Israel’s Dilemma: A Discredited Prime Minister and Unappealing Alternatives

Israel’s Dilemma: A Discredited Prime Minister and Unappealing Alternatives

If Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is looking for someone in Israel willing to stand up and fight for his political survival, the only place he may find that person is staring straight into the mirror. Olmert's approval ratings could hardly go any lower -- and that was even before Monday's release of partial results from the Winograd Commission investigation into what went wrong in Israel's war with Lebanon last summer. Olmert's survival looks like the longest of long shots, and yet, the road ahead looks anything but clear for his political opponents.

The Commission skewered Olmert, declaring that he "bears supreme and comprehensive responsibility" for Israel's shortcomings in the conflict, and finding him guilty of "a serious failure in exercising judgment, responsibility and prudence."

Immediately after the release of the findings, Olmert defiantly announced he had no intention of stepping down. Just as quickly, calls for his resignation emerged from the public, the press, and virtually every point along the political spectrum. In the end, Olmert will most likely lose his job and end his political career, much as the legendary Prime Minister Golda Meir did after a similar investigation into why Israel was caught unprepared by an Egyptian attack in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

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