Copyright © January 2006, R. Kossover
Published at Blogcritics Magazine
For those who live inside Israel, particularly in Jerusalem, the accession of Ehud Olmert to the post of acting prime minister elicits only groans. Olmert, before he became mayor of Jerusalem, was known as a Likud activist and as a corrupt and generally incompetent lawyer. The foreign press knew about the Likud activist part. Locals, unfortunately, knew about the rest.
The problem with Olmert is not his corruption. All politicians are viewed as corrupt in this small time Stalinist shleppocracy and Olmert is just one more. The problem with him is his incompetence. This quality about him will make him the dream prime minister for those foreigners who talk about "two states for two peoples" from their armchairs overseas, and who really mean the dismantling and destruction of Israel and the correction of the "historic mistake" made in 1948 by its creation.
Let's take a few looks at the press coverage of this gentleman over the last couple of days and see the picture. The first piece does not show him to be soft as a banana at all. This comes from Israel National News.
The fellow who sent me the article dubbed it "the Olmert who stole Hanukkah." The first sentence of the article reads,
Acting Prime Minister and Finance Minister Ehud Olmert demanded last month that taxes be paid on charity items recently donated by American Jews to help Israel's needy population prepare for winter.
Now there is a man truly concerned for his country's finances! Every nickel has to be taxed so that our cash strapped government can have money to serve the uh... politicians with their hands in the treasury.
Scrooge, move over!! The head of the Judenrat (council of puppet Jewish leaders) in Jerusalem has just outdone you.
But there is more. From DEBKAfile we discover that our acting prime minister does indeed take phone calls from pretty women. This article from 7 January deals with a phone call from American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. In it DEBKAfile indicates that Washington is ready to move on from the Sharon era.
In the midst of the article we see why Condoleezza Rice is one of the only women to have had a ship named after her. You don't become the American secretary of state by singing sweetly in the choir. We find out that
The Rice telephone call was also a test of the new Israeli leader's ability to make fast decisions and judgments. She took advantage of Olmert's being thrown off-balance by the unexpected responsibility thrust on him by his boss's indisposition to put forward her own candidate as contact-man, the US ambassador in Tel Aviv, Richard Jones.
In essence, she was dictating to Olmert how he would deal with the States. Whatever one wishes to say about General Sharon, he was not bamboozled around so easily. From this article, it is evident that Ehud Olmert will be. Further proof comes from a second piece from DEBKAfile.
The first sentence reads
Sunday night Jan 8, US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice discussed the forthcoming Palestinian elections to the legislative council on the telephone with Palestinian Authority chairman Abu Mazen. Jerusalem was not briefed, DEBKAfile's political sources report.
This article deals with whether Arabs living in East Jerusalem would be allowed to vote in the "elections" the Arabs are holding in the "Palestinian Authority" at the end of the month. As you continue to read the article, you realize that with a single phone call, Condoleezza Rice had stripped Israel of its sovereignty over East Jerusalem. My respect for Rice grows daily.
It is not likely that Israel will send in troops to East Jerusalem to make sure that its will is followed on its own territory. The cojones that Olmert needs to do that were long ago stored in a jar. Where, I cannot say. That is probably the biggest state secret of this "acting" cabinet in Jerusalem. To be sure, Olmert has donned a fig leaf to cover the embarrassing absence of those cojones. Last night (10 January), I heard on Israel Broadcasting English News that the cabinet will decide at its next meeting whether to allow Arabs residing in East Jerusalem the right to vote in the "Palestinian Authority" elections.
All I can say is what is found in the song, "b'yahád nisród" (Together We'll Survive) by Subliminal - "ha'tzel yoshév babáyit u'mitpallél" - "The 'shadow' sits in the house and prays."
Our land is in the hands of a fool. Those of us whose hearts and souls are here pray for the welfare of the country and that the Almighty will work a miracle that we do not deserve.