Israel’s Ehud Olmert Resigns: What Next?
Israel prime minister, Ehud Olmert’s resignation last night follows months of mounting pressure over allegations of corruption. His successor, apart from managing the ongoing talks with the Palestinians, would have to face another major issue concerning Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
The Guardian reports that “Mofaz, a former chief of staff and defence minister, said recently that an Israeli attack on Iran was ‘unavoidable’ because sanctions were not working.
“Olmert, in office for two and a half years, said he would step down in September after his Kadima party has chosen a new leader. The main candidates are Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister, a pragmatic centrist, and Shaul Mofaz, transport minister but a hawk on national security issues, including Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the ongoing, though faltering, negotiations with the Palestinians.
“Olmert’s reputation was irreparably damaged by the 2006 war in Lebanon, when he was criticised by an official commission of inquiry for having mishandled Israel’s response to a cross-border raid by Hizbullah guerrillas, embroiling the country in a month-long war in which civilians were subject to missile salvoes and at the end of which there was no clear victory over the enemy.
“But he was credited with having helped restore Israel’s battered deterrent capability by bombing an alleged nuclear reactor in Syria and, so many Arabs believed, assassinating a Hizbullah military leader in the heart of Damascus.
“Olmert is the subject of two criminal investigations. ” More here…
And here… (Photo courtesy AP/Eliana Eponte)