Olmert to quit as Israeli PM in September

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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