After 16 months in prison Ehud Olmert was released Sunday. The former israeli Prime minister has long been regarded as one of the most astute politicians of his country, but a series of corruption cases has greatly impacted its popularity. Aged 71 years, Ehud Olmert has had the sad privilege of being the first former head of government to find himself behind bars. He long defended by presenting themselves as the victim of a political plot, before acknowledging that he had committed ” errors “.
The financial scandals have come to catch up with this former lawyer business regularly suspected of shenanigans and manipulations. In power, he has cultivated an image of joviality. We know the good life, a great lover of cigars, good food and airline travel. But this hedonism ultimately expensive. He was sentenced in 2015, to 18 months in prison for bribery affected in the framework of the pharaonic real estate project Holyland in Jerusalem, when he was mayor from 1993 to 2003. This penalty is added to the eight-month farm for having received and concealed tens of thousands of dollars from american businessman Morris Talansky when he was minister of Trade and Industry.
He has also been a farm months for obstruction of justice for attempting to convince his former secretary and wife of trust, Shula Zacken, not to testify against him. The latter had recorded on the sly Ehud Olmert, who proposed to him the money against his silence. Before these events are legal, everything seemed to succeed Ehud Olmert. It has long been a figurehead of the nationalist right, within Likud, before evolving, over the years, to more moderate positions. Him, who had dreamed of Greater Israel and in support of the settlers of the most extremist in the west bank and the Gaza strip, and who was opposed to the peace agreements of Camp David (1978) and Oslo (1993), has come to accept the creation of a palestinian State. “The moment the most painful of my life was the day I discovered that the figures were stronger than the history and geography of Israel. I discovered that, if we entêtions to keep everything, in 2020, there would be 60 % Arab and 40 % of jews “, he admitted.
“I would have liked to finish what I started “
Born in Haifa in 1945 in Palestine still under a british mandate, he joined the government in 1988. Five years later, he became mayor of Jerusalem. In march 2006, it rose to power in the place of Ariel Sharon, suffered a stroke. Ehud Olmert leads the Kadima party to victory in the elections of march 2006, with a program of dismantling dozens of settlements and withdraw the israeli army from most of the west bank.
But the plan is shelved after the us-led war against the Hezbollah in Lebanon. He continues today to bring in the eyes of the Israelis the responsibility of the failures of this war. Up to the Gaza war, it triggered the end of 2008 to stop palestinian rocket attacks, he conducts intensive negotiations, but unsuccessful, with the palestinian Authority. “I would have liked to finish what I started. I continue to believe that we could succeed if I had remained Prime minister, ” he explained.
In July 2008, more and more weakened by the suspicion, he waives the right to present themselves to the primary of Kadima, and therefore, de facto, the functions of the Prime minister. This is the beginning of the end. Most commentators believe that a return to the policy of Ehud Olmert seems to be now excluded.