Olmert to quit as Israeli PM in September

posted at 2:40 pm on July 30, 2008 by Allahpundit

The bad news: It’s a huge story yet I’m utterly unqualified to comment on it. The good news: That’s never stopped me before. Here’s Israel Matzav’s liveblog of the announcement, although to get the full flavor of Olmert’s mindset today you’re advised to skim the JPost’s report of him calling Israel “a nation of grumblers.” Between that and the more self-pitying aspects of his farewell, it’s quite a way to go. He presided over the 2006 war that failed to finish Hezbollah; he signed off on the moronic prisoner exchange that returned that child-killing degenerate to Lebanon; he’s been dogged for years by accusations of graft. I for one won’t miss him, but those who know what they’re talking about are welcome to tell me why I’m wrong.

If you’re wondering whether Likud is in a position to capitalize and reclaim a majority in the Knesset, I suspect not. The Times says the leadership of Kadima, and therefore the likely next PM, will probably come down to Tzipi Livni and Shaul Mofaz. Hawks will prefer the latter, and not just because he’s a former defense minister and IDF chief of staff (born in Tehran, no less). As a coda, here’s new video from MEMRI of Israel’s partners in peace in Lebanon throwing a wedding/funeral for a corpse — specifically, the corpse of the woman alleged to have been the first female suicide bomber, recently returned to her savage acolytes as part of that prisoner exchange that Olmert blessed. Click the image to watch.

Update: Ah, here’s someone who knows what he’s talking about — Yossi Klein Halevi, writing in TNR in May and emphatically not disagreeing with my assessment of Olmert. He’s not real high on Livni, though, either.


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I am not very qualified to comment on olmert either…but lets recap…I cannot think of a single thing the Israeli government did to enhance their safety in the middle east…they gave a ton of land back in the name of peace…they stopped short of taking out hezbollah in the name of peace (ironically its gonna cause more war and a worse one at that.)…he is accused of acting unethically in office…he sets child killers free and sends back hundreds of terrorists back to hamas and hezbollah for two dead bodies…can someone tell me what good he has done to better israels position and safety in the middle east?

SoCalInfidel on July 30, 2008 at 2:46 PM

Heads up,Hot Air Archives is broken:

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/07/

mainmann on July 30, 2008 at 2:47 PM

Don’t let the door hit you in the tuchus on the way out.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on July 30, 2008 at 2:47 PM

good, very good. maybe now the fake land ofr peace policy can quit

unseen on July 30, 2008 at 2:50 PM

The story has been running for the past two weeks in Israeli papers, so it’s nothing new or huge. What could Olmert do with his 2% approval ratings? He’s such a pathetic clown.

Aristotle on July 30, 2008 at 2:50 PM

hey Iran….Bombs away!

can’t find the video, but on the house floor earlier this month the paultard predicted “Something Big is about to Happen” , being an Israel hater that he is perhaps this will be the start as he sees it and end in our Financial Doomsday these chicken little’s always predict.

jp on July 30, 2008 at 2:50 PM

Mazel Tov! :o)

Tanya on July 30, 2008 at 2:50 PM

Don’t let the door hit you in the tuchus on the way out.

For a tuchus that big, there’s no way the door can miss.

NeighborhoodCatLady on July 30, 2008 at 2:51 PM

The sad part about this whole episode is that there is not one leader capable enough to handle the threats of Iran, otherwise, Olmert’s ‘government would have fallen soon after the Second Lebanon War.

Lance Murdock on July 30, 2008 at 2:51 PM

Olmert remains in power until a new Kadima leader is elected (likely in a September 25 runoff) and that person forms a coalition. (I know that contradicts what it says above, but that’s what the media have all said and I think it’s what Olmert meant). It’s far from certain that anyone Kadima elects will be able to form a coalition – more likely we will go to new elections. That could leave Olmert as Prime Minister until January or thereabouts. Some of the dangers of that prospect are mentioned in my liveblog on Olmert’s speech (I was able to produce a simultaneously translated summary while he spoke).

And for those of you hoping for Livni: She’s Olmert’s leftist policies without the corruption – she’s worse than he is in my book. Mofaz and Bibi would be better, but keep in mind that Mofaz was the Defense Minister who carried out the Gaza expulsion (at the expense of the IDF’s battleworthiness for Lebanon) and Bibi is really just looking for someone else to do the dirty work on the ‘peace process’ – he stayed in Sharon’s government until a week before the Gaza expulsion began.

Carl in Jerusalem on July 30, 2008 at 2:54 PM

Is George W eligible? He’d be better than most of their retreads.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on July 30, 2008 at 2:55 PM

Encore Bibi !!!

RobCon on July 30, 2008 at 2:56 PM

Heads up,Hot Air Archives is broken:

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/07/

mainmann on July 30, 2008 at 2:47 PM

Ya it’s been like that since at least yesterday. If you need to find something try Google site search. If you need help with that, just ask.

TheBigOldDog on July 30, 2008 at 2:56 PM

Bibi’s bark is bigger than his bite.

Lance Murdock on July 30, 2008 at 3:01 PM

Netanyahu, Netanyahu, Netanyahu, Netanyahu.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on July 30, 2008 at 3:01 PM

I for one won’t miss him

Nope. Neither will Israel.

Could be Israel has as poor a choice for new leadership as do we.

IrishEyes on July 30, 2008 at 3:02 PM

Forget Bibi.

In it’s current time of need, there is only one man capable of helping Israel.

Zombie Reagan.

I will, of course, be sad to see him run in Israel instead of the U.S., but, we’re always happy to loan a Zombie Reagan to an ally in a time of need.

JadeNYU on July 30, 2008 at 3:06 PM

This is the best news in Israel all year, stop selling yourself short AP. In any event the news here is not about Olmert, or even Livni, or Mofaz.. It is about the fact that no matter what happens the left of center Israeli coalition will now almost certainly have to morph or be replaced entirely, towards including Israel’s right wing parties.

The news here is that the opposition will no longer likely be the opposition.. Olmert & Kadima who hailed mostly from the right wing Likud party to form the ‘new center Kadima’ pulled a bait & switch on the public, swooning far left right after election. 2 years later pay day is coming.

I have a breakdown of the political landscape at the hashmonean for the brave. Let’s just hope these issues are resolved quickly. It is not a coincidence Olmert is out now, it jives with the possible need to strike Iran, either as an Olmert hail mary, or in time for a new PM to campaign on the issue and let loose. Iran has just become the driving issue in the Israeli electorate / political system. Some of the the hints are in the short ‘grumbling article’ allahpundit linked.

saus on July 30, 2008 at 3:07 PM

Actually, Olmert could be Prime Minister until March.

Carl in Jerusalem on July 30, 2008 at 3:21 PM

Syrian National Socialist Party? Couldn’t you say that it is the Syrian Nazi Party?

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on July 30, 2008 at 3:25 PM

Goodbye to the vain, incompetent, insolent and cowardly nonentity of a Prime Minister who was unbelievably corrupt and ugly. Sharon had a tendency to surround himself with “yes” man like that idiot Olmerde. I hope he rots in hell for all eternity for the damage he has done.

Hilts on July 30, 2008 at 3:35 PM

Ehud Barak perhaps? (although he wasn’t much better than the rest when he was PM)

Or Bibi (I guess).

Or maybe Zombie Menachem Begin?

mjk on July 30, 2008 at 3:36 PM

He could also be out by mid October, that would be nice too :)

If it stretches all the way until March, which is unlikely that raises the specter of an Iran strike all the more. The longer he stays lame duck, the more likely he is able to strike if Israeli Intel & Military suggest that be the course of action. Now Psychologically even as the sole factor, he has something to prove, that he’s willing to figuratively martyr himself for Israel – Nothing to lose, history to gain.

MJK – Combined with the US election cycle, yesterday’s ‘we are going to twack them’ message from Barack to the US, the ball is all in Iran’s court, every major candidate, Mofaz, Livni, Barak, Bibi, and Olmert himself have declared willingness to use force, none are BSing even Livni – We ourselves are lined up for the three at the buzzer.

saus on July 30, 2008 at 3:39 PM

With it looking like an Obama presidency coming up (waaaaaa!!!), let’s hope Netanyahu comes back. Otherwise, Israel is screwed.

Special K on July 30, 2008 at 3:44 PM

Combined with the US election cycle, yesterday’s ‘we are going to twack them’ message from Barack to the US, the ball is all in Iran’s court, every major candidate, Mofaz, Livni, Barak, Bibi, and Olmert himself have declared willingness to use force, none are BSing even Livni – We ourselves are lined up for the three at the buzzer.

I don’t buy it. 95% of the rhetoric out of the Middle East is pure, unadulterated BS. I believe it from Ehud Barak and perhaps Bibi N, but the rest of them? They’ll talk tough, but pussy out before the rubber meets the road.

The Israeli defense minister is more the person who makes the military decisions anyway. That’s why certain PM’s always tried to hold that position as well as PM. It’s the sexy position.

Which is also why they put Ehud Barak in there after the Lebanon thing in ’06. Nothing like an old commando whipping that ministry back into shape.

mjk on July 30, 2008 at 3:50 PM

The only thing I can actualy say about the current
Israel administration,is the bitter pill,that parents,
and loved ones had to swallow,for Olmert in the exchange
of their fallen soldiers!

The exchange of fallen Israeli soldiers for those
disgusting terrorists was a deal worse than the devil!

canopfor on July 30, 2008 at 3:54 PM

It’s about time.

Mommynator on July 30, 2008 at 3:55 PM

Olmert to quit as Israeli PM in September

That’s good news. Because, the Israelis should not give up one inch of Terra fir-ma to Islamofascist thuggery. Gaza was a good example of what to expect on land for peace. Also, Israel should have control of 100% of Jerusalem, as the Arab world does not have a legitimate claim there.

byteshredder on July 30, 2008 at 4:05 PM

Well, he’s been hanging on longer then his performance as a leader dictates, but as a politician he’s been clever.

I’m not a huge fan of Livni, and I like Bibi, but words = actions? For a people filled with so much tenacity, surely a strong leader is lurking there. Gillerman is cool, but doubt he’d run. Anyway, interesting news.

Spirit of 1776 on July 30, 2008 at 4:10 PM

Olmert be gone. I’m usually pro Likud, but Barak (Labour) would be good too.

AlexB on July 30, 2008 at 4:16 PM

Unfortunately the person who should be PM, Natan Sharansky, has left politics.

rokemronnie on July 30, 2008 at 4:17 PM

MJK that is certainly apt analysis, but this scenario trumps normality, If the Military / Intel establishment in Israel says Iran has reached a certain point, they will recommend a strike.

Olmert already risked war with Syria to take out their reactor, Mofaz himself is the hardest liner of all of them, that only leaves Livni the most dovish. She is calling for a national emergency government, that means equal power sharing with Bibi by default, you are super knowledgeable on Israel, so already know what he will do.

saus on July 30, 2008 at 4:36 PM

Dan Gillerman 08!

- The Cat

MirCat on July 30, 2008 at 4:40 PM

BIBI!

Netanyahu 1,000%!!!!!!!!!

battleoflepanto1571 on July 30, 2008 at 4:46 PM

Syrian National Socialist Party? Couldn’t you say that it is the Syrian Nazi Party?

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on July 30, 2008 at 3:25 PM

Yes. The Ba’athists in Syria were inspired by Hitler. Probably still are.

aengus on July 30, 2008 at 5:00 PM

Calling that deal a “moronic prisoner exchange” is much too generous to Olmert, as it implies that they at least were exchanging prisoners rather than handing over five living murderers in exchange for two dead bodies. It’s also an insult to morons.

Xrlq on July 30, 2008 at 5:44 PM

Go away you spineless twit and don’t ever come back. Bibi Netanyahu? Bibi Netanyahu please pick up the white courtesy phone. You’re needed as Prime Minister again.

Mooseman on July 30, 2008 at 5:44 PM

Olmert be gone. I’m usually pro Likud, but Barak (Labour) would be good too.

AlexB on July 30, 2008 at 4:16 PM

Ehud Barak? He was a decent general, but was a terrible PM. He also made deals with the islamofacists. We all know how well those worked out. I liked and admired Ariel Sharon, but he turned somewhat to the left from when he was in his prime. I will always admire him for his counter crossing of the Suez in 1973.

I don’t believe in making deals with the terrorists. Imagine how the Soviets would have dealt with German’s in 1946 who attacked their people. That is the response the Israelis need to use. This kind of response also worked to stop the Werewolf terror group in Germany.

Mooseman on July 30, 2008 at 6:15 PM

Shaul Mofaz would be a better choice than Livni. He speaks fluent Farsi and knows the Iranians well—because he was born there.

I’m on the fence about Netanyahu. He had his chance, and didn’t do so well with it. Mofaz has military experience galore, and would be a good leader for Israel in the next war.

Meryl Yourish on July 30, 2008 at 6:39 PM

Olmert’s “nation of grumblers” article answers the question that many of you have as to why Jews vote Dem.

OldEnglish on July 30, 2008 at 8:58 PM

I have said before that I’d rather have Ehud Barak or Shaul Mofaz than netanyahu why? Because he plays into fear politics, panders to the religious right who want to slowly turn Israel into a theocracy.

That to me is the worst path Israel can go on.

MechFighter on July 30, 2008 at 11:02 PM