Beyond Olmert


Friday’s news of new allegations against the Israeli prime minister has fueled talk of Israel after Ehud Olmert.

Ha’aretz and the Jerusalem Post both slam Olmert’s government – and not just the prime minister – for its inability to focus on the important issues facing Israel, such as challenges from Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and corrupting forces within.

In an editorial, the Jerusalem Post cites the preponderance of Cabinet meetings related to corruption probes and political survival, rather than strategic threats, as just some of the reasons that Kadima voters should toss Olmert out.

Yoel Marcus writes that in the two years since the seminal event of Olmert’s career, the Second Lebanon War, the government has been asleep at the wheel:

A sober assessment of the immediate future has become more complicated since the last war. To cope with the threats that lie ahead, we need to concentrate on four things. One, the public must realize that the fight isn’t over and we cannot turn our swords into plowshares just yet. Two, we need an authoritative political and military leadership that can correctly evaluate the situation and do what needs to be done. Three, an effort must be made to get Syria to quit the radical axis and switch off war mode, thereby weakening Hezbollah and Iran. Four, we must act wisely in our dealings with Iran, and make sure to look before we leap.

A Ha’aretz editorial simply calls for Olmert to go on vacation immediately and allow someone else – someone not threatened by a possible indictment – to run the country:

Olmert is still presumed innocent, but the public has a right to a prime minister who is not almost completely consumed with reading folders filled with evidence and consulting with image advisers bent on making people forget what’s in them.

The Kadima primary will be held in late September. Whether or not Olmert competes, that is too long to wait to replace the prime minister.

Yossi Sarid urges readers in the coming election to think not just about who will be prime minister, but who will be justice minister.

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