Olmert, Corruption, and the Jerusalem Marathon

It comes as no surprise to most Israelis that our Prime Minister is shrouded in yet another controversy, this time allegedly for taking a bribe from a prominent American working in Israel.  The media is still under a strict gag order, but those in the ‘know’ say that this time, Olmert will have to resign.

This is his 5th corruption investigation since taking office two years ago. The most recent one, last Fall, alleged Mr. Olmert received payment in consideration for decisions made in the privatization of Bank Leumi, when we was acting as Finance Minister.

On the lighter side, Ehud Olmert, in 2002, then still Mayor of Jerusalem, was running in the 10KM race as part of the Jerusalem Half Marathon.  Olmert stepped up to the front of the line, mugging for the cameras.  Of course, to get to the front of the line, he had to physically move other runners to the side who had arrived before him.  One of these runners, a neighbor of mine, tells this story:

    I said to Olmert, “How come you get to go to the front of the line? We were here first!”  To which Olmert replied, “Because I am mayor. I am an important person”.

Assuming this story is true,  it illustrates what type of world Mr. Olmert lives in.  In his mind, he is priveleged.  He is a son of the “kings” of Likud. He has been in politics his entire life. Everything has come to him from his political position.

I won’t even bring up the “Divine Retribution” angle that has been posed by many in the National camp…  Ok, I’ll bring it up…

There is a long string of politicians who have expressed acceptance in relinquishing land to Arabs – whether it be East Jerusalem, the Golan, Gaza, even Sinai.  Each politician at the helm during these watershed times who has capitulated to Arab, world, or US pressure, has been knocked down, each with a different ‘natural’ conclusion. 

Is that “Divine” or just natural.  You can decide for yourself.

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