a corrupt, materialistic and greedy political elite.

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • Well considering no peace deal is going through before the Bush administration leaves anyway…at least the announcement’s timing isn’t terrible. Now we all have plenty o’ time to bicker.

  • What does this mean for a possible attack on Iran? Is it bombs away because he’s a lame duck?

  • I really hope not Morrissey. A missile barrage from Iran wouldn’t be to great for Israel right now.

  • I hope olmert gets to take action on iran before he goes, Also wanted to test something, I comment on the al jazzera magazine web site, and have been told that CNN has more restritctions on its site then they do, So here is a sample of banned words we can not use on Al jazzera, sadam hussain, arab, jew, gun, rifle, cow, pig, barack obama, woman, sister, try, assume, mother, girls, allah, mohamed, jesus, god, editor, walrus, I hope CNN passes the test.

  • Hopefully this is the whirlpool that will finally draw the entire rat-infested raft of Kadima down the toilet.

    Good riddance.

  • He wanted to get sympathy and postpone criticism.

    He had already promised to resign if indicted, and there were rumours that it was a matter of a month or so before he was to be charged, so he enabled himself to get out of that promise, by making this big show of another one, seemingly accepting the will of the people, etc. but actually nullifying the former promise.

    Furthermore, there was an appeal to the Supreme court that was to be decided upon shortly, demanding him to suspend himself on the grounds of being unable to devote himself to matters of state right now, so this proclamation preempts that too.

    Finally, practically speaking, even if a new chairman for Kadima is chosen on Sept. 17, that person might not be able to establish a government and Olmert could remain as head of a transitory one.

    Anything could happen in the coming months, and meanwhile he is still PM.