Wednesday, January 04, 2006

So who's in charge of Israel now?

Ehud Olmert (born September 30, 1945 in Binyamina, Israel) is Israel's Acting Prime Minister.
He served as the Deputy Prime Minister, the Finance Minister of the State of Israel and as Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, as well as being the Minister responsible for the Israel Lands Administration, and the Israel Broadcasting Authority. He is currently a member of Ariel Sharon's Kadima party.
On January 4, 2006, prime ministerial powers were transferred to Olmert after Ariel Sharon suffered a massive Hemorrhagic stroke. [1]
Ehud Olmert was elected as a member of the sixteenth Knesset in January 2003. He served as the head of the election campaign for the Likud Party in the elections, and subsequently was the chief negotiator of the coalition agreement. From 2003-2004, he also served as Minister of Communications.
Born in Israel, Ehud Olmert is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with degrees in Psychology, Philosophy and Law. He has had his own successful law practice in Israel.
Olmert was first elected to the Knesset in 1973 at the age of twenty-eight and was re-elected seven consecutive times. He served as Minister of Minorities (1988-1990) and as Minister of Health (1990-1992). Between the years 1981-1988, he was a member of the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee and has also served on the Finance, Education and Defense Budget Committees.
From 1993 to 2003, Ehud Olmert served for two terms of office as Mayor of Jerusalem, during which time he devoted himself to the initiation and advancement of major projects in the city, the development and improvement of the education system and the development of road infrastructure. He also spearheaded the development of the light rail system in Jerusalem and the investment of millions of shekels in the development of mass transportation options for the City.
On August 7, 2005, Olmert was appointed as acting Finance Minister of Israel, replacing Benjamin Netanyahu, who had resigned in protest against the planned Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. [2], [3] Olmert, who had originally opposed withdrawing from land captured in the Middle East War of 1967, and who had voted against the Camp David Peace Accords in 1978, is a vocal supporter of the Gaza Pullout. "I voted against Menachem Begin," Olmert said in after his appointment. "I told him it was a historic mistake, how dangerous it would be, and so on and so on. Now I am sorry he is not alive for me to be able to publicly recognize his wisdom and my mistake. He was right and I was wrong. Thank God we pulled out of the Sinai."

Ideology and controversy

Ehud Olmert was a member of the Likud Party's dynasty group (those whose parents played a part in the establishment of the Revisionist Zionism movement of Vladimir Jabotinsky, or who grew up during the early years of the State of Israel under its ideology). Other members of this category (which has no connection to where they stand on the divisions within the Likud today) include former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (son of scholar Ben-Zion Netanyahu), former Knesset Member Benny Begin (son of Prime Minister Menachem Begin; whose views were considerably more extreme than his father's, and caused him to form the splinter New Herut Party), Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (daughter of Irgun operative and Likud predecessor Herut Party Knesset Member Eitan Livni), and Omri Sharon (son of current PM Ariel Sharon). However, Olmert, like several others, has joined PM Ariel Sharon in his new centrist party, Kadima.
Olmert's childhood, typical of the upringing in that group, included membership in the Beitar Youth Organization, and dealing with the fact that his parents were often blacklisted and discriminated against due to their affiliation with the opposition to the long-ruling Mapai party. However, by the 1970s this was proving less detrimental to one's career as it was in the 1950s, and Olmert succeeded in opening a successful law partnership in Jerusalem.
Olmert's opponents both inside and outside of the Likud point to a long record of opportunism. In the 1970s he was connected to a libel scandal involving well-known Jerusalem businessmen, organized crime, and retired General Rechavam Ze'evi. This often forgotten affair, well documented in investigative journalist Aryeh Avneri's Ha'tvusa in 1992, was only the first in a number of shady misadventures in Olmert's career. During the run-up to the Ze'evi libel suit, Olmert allegedly requested funds from the Likud Treasury for his defense fund, although his lawyers were from his own law firm, which would effectively constitute bribery.
All accusations against Olmert were eventually settled out of court, a pattern that followed through his involvement in the Herzlia Marina construction investigation, and various others that never led to any definite conclusions, and therefore were dropped. What is today almost beyond debate was that during his terms as mayor Olmert hired numerous Likud activists to positions in the Jerusalem Municipality. However, numerous cases of illegal housing construction both by Arab and Jewish firms continued throughout Olmert's term, and the phenomenon has plagued the city to this day.
One of the subjects that has damaged Olmert's standing among a large percentage of Likud supporters, far more than the generally tolerated political appointments, was his change of heart in regard to territorial concessions.
During PM Ariel Sharon's second term, Olmert was deputy prime minister and widely viewed as Sharon's right hand man. He was a vocal supporter of government policy and was the most important ally of Sharon during the September 2005 Withdrawal from Gaza. When Sharon announced his leaving the Likud and the formation of a new party, Kadima, Olmert was one of the first to join him.
Mr. Olmert is married and the father of four. He has for decades been a devoted fan and has worked on behalf of the Beitar Jerusalem football club.


Blogger Ittay said...

You certainly have done your homework on Ehud olmert in a very short time. you found many more negatives than positives. what would you like to see happen next in israeli politics?

12:47 AM, January 05, 2006  
Blogger yugunter said...

freedom in on the march worldwide, and any governmental entity or non-governmental group that comes in the way of global wave of freedom, is certainly problematic and must be dealt with - Israel needs to recognize and accept its current situation and take a non-aggressive stance (i.e. genocidal wall project), whilst, adversely, aggressive actions by that state under new leadership would conflict with global freedom wave

6:19 PM, January 06, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the page layout of your site?

Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or 2 pictures.
Maybe you could space it out better?
Feel free to surf my web blog :: "how to write" lewis philips

2:07 PM, December 17, 2012  

Post a Comment

<< Home