The Father of Palestine
February 13, 2008
‘I’ve never been to Ramallah before,” one of the White House correspondents says, gazing out at the cold gray mountains outside Jerusalem. The walls and ceilings of the buses provided for the press are lined with strips of old shag carpet, and it takes two skinny Third-World-person-sized seats to fit a single network cameraman accompanying President Bush on the first leg of his pilgrimage to the Middle East. The printed sign in Hebrew at the front of the bus reads hebron.
The Olmert Omerta
January 31, 2008
The good news about Ehud Olmert is that he is not a willful murderer of Israeli soldiers.
Making Hash Out Of Annapolis
November 27, 2007
Political commentators have been parsing George Bush's words at Annapolis. They were eloquent and realistic, and they did not force Israel into concessions before the negotiations with the Palestinians even began.Mohammed Abbas' remarks were designed -- I guess, understandably -- to cover his back, quite literally. He did his litany of Palestinian demands only some of which he might be able to fulfill. But, in a gesture of comity, he acknowledged Ehud Olmert's particular efforts to understand the Palestinian condition.
Talking About What?
May 15, 2007
I don't particularly like the metaphor. But there is an elephant in the room...or, rather, an elephant in the closet. Ehud Olmert meets with the King of Jordan. Ehud Olmert meets with Mahmoud Abbas. Tsipi Livni meets with the president of Egypt. Condi Rice continues to build up frequent flyer miles to see anyone who will see her in the Middle East. Even the King of Saudi Arabia meets with random riff-raff, all sorts of riff-raff. Arabs are meeting each other in one country's capital and then another's.
May 02, 2007
by Sanford LevinsonThis just in: The Israeli foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, told Prime Minister Ehud Olmert today that he should resign in the wake of a damning report about Mr. Olmert's performance in last summer's war against Hezbollah. "I expressed my opinion to the prime minister that the right thing to do would be for him to resign," she said in a press conference here today after meeting with Mr. Olmert. I suspect that there are many on this list who admire Israel as a vibrant democracy.
October 16, 2006
"Olmert, we forgive you," read an unsigned pre-Yom Kippur ad, placed in the newspaper Maariv by the amorphous movement to oust Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. "We forgive you for the first defeat in war since the founding of the state of Israel. We forgive you for the penetration of corruption into government. We forgive you for the confused leadership. We forgive you because the job is simply too big for you." Israelis have seldom been kind to their prime ministers, even the most beloved.
January 23, 2006
When Ehud Olmert was a teenage leader of the right-wing Betar youth movement in the 1950s, he would mark May Day by tearing down the red flag that hung over the trade union building in his northern village of Binyamina. For Olmert and his friends, that flag symbolized what they referred to as "the Vichy government" of Labor Zionism, which had betrayed the land of Israel by twice accepting its partition—first in 1923, when the British created Transjordan, and then in 1947, when the Untied Nations divided what was left of historic Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.