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Sunday, August 27, 2006

63% of Israelis want Olmert to resign

Canada's National Post Online is reporting this evening that 63% of Israelis want Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to resign. And even more want Defense Minister Amir Comrade Peretz out. Am I allowed to say "I told you so" to all the idiots who voted for Kadima Achora yet?

Hat Tip: New York Nana

Nearly two-thirds of Israelis want Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to resign over his handling of the war in Lebanon against Hezbollah, according to a newspaper poll published yesterday.

Many Israelis view a UN-brokered ceasefire backed by Mr. Olmert as a failure for Israel because Hezbollah's leadership was left standing after the war and the two Israeli soldiers whose capture by Hezbollah on July 12 sparked the war are still in captivity.

The poll commissioned by Yedioth Aronoth, Israel's largest-circulation newspaper, shows 63% of Israelis want Mr. Olmert to step down, the first time a poll has shown a majority favouring the Prime Minister's resignation. [Curiously, I could not find this on the YNet website. I guess they're embarassed to put it on the English site. CiJ] Several other polls, meanwhile, indicate a big jump in support for the right-wing Likud party and its leader, Benjamin Netanyahu. [The same guy that most of the country thought was so terrible six months ago. Glad Bibi stuck to his guns. CiJ]

A poll in Maariv showed that only 14% of Israelis would vote for Mr. Olmert if new elections were held, while 26% would back Mr. Netanyahu, a former prime minister with a hawkish reputation. The Yedioth poll said 45% would support Mr. Netanyahu. [The push now has to be for elections to happen as soon as possible. Before people start to calm down and change their minds. CiJ]

Mr. Olmert, a career politician who lacks the combat credentials of many of his predecessors, has seen his public standing plummet for failing to crush Hezbollah, which rained some 4,000 rockets on northern Israel during the 34-day war, in which at least 1,110 people in Lebanon and 157 Israelis were killed.

"Mr. Olmert, go home," read one sign at a protest by a few hundred army reservists and family members at the grave of former Prime Minister Golda Meir yesterday.

The protesters urged Mr. Olmert to follow the lead set by Mrs. Meir, who was forced to resign after the 1973 Middle East war in which Egypt and Syria scored initial successes that caused heavy Israeli casualties.

Yedioth called yesterday's poll results a political "earthquake" for Mr. Olmert, whose centrist Kadima party crushed Mr. Netanyahu's Likud in general elections in March.

A similar poll published a week ago showed 41% wanted Mr. Olmert to resign.

Twenty-two per cent of Israelis in the poll deemed Mr. Netanyahu "most fit" to be prime minister, compared to 11% for Mr. Olmert.

Mr. Olmert trailed ultranationalist Avigdor Lieberman, with 18%, and senior statesman Shimon Peres, with 12%, according to Yedioth.


The Maariv poll showed that if elections were held today, Mr. Olmert's Kadima party would win just 14 seats in parliament, compared with the 29 it won at the last polls. [Keep in mind that up to a week or so before the elections there were predictions that Kadima Achora would win as many as 43 seats. CiJ] Likud would win 24, compared with 12. The left-leaning Labour party would win just nine seats.

In addition to calling for Mr. Olmert's resignation, 74% of Israelis in the Yedioth poll said Defence Minister Amir Peretz, the left-leaning Labour party leader, should step down. Fifty-four per cent want Lieutenant-General Dan Halutz, chief of staff of the Israel Defence Forces, to step down.

Mr. Olmert has put on hold for now his proposal for an Israeli pullout from parts of the occupied West Bank. The proposal was the centrepiece of the government program that won him election in March. But resurgent violence in Gaza, which Israel evacuated last year, plus the Lebanon war appears to have dampened public enthusiasm for territorial withdrawals.

The Maariv poll showed 73% of Israelis oppose future unilateral withdrawals. [That number has been true since late June so it doesn't really prove anything. CiJ]

Elections now! (Olmert is lucky that the Knesset is in summer recess until October. They need to convene a special session).


At 6:18 AM, Blogger Dave in Pa said...

How fortunate for Olmert & Co. that the Knesset is not sitting.

Let's hope for either a session forced by the opposition ... or at least that the Israeli public doesn't do what citizens of democracies tend to do: forget and calm down.

At 7:00 AM, Blogger Abu Teddy said...

I don't know how I feel about Olmert. He reminds of Peres. A career polititian. Maybe that's a good thing. Without a real mandate , he won't be able to give anything "back". Menachem Begin , was a hero/politico with 100% mandate to give back the Sinai and then Rabin(hero) and Barak(hero) brought Arafat back from exile along with thousands of Fatah terrorists. Sharon(superhero) with 100% minus 10,000 settlers who were silenced, gave Gaza to Hamas. One thing is for certain; Hezbollah and Hamas, yemach shemam, are not going to resign. I'm not sure we can survive any more "Real" leaders with
strong mandates. Bibi talks tough but once 'the powers that be' start rattling the old skeleton bones in Bibi's closets, who knows what he'll be ready to give back?? Maybe he'll start by giving back Jerusalem and work his way towards Tel Aviv.

--Reboston www.hezbollahwar.blogspot.com

At 10:16 AM, Blogger The Lone Cabbage said...

Olmert is soon to be out of office. But by no means should we leave him at peace. He, and all his cronies, should be harrased and heckled in to such shame that they never enter public life again.

When he leaves office, and his ability to bribe and manuver is no more, every law suit for his every offence in office from bad real estate to Amona to gross neglegence (far past incompetance) durring the war.

Destroy the man and all who support him. For once, make it a which hunt. Do to Olmert's kind, what we should have done to Hezbolah. Destroy them in such a way that every one of their ilk will not rise again in this generation.


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