Word on the street in Jerusalem says former mayor is done

As word made its way through Jerusalem Wednesday that the key witness in Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's court case had admitted to giving him $150,000 for lavish vacations and exorbitant hotel tabs, residents of the city that once claimed Olmert as mayor had little positive spin to put on his legal woes. "It's sickening," said a butcher who sat outside his shop at the Mahane Yehuda market, smoking a cigarette. "Here we have a guy who has criminal investigations against him, and he's trying to give the Golan Heights to Syria to make us look the other way." Other vendors in the shouk were even less forgiving. "Enough is enough," said a man selling vegetables, a framed photograph of Menachem Begin hanging on the wall of his booth. "There was only one good prime minister of Israel, and that was Begin," he said, glancing at the wall. "He didn't care about money, he cared about Am Yisrael [the people of Israel]. We're the poor ones, though - we're the suckers who put these guys in office." Shoppers at the market were just as upset. A woman who gave her name as Josephine said the whole situation made her want to cry. "It's so sad to be a citizen of a country where the prime minister is under investigation for these types of things," she said. "Our politicians are so dishonest, it makes me wonder what it means for the country. What does it mean for my future here?" Olmert didn't seem to have many supporters at the central bus station, either, with commuters and shop owners there telling The Jerusalem Post they felt the time had come for the prime minister to step down. "I think he should go home," said Eitan Pilas, owner of the Silvario jewelry booth inside the station. "A person who serves in a public office should be clean and honest," he continued. "Someone who takes money like that, how is he supposed to lead a country?" Possibly the nicest remark about Olmert came from Pilas's employee Danielle, who said of Olmert, "He should be healthy, but I think he should resign - he works too hard. He's always falling asleep when I see him on TV in the Knesset." Overall, Jerusalemites simply seemed tired of the ongoing corruption scandals emanating from all echelons of the political sector, and Olmert's trials and tribulations garnered little sympathy. "Ehud Olmert's future is at home," said Meir Iluz, as he drank a cup of coffee at the bus station. "Talansky is also to blame in this mess - he should never have given him the money. But it doesn't matter," Iluz continued. "Olmert is prime minister by mistake, and it doesn't suit him. But what's the difference? All politicians are the same - they just worry about themselves."