Former prime minister Ehud Olmert slammed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on
Monday night, but remained coy about his political future as sources continued
to say he is unlikely to run for the 19th Knesset.
According to Olmert,
“none of the deadlines that appeared in the press are correct. Someone made up
the idea that I will decide by this weekend. I still don’t
Olmert appeared amused at the bevy of reporters attending his
speech at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for Applied Diplomacy, saying “the
Israeli press is serious. They heard there is a speech on military law in
Israel, and they don’t want to miss one word!” As the press gathered around him,
the former prime minister told them to smile and relax.
“All of this
suspense is embarrassing,” Olmert said. “Everything will come in its
Sources close to Olmert said on Monday that he is unlikely to
return to politics after the State Attorney’s Office decided last week to appeal
his acquittal in corruption cases.
Still, the former prime minister did
not hide his opinion of Netanyahu.
“The Netanyahu government is all talk;
at least I acted,” Olmert said. “On a practical level, this government needs to
be improved. It knows how to speak, but less how to do things.”
refused to answer questions about possibly running with Tzipi Livni, Maybe make
it who replaced Olmert as Kadima leader in 2008.
Earlier Monday, Livni
met with Histadrut chairman Ofer Eini, sparking rumors that she may run for the
second spot on Labor’s list.
Livni would not comment on the meeting, but
Channel 2 reported that she does not want to be number two, and, should she
return to politics, will found a new party.
Sources close to Eini said
the meeting was probably an attempt by him to put pressure on Labor leader
Shelly Yacimovich since their relations have soured.