Breitbart.com: Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who on Thursday challenged the Kadima party leadership of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, under investigation for alleged corruption, is seen as as rising political star and a contender to be its second woman leader. The 49-year-old lawyer, who defied her staunch nationalist background to become the number two in government and in the centrist Kadima, is today the most popular member of government.
She is seen as the strongest candidate to succeed Olmert as Kadima’s head and enjoys high public approval ratings, though she still trails right-wing Likud party chief Benjamin Netanyahu in polls as a potential premier. Today Livni heads the peace negotiations with the Palestinians, launched late last year in a US conference, but which have since made little visible progress.
She has met frequently with her US counterpart, Condoleezza Rice, on improving conditions for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, where she is committed to the creation of a Palestinian state but also ensuring Israel’s security and fight against terror.
“The creation of a Palestinian state, of a Palestinian economy, is clearly in Israel’s interests, and we share the Palestinians’ desire, just as cracking down on terror is a Palestinian interest,” Livni said, while attending a donors conference for the Palestinians in Paris in December.
Well Livni might indeed be the strongest leader to lead the Kadima party, but not the strongest to lead the state of Israel. Her party as a whole, has tagged along with the current US administration’s (read= State Department’s) policy of setting a high priority on the establishment of a Palestinian state before the end of the year, which is a bad, dangerous policy no matter how you dress it up.
Ehud Olmert’s career as the PM of Israel is coming to an end, something that, by the way, should have ended back in 2006 after his majorly botched campaign against the Hezbollah. The call for his resignation has been unrelenting ever since. But with a stubbornness that seeks to defy the laws of gravity, he clings on to his position as Prime Minister nonetheless.
Ironically, the recent corruption scandal
offers the PM a chance to do something positive for the benefit of not only Israel, but also for the Arab world as well. If Olmert steps down, either through pressure from his own party, or by his own choosing, the ramifications of such a scenario would be felt across the Arab Middle-East. The Jerusalem Post reports the following:
The corruption case against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has earned Israel tremendous respect throughout the Arab world, where many have called on their leaders to benefit from Israel’s democratic system and independent judicial system.
Words of praise for Israel are a rare phenomenon in the Arab media. But judging from the reactions of many Arabs to the corruption case in the past week, the trend appears to have changed. Even some Arabs who describe themselves as “sworn enemies of the Zionist entity” have begun singing praise for Israel.
Over the past week, the corruption case against Olmert received wide coverage in the mainstream Arab media, prompting an outcry about the need for transparency and accountability in the Arab world.
“Show me one Arab or Islamic country where a prime minister or a senior government official was ever questioned for financial corruption or bribery,” said a reader who identified himself only as Majed.
Majed, like many others, was responding to a news story on an Arab Web site about the testimony in court of American philanthropist Morris Talansky, who told police he had given Olmert more than $150,000 in cash over the course of some 14 years. Another reader, Sami, commented: “The Israeli regime with all its defects is better than all the Arab ‘democracies’ and still changes ministers and governments every few years.”
So the Tundra Tabloids sees the removal of Ehud Olmert as a “win win” situation for both Israel and its neighbors. Israel removes an ineffectual leader while setting an example to the rest of the Arab world, that the heads of state are to serve the people, not the other way around. *L* KGS