The clock ticks

Aluf Benn, Haaretz, January 18:

Ehud Olmert has no intention of resigning. He wants to fight for his political survival and clearing his name of the “investigations and the affairs.” His determination is heartwarming, his cool during times of crises admirable, and he can also take pride in the growing economy, the reduction in Palestinian terrorism and his friendship with world leaders. Still, Olmert’s fight looks like it stands no chance, following the double blow he suffered on Tuesday: the news of a criminal investigation into his role in the sale of Bank Leumi and the resignation of Chief of Staff Dan Halutz.

Even if the prime minister holds on to his post for several more months, even a year, he will be preoccupied with trying to save his seat, and will find it difficult to conduct the affairs of state. From this point on, Israel finds itself in a period of a leadership vacuum, characterized by a very thin line of leadership and very little content. Hopefully, the new chief of staff will use this period to rehabilitate the army, and there won’t be another war in the territories or the North, to undermine the little internal stability that is left.… 

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