Ehud Olmert

Olmert agrees to Kadima primaries

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 13, 2008

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert caved into pressure on Wednesday and agreed to his Kadima party preparing for leadership primaries at the soonest possible date.

Mr Olmert had tried in the preceding days to persuade his colleagues to wait, but the threats by coalition partners that they would support a Knesset motion for early elections forced his hand.

On Wednesday, Mr Olmert met MK Tzachi Hanegbi, the chairman of Kadima’s Party Affairs Committee, and the head of the party’s Knesset faction MK Eli Aflalo.

More..

Kadima prepares for new party primaries

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 6, 2008

The countdown to the end of Ehud Olmert’s premiership will begin next week, when senior Kadima members will meet to agree upon a date for primaries for a new leader.

Mr Olmert has signalled that he will not oppose the move, though he is still maintaining that he has no plans to resign. Meanwhile, support is growing in the Knesset for bringing forward the elections.

More..

Outrage over East Jerusalem plans

By Ben Lynfield, June 6, 2008

In the face of criticism from the Palestinian Authority, the United States and the UN, Israeli housing minister Zeev Boim has defended a decision to expand Jewish housing in parts of East Jerusalem considered as settlements by the international community.

Mr Boim said that the decision to build nearly 900 units at Har Homa and in Givat Zeev was taken with the “knowledge and approval” of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and underlined the government’s policy to maintain Jerusalem as an undivided capital.

More..

Olmert in his Aipac swansong

By Nathan Guttman, June 6, 2008

In what may be his last trip as prime minister to Washington, embattled Israeli leader Ehud Olmert met President George Bush and congressional leaders.

More..

Olmert in crisis

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 30, 2008

Kadimah inner circle to discuss future

The pressure on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to leave office greatly intensified this week after Defence Minister Ehud Barak demanded that he resign or suspend himself from the premiership until the investigation into his alleged bribe-taking was over.

More..

What next for the coalition?

By Daniella Peled, May 30, 2008

The net has been closing in on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ever since the news broke of his alleged financial misdoings. The last three weeks have been little more than a relentless march towards his final political demise.

On Wednesday, this inglorious fate came a step closer with the announcement by Labour leader Ehud Barak that he would lead his 19 MKs out of the coalition without some major show of political remorse from Mr Olmert.

More..

Press ‘drank Avram’s blood’, claims wife

By Simon Griver, May 30, 2008

Football boss Avram Grant was back in Israel this week contemplating his future as his family claimed a race-hate campaign cost him his job at Chelsea.

His father, Meir Granat, blamed the club’s billionaire owner Roman Abramovich for caving in to external pressures to get rid of him. “Abramovich was probably influenced by the antisemites and could not stand the pressure of the negativity against Avram,” he said.

More..

Israel and Syria start talking

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 23, 2008

Amid cries of political spin from the opposition, the Prime Minister’s Office announced this week that Israel and Syria were conducting “indirect” peace negotiations under the auspices of the Turkish government.

The news was released simultaneously on Wednesday morning in Jerusalem, Damascus and Ankara.

More..

Olmert faces second police questioning

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 23, 2008

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is to be questioned by police today (Friday) for the second time over suspicions of bribe-taking. One of the main witnesses, financier Morris Talanski, is to give preliminary evidence next week.

State Prosecutor Moshe Lador claimed in a Supreme Court hearing that Mr Olmert had received envelopes stuffed with dollars from Mr Talansky, a US citizen.

More..

George Bush can ride a bike

By Simon Round, May 23, 2008

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has given President George W Bush a bicycle. The official Israeli explanation for the gift is that the bike was given because the President’s knees are (like his brain) a little knackered and he can’t go jogging any more.

However, given the fact that Bush has a history of falling off bicycles (the last time was in Scotland three years ago), could this actually be a sophisticated and very subtle assassination attempt?

More..