Zaken: 'The power behind the throne'

Zaken has been at Olmert's side for three decades, and is said to "understand him completely."

January 3, 2007 00:36
1 minute read.
Zaken: 'The power behind the throne'

shula zaken 298 AJ. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])


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Zaken, 48, who has been called the person Olmert "doesn't move without consulting," began working for him in his law office some 30 years ago, when she was just 17. She was quickly promoted to be his secretary, and has served in that capacity ever since. Zaken has been called the "power behind the throne," the person who sets his schedule and controls his timetable and access to him. Zaken has been at Olmert's side for three decades, and is said to "understand him completely," and enjoy his complete trust. Officials in the Prime Minister's Office said Tuesday night, upon hearing the news of her 10-day house arrest, that obviously the feeling in the office now was "not pleasant." There was no response, however, to the affair itself, and the allegations of her involvement. One official said that although he did not know whether Olmert spoke to Zaken on Tuesday, it was logical to assume that he did so, since he has traveled such a long distance with her, and since "he doesn't abandon his friends in need." As bureau chief, Zaken works closely with Olmert's Chief of Staff Yoram Turbowicz, who - according to sources in Olmert's office - will now fill in the vacuum caused by her forced absence from work. Zaken has traveled with Olmert on his trips abroad since becoming prime minister, and was expected to join his encourage next week on a trip to China, something that now she will be unable to do.

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