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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Can Olmert last out his term?

I get asked almost daily how Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert can be deposed and why he hasn't been already. I discussed the mechanics of deposing him here. Unfortunately, the most likely way of deposing Olmert is looking less and less likely to happen - or to happen anytime in the near future. That, of course, would be the release of the final Winograd Report. At YNet, Attila Somfalvi reviews a very ugly situation.
Time and again, his people make sure to make clear that he does not intend to vacate his seat in the near future - Even if Winograd publishes his report, a move that Olmert is attempting to torpedo via the High Court of Justice.

The prime minister is counting on another round of testimonies that would give him plenty of breathing space.

"It can take a year and half," an official at the Prime Minister's Office says. "Winograd won't last. They won't be able to do it, they will fall apart. And even if they don't, it will take a very long time – and nobody will remember that we even had Winograd. It will become irrelevant."

Even among Likud ranks they are starting to lose hope. A senior Likud official, who has been in the political system for many years, estimated this week that there is no chance of elections taking place in the coming year.

"Even if we have elections," the senior official said, "they will only take place a year from today, at the earliest."


Likud members are looking left and right in the Knesset and see that nobody is quick to grant them the pleasure of toppling the government.

"They don't want elections," the senior official says. "Nobody wishes to move, while Winograd is weakening and fading away. This entire story is fading."

The prime minister is also preparing for the possibility that his attempt to thwart the publication of the final Winograd report will be foiled, and it will be publicized nonetheless. However, sources around him estimate that nothing will happen this time too.

"The interim report did its thing – the final one won't be much different," one source said. "So they'll be writing the same thing again – it won't change reality. Nobody will be excited by this thing."
Unfortunately, I fear that Somfalvi's analysis is correct. Barring some sort of catastrophic event - such as another war or a major (three digit casualty minimum) terror attack, God forbid - or Olmert being convicted of corruption and forced to resign, it seems likely that Olmert will survive in office until the end of his term in November 2010.

How much of the country he is able to destroy between now and then remains to be seen.


At 8:57 PM, Blogger Lois Koenig said...

No response that would be adequate.

May G-d help Israel.

At 9:19 PM, Blogger Broomer said...

I've said it to CiJ privately and I'm saying it now publicly.

Olmert is officially a dictator.

It is with a broken heart that I cannot support Israel. No more hatikvah, no more Israeli products.

Those in Knesset have to decide soon which comes first - their wallets or their country.

At 9:27 PM, Blogger ProfessorPelotard said...

What are the chances that some patriot leaks the Winograd report and it will be posted on the net?

Once it is out nothing can stop it from being discussed.

Miracles do occur - they are just very rare....

At 9:35 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

The ruling class has circled its wagons to protect its mealticket, the PM. Is there some surprise in this?

Meanwhile, our brothers and sisters live in Israel. Broomer's suggestion about products is absurd and offensive.

At 10:27 PM, Blogger J. Lichty said...

Sadly, even if Olmert were to resign, the foolish Zippy Livni would be the replacement. Labor and Lieberman have betrayed the state for their own personal gains.

Olmert and Bush will declare a Palestinian terror state which will include free passage for Hamas to Judea and Samaria through Israel by the time Bush leaves office.

Abbas is just the man to agree to this where Arafat the Aids-boy never would have. Abbas will love that pay day which will no doubt come with a new state.

By then it will be too late for Netanyahu to do anything even if he did have the will.

At 10:28 PM, Blogger J. Lichty said...

Olemrt resigns and Zippy takes over. Not much of a net gain. New elections are the only way.

At 8:10 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Professor Pelotard,

Slim to none. Most of the members of the Commission are members of the branja in good standing. Remember, Olmert appointed them. And remember also that most of the bad stuff was already in the preliminary report and there was no reaction. So even if the final report DID come out, it's far from certain that would oust Olmert.


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