Olmert admit he’s unpopular

Ehud Olmert acknowledged his low approval ratings. The Israeli prime
minister said in a speech late Thursday that he was aware his popularity had
plummeted over public perceptions that he mishandled last year’s Lebanon
war, but that he had no intention of resigning. “I’m an unpopular prime
minister, the polls say so. I think they are right,” Olmert told a
conference of his Kadima Party. “Though some think it’s ‘open season,’ I am
sorry to disappoint my detractors. I am here to work.”

A recent survey
found that, were elections held today, Olmert would take just 3 percent of
votes, with his arch-rival Benjamin Netanyahu taking 30 percent. Olmert
hinted that he regretted not launching a more aggressive ground sweep
against Hezbollah when the Lebanon war erupted on July 12.
Israel’s reliance, at first, on air force and artillery is widely perceived
as having allowed Hezbollah to fire thousands of missiles across the border
and escape crushing defeat. In his speech, Olmert said he might have
been “much more popular” had he listened more closely to the advice of
his generals.

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