Welcome to Israel

September 8, 2008

olmert.jpg Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was all smiles a day after police recommended that he face criminal charges in a corruption scandal.

 Declining to answer reporters’s questions, an ebullient Olmert grinned broadly and waxed patriotic as he greeted a jumbo jet-load of new immigrants from the United States.

 “Welcome to the State of Israel,” Olmert said in English to applause, holding his arms out in a symbolic embrace. “I want to tell you something: You came from a great country to the greatest country in the world.”

 He hadn’t looked this happy in public in months. Widely unpopular at home, a chance to speak to a largely foreign audience might have been a welcome break.

 A day earlier, Israel’s national police said they had evidence showing Olmert illegally received money from a U.S. businessman and made duplicate claims for travel expenses when he served as mayor of Jerusalem and trade and industry minister.     He has denied any wrongdoing.

 With Olmert committed to resigning after his Kadima party holds a leadership vote on Sept. 17, the police recommendation to indict him — a decision only Israel’s attorney-general can make — will have no immediate impact on his tenure. And he could soon be a lame duck in limbo — a caretaker prime minister in charge until his Kadima successor forms a new coalition government, or failing that, until a general election can be held. That process could take weeks or months, and there’s no telling when Attorney-General Menachem Mazuz will make his decision.

 In the meantime, speculation is mounting in the Israeli media that Olmert might just call it quits — sort of — by announcing a leave of absence, perhaps to undergo a long-delayed operation to treat his prostate cancer. If that happens, Olmert’s deputy, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni would become acting prime minister — even if she loses
the Kadima leadership race to her main challenger Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz. That would reshuffle the political deck in Israel.

 Confused? Well, as Olmert would say: Welcome to the State of Israel.  


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Oh MY GOD !!
This idiot is inviting people to a land that he doesn’t even belong too , there is nothing named Isreal as long as the real people of this holy land Palastine are having problems and being surronded by those CRIMENALS

Posted by Reda | Report as abusive

lol its called Palestine. not palastine, maybe u need a history check, Palestine was named after the Philistines by the Roman empire, the name which is hebrew and stands for foreign invaders, they weren’t arabs they were greeks, and were labeled by christains, how did arabs with different nationalities come about getting this name? well Palestinians were created only in the 1960’s by Yasser Arafat, for the sole purpose and i quote ” To create sympathy for the cause”, the cause being the destruction of Israel, basicaly what they did was strip arabs of there nationality in order to gain world support, since before being labeled Palestinian they were Syrians, Jordanians, egyptians and ect.. and the world wouldn’t understand why they would need another state when they could just back to theirs. just a little revision for reda

Posted by Josh | Report as abusive

Hello world!

Posted by Jared | Report as abusive

To Reda: Perhaps the Palestinians should look to some of their many fellow countries around the middle east to ask for some land to re-form Palestine. The Israeli’s did hold that land during the biblical times. Israel is less than 1/4 of 1-percent the total land of the much bigger countries surrounding them. Besides if you want some symapathy to your cause to establish a country start acting like civilized humans, not bloodthirsty terrorists blowing themselves up without hesitation.

It is pretty hard for the average Israeli to support their politicians negotiating with the terrorist organizations Palestinians have voted into place, such as Hamas…

Posted by Mike in L.A. | Report as abusive

“””Oh MY GOD !!
This idiot is inviting people to a land that he doesn’t even belong too , there is nothing named Isreal as long as the real people of this holy land Palastine are having problems and being surronded by those CRIMENALS”‘

ok, but check the spelling…There’s nothing named Israel….holy land of Palestine……and surrounded by criminals…


Posted by reda2 | Report as abusive

Atheism is one solution. No more U.S. dollars.

Posted by Christine Biedul | Report as abusive