Rapture Forum Staff: Chris
Today PM Olmert held a press conference announcing that he was going resign from office in September 2009 when Kadima held new party elections. The Jerusalem Post reports today that:
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert intends to hand his resignation letter to President Shimon Peres the day after the September 17 Kadima primary and ask him to entrust the new party leader with forming a new government, Olmert's associates said Wednesday night.They spoke soon after the prime minister had made a somber speech at his official residence in Jerusalem in which he announced that he would not seek to retain the leadership.
It appears that Olmert tied the anoouncement to the pending Kadima party elections:
Olmert decided 10 days ago to announce his imminent departure on Wednesday - to coincide with the last day of the Knesset's summer session and the Kadima election committee's formal decision to set the September 17 date for the primary.
During the press conference, Olmert lashed out at unnamed political opponents who he believes sabotaged his time in the PM's office. The article reported that:
In his 8 p.m. speech, broadcast live here and abroad, a defiant and almost tearful Olmert lashed out at Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and other adversaries without naming them and vowed to keep the peace process with the Palestinians and Syria moving forward until he left office. He referred bitterly to his opponents as "self-styled fighters for justice."
Olmert further stated that duirng his time in office he was constantly at odds with his political opponents rather than taking spending time related to running the country:
"As a citizen in a democratic state, I have always believed that when a person is elected prime minister in Israel, even those who opposed him in the ballot box would want him to succeed," Olmert said. "But instead of enjoying this basic level of faith, I found myself, immediately upon being elected, subjected to a wave of investigations, probes and criticism. Almost from my first day in the Prime Minister's Office, I was forced to repel personal attacks, even as I was busy making fateful decisions regarding Israel's security and existence."
From reading the article it appears to me that Olmert is trying to blame anyone and everyone except himself for his current position and troubles. Olmert was pathetic during the Second Lebanon war and this caused Israel to lose their deterrent factor. Olmert's handling of things during the Second Lebanon War has actually made Israel less safe as a result of the perceived failure to win the conflict. It is no secret that Israel is thought to have lost the war, and the Hezbollah terrorists to have won it. While striking at enemies hiding behind innocent civilians is a hard task, Olmert's refusal to let the military win the war cost them big time. Olmert's popularity has suffered ever since and he has never been able to recover. Olmert's Gaza pullout certainly didn't help either with security.
As a result of the PM's press conference, a poll done immediately after the announcement shows that Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu is comfortably leading the future PM candidates. The Haaretz Newspaper reports today that:
Opposition leader and Likud Party Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu is the Israeli public's preferred choice to replace Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, according to a survey released on Wednesday by Channel 10. The survey was released shortly after Olmert announced his decision to resign from office as soon as the Kadima party picks a new leader on September 17, and will not run in the upcoming primaries.
Further the newspaper reports:
When those polled were asked to pick between Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak for future prime minister, 36 percent said they preferred Netanyahu, as opposed to 24.6 percent who chose Livni. Barak was chosen by 11.9 percent of respondents, significantly less than the fourth choice "none of the above," which garnered 19 percent. Netanyahu scored higher when Livni's name was replaced by Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz in the survey, with 36.6 percent of respondents picking him, over 14.8 percent for Barak, 12 percent for Mofaz, and 27.4 percent for "none of the above."
When asked about Olmert's performance, the article reported:
Furthermore, when asked if they were happy with Olmert's performance as prime minister, 77.3% said they were not satisfied.
Today the Olmert era has come to an end. While it is possible that Olmert could stay in office until the early part of next year should there be a general election. The Israeli public can breathe easy knowing that one of Israel's worst PM's reign in the office is about to come to an end. For watchers of Bible prophecy, the change in the PM's office will certainly effect the future of Israel as she moves closer to conflict with Iran and the terrorist proxies over the nuclear program. Should Netanyahu return to office, many have suggested and speculated that a hit on Iran would be forthcoming. Only time will tell for sure. Stay tuned....