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May 29, 2015 / 11 Sivan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Olmert’

Likud-Beiteinu Worrying Left

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

The merger of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and the Yisrael Beiteinu party of Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on Thursday has left-wing parties scrambling for a solution to the sudden show of solidarity on the part of the pro-nationalist camp.

In an article by Israel HaYom, an anonymous Kadima MK said unity on the left is a big item of discussion now, with emphasis on securing a great leader who will draw votes.

According to the MK, Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz, Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, and Labor chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich are being called on to unify under the leadership of either former Foreign Minister and failed almost-Prime Minister and Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni, or the recently acquitted former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Both are expected to announce whether they will re-enter politics early next week.

Mofaz has said he will relinquish leadership of Kadima if either party needs the position in order to run for prime minister.

The strong Sephardic party, Shas, has expressed its concern over the Likud-Beiteinu merger, saying it could mean the drafting of Hareidi Jews into the army.

Liberman Poll: Near-Tie between Olmert and Netanyahu

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

A new survey commissioned by Israel Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Liberman shows a near-tie between the Likud under Benjamin Netanyahu and a party led by former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, bolstered by Tzipi Livni.

A source in Olmert’s circle told Walla that this is an “interesting survey,” and that the former PM has not yet decided whether or not to participate in the upcoming elections.

The survey, commissioned by Liberman from Arthur Finkelstein, a New York-based Republican Party consultant who has worked for conservative candidates in the United States, Canada, Israel and Eastern Europe over the past four decades, presents an encouraging picture for Liberman and his party. According to the survey, Israel Beiteinu will get 14-16 seats, landing it in third place, ahead of the Labour Party with 13 seats and behind Olmert’s party and Likud which will receive 22 and 22-24 seats respectively.

Since the Prime Minister’s announcement of early elections, Israel Beiteinu Chairman Liberman, has not rested, and has been laboring intensely to sway voters. Nine days ago, he spoke at a meeting of Israel Beiteinu, he attacked the contenders on the left: “A party like Meretz is nothing more than a lobby for the Palestinians inside the Knesset,” he suggested, while also attacking the Labor Party chairperson, Shelly Yachmovitch: “Who speaks for social-democy, but confuses it with Communism.”

Former PM Olmert is rumored to be checking the lay of the land before declaring his run for the Knesset. Eight days ago, Judge Elyakim Rubinshtein, head of the Central Elections Committee, rejected a request from the Ometz (Courage) movement to declare Olmert unfit to serve as Prime Minister as long as he is the defendant in a corruption trial. Rubinshtein said it wasn’t up to him or the Elections Committee to disqualify a candidate for the role of Prime Miniaster.

Olmert and Livni Hold Elections Pow Wow

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and former Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni may be throwing their hats into the political arena once more, teaming up to attempt to defeat the nationalist camp headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

The pair met on Wednesday for an hour and a half just a day after prosecutors announced their plan to appeal the verdict and sentence in a court case charging the former prime minister with tax evasion, fraud, and breach of trust.

Olmert was found guilty of breach of trust, fined less than $18,000 and given a one-year suspended jail sentence, considered by analysts to be a very light sentence.

If the pair do run, and add celebrity Yair Lapid, son of politician Tommy Lapid, they could receive more votes than the ruling Likud party, according to a poll published by Haaretz on Thursday.

There had been speculation that a new political party headed by Olmert and Livni could defeat Netanyahu’s Likud in the election, but polls released last week found that Olmert and Livni would likely only achieve ten seats.

The poll says 25 seats would go to the tripartite team, one more than Likud’s 24 seats.

Yet the poll also says nationalists would win the majority of votes, which means Netanyahu would probably continue as prime minister.

If Olmert, Livni, and Lapid do not join up, nationalists would likely win 65 seats, with 55 to the left wing.

Israel’s State Prosecutor to Appeal Olmert Acquittals

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Israel’s state prosecutor will appeal the acquittals of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in two of three cases decided earlier this year.

The prosecutor informed Olmert’s attorney on Tuesday that it will appeal the July acquittals on charges of fraud, breach of trust, tax evasion and falsifying corporate records in what became known as the Talansky and Rishon Tours affairs, according to the Justice Ministry.

His sentence in the Investment Center Affair, in which the Jerusalem District Court found Olmert guilty on the lesser charge of breach of trust, also will be appealed. Last month Olmert was sentenced to one to three years of probation and fined some $19,000 for granting personal favors to attorney Uri Messer when Olmert served as trade minister. The former prime minister could have faced up to three years in jail.

The announcement came a day after the 18th Knesset voted to dissolve itself and go to new elections in January, and as Olmert reportedly was deciding whether to attempt a political comeback in the elections.

Last week, Likud Party lawmaker Tzipi Hotovely petitioned Israel’s Central Elections Committee to prevent Olmert from running for office, citing the July conviction. The sentence in the Investment Center case did not include a ruling of moral turpitude, which would have prevented the 67-year-old from re-entering politics for seven years.

Olmert had agreed to forgo the perks awarded to a former head of state, including a secretary, an office and a car, in exchange for the finding.

Olmert is the first former Israeli prime minister ever to stand trial. He officially resigned as prime minister in September 2008 after police investigators recommended that he be indicted in the Talansky case.

Likud Lawmaker Aims to Block Rumored Comeback by Olmert

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Likud Party lawmaker Tzipi Hotovely reportedly petitioned Israel’s Central Elections Committee to prevent former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert from running for office.

Israel’s Army Radio reported that Hotovely asked committee chair Elyakim Rubinstein, a Supreme Court justice and former attorney general, to disqualify Olmert, the former leader of the centrist Kadima Party, from contending in the upcoming elections because of his conviction in July for breach of trust during a stint as minister of trade and industry.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud said Israel would hold early elections early next year.

“It is inconceivable that Olmert be allowed to run for office in this situation, as elections are meant to increase the public’s trust in the political system, not diminish it,” Army Radio quoted Hotovely as saying in explaining her request.

In convicting and handing Olmert a suspended sentence, the court did not state that his offenses carried moral turpitude, which would have barred him from running. Olmert was cleared of more serious allegations of corruption that had forced him to resign in 2008.

Yoel Hasson of Kadima said that Hotovely’s request showed “Likud was panicking” because of the prospect of Olmert returning to public life.

Dalia Itzik, another Kadima lawmaker, said the party’s current leader, Shaul Mofaz, should step down and be replaced by Olmert.

Speaking with Army Radio, former Kadima minister Haim Ramon said he was talking to Olmert and former Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni about possibly forming a new political party. Ramon added, however, that Olmert has not yet made a decision on whether to return to politics.

Olmert “Standing Tall” After Receiving Commuted Sentence

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert told a press conference Monday that he leaves court “standing tall” after being handed a one year suspended sentence and a fine of NIS 75,300 for breaching the public trust in what has been called the “Investment Center Affair”.  Olmert was charged with using his position as Minister of Industry, Trade, and Labor to benefit his friends and colleagues.

If Olmert commits a similar crime in the next three years, he will have to serve jail time.

Analysts expected Olmert to be sentenced to at least six months of community service, which in and of itself would have been seen as a major coup. Though the state recommended a six month prison sentence to be served through community service, Olmert argued that he had been through enough after having given up his position as prime minister and undergoing 4 years of court cases and investigations and should therefore be given no penalty. The court ultimately agreed with his arguments.

Olmert was acquitted in July of all serious crimes related to a series of incidents.

Olmert, who turns 67 on September 30, has expressed an interest in re-entering the political arena.

Elliot Abrams: Americans Support Israeli Strike on Iran; Iranians Don’t Fear Obama

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Former advisor to George W. Bush Elliot Abrams stated in an interview that the American people would support an Israeli strike on Iran and criticized the Obama Administration for its handling of Iran’s nuclear threat, calling Obama’s approach “weak.”

“The President has made one big mistake . . . We have not made the Iranians afraid of a strike and I think they ought to be afraid of a strike – of an American strike in reality,” Abrams said in an interview with the Jerusalem Post.

Abrams said that this may be the reason why Iran has no desire to conclude an agreement with the Permanent Members of the Security Council and Germany (the so-called “P5+1”).

“They do not think it’s possible. They do not think it’s in the cards. I think that is one of the reasons diplomacy has failed – and it has failed,” he said.

As for an Israeli strike, Abrams said it would be “justifiable” given the danger Iran poses to Israel.

Abrams credited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for “helping along” the sanctions regime against Iran with his public statements.

“I think the Europeans, for example, would not have supported sanctions as much as they have, nor, I think, the Russians [or] the Chinese, had it not been for Israel’s drawing attention to the threat from Iran and drawing attention to the possibility that Israel would feel [it] must act against that threat,” Abrams said.

Abrams predicted that Obama would not be able to take punitive measures against Israel for such a strike, saying that “in an election year it’s particularly hard for a president …to take a position against Israel as the American people are taking a position in favor of Israel.”

Abrams also revealed that one of the reasons President Bush pursued the Annapolis Peace Conference and the renewal of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority with such vigor towards the end of his term was that then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the administration such efforts had a good chance of success.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/elliot-abrams-americans-support-iran-strike-iranians-dont-fear-obama/2012/08/28/

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