For those who have been watching Israel’s version of the successful American reality series, The Survivors, the vote has come in as to who is the most successful ‘survivor’ in Israel for the year 2007. And the winner is none other that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Just as those in the T.V. series have to survive the greatest tests of their endurance and tenacity, Mr. Olmert has certainly done this and has so far been able to out flank both his critics as well as the commissions appointed to investigate his alleged wrong doings.
For example, Olmert has managed to prevent the Winogard Commission, which has been set up to examine and conclude who was mainly responsible for the mistakes made during the 2006 war in Lebanon. Despite the evidence presented against him so far, Olmert has not only managed to prevent being voted out of office by the Knesset, his country’s parliament, he has even been able to get a majority of Knesset members on his side and prevent any parliamentary no confidence votes from bringing down the government.
Regarding his personal financial conduct, which was under investigation by both the country’s Attorney General Menny Mazuz, as well as the Israel Police, neither were able to put together a case strong enough to cause the prime minister any real harm. These investigations also included the well televised “Bank Leumi scandal” in which Olmert was suspected in taking bribes in favor of projects sponsored by the country’s largest bank. And just like some of the more unpopular members of The Survivors teams, he has not been voted out of the tribe â€“ not yet anyway.
As the year 2007 draws to a close, the Prime Minister is becoming more and more involved with trying to make peace deals with people who are not really “partners”; and this is especially true of Palestinian leaders such as Mahmoud Abbas, as well as foreign heads of state such as Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. In fact, the more Mr. Olmert tries, the more he doesn’t seem to be successful. The only bright spot in his survival efforts appears to be his wife, Aliza, who is appearing more and more on T.V. recently, possibly in an effort to gloss over his inadequacies. Aliza seems have a lot going for her, and may be his ultimate salvation in the coming year, 2008. There is an old saying that wives often act as a counter balance to their husband’s idiosyncrasies, and the soft spoken Aliza, a social worker by profession who is also an avid amateur photographer, has been seen involved in a number of projects dealing with disadvantaged people, especially children.
Whether of not this will help save her husband’s political career is not certain at this time, and as we get into the New Year, events may be just too much for even a clever maneuveror like Mr. Olmert. His own Kadima Party members who still appear to have some loyalty towards him my eventually decide to save their own futures; and like the teams on The Survivors, may decide to vote against their leader and force him to leave their political “island”.