Ehud Olmert rejoices following court verdict 370.
(photo credit: Emile Solomon/ Haaretz)
He is torn. The dilemma Ehud Olmert is facing is agonizing and difficult. Yes,
he wants to return. Yes, it tickles him, not letting him rest. He thinks he was
a good prime minister, he believes he could be even better, if only they would
He looks at the directions his replacement is taking the country
and it nauseates him. He has a strong desire to correct things, he has a
stubborn strain resistant to any drug or vaccine, and the adrenalin flowing
through the veins of all who were once in power. Were, and want to
This strain was what made Binyamin Netanyahu return for a second
term, and it boosted Ehud Barak’s desire (which we have to pray will never come
about) to try again too.
This is what turns the average Israeli
politician into a species that is never endangered, a creature that will never
Olmert will make a decision on his return within a week,
perhaps 10 days, maybe earlier. He has to investigate countless things before
deciding. He needs to settle his legal matters, get solid, unequivocal opinions
that he faces no legal obstacles to run. He has to check out his chances in a
real in-depth survey, with all possible scenarios considered.
He does not
want to crash; he has crashed enough. And then he has to produce a platform.
Should he run with Kadima? And if so, with what line-up? A lot of work awaits
Olmert in the coming days before he makes the decision, unless someone convinces
him not to throw his hat in the ring.
After all, there is no shortage of
self-righteous, hypocritical and sanctimonious people in the political world and
the media, who abhor the idea of Olmert’s return to politics.
Olmert is corrupt, and that’s that. Barak and Netanyahu are clean, knights of
the quality of government and the law. Olmert’s return would harm their
sensitive souls and contaminate their sterile environment.
under a lot of pressure. He is being pressed by almost all the refugees from
Kadima, who see in him a life preserver to prevent the party from
He is being pressed by those who have left the defense apparatus
and see what is being done by Barak and Netanyahu (especially Barak) to the IDF
and to Israel’s deterrence.
He is being pressed by businessmen and
The heads of these important sectors, elite security men and
top financiers, are big fans of Olmert.
The only piece that’s missing now
from the puzzle is the public itself. This is what he is checking. He is
checking whether, if Shaul Mofaz moves two places down on Kadima’s candidates
list, Tzipi Livni rejoins the party and former IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi joins,
and he (Olmert) leads Kadima, they will present a real threat to a Netanyahu-led
The right question in any survey is what happens if Olmert
returns to Kadima with Livni and the support of former security chiefs
(Ashkenazi, Yuval Diskin and Meir Dagan).
Two senior and reliable
pollsters whom I talked to believe that such a move would be an electoral coup.
Their opinions are based on real data.
I allow myself to add here my
humble personal voice, and ask you, Olmert, to return to politics.
Olmert, run! Why? Because there is no other time.
Because you cannot
wait. Run Olmert, because it seems to me that only you can provide an
alternative to the current regime.