Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Olmert On The Brink

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is facing overwhelming pressure to resign, after a report into last summer's war with Hizbollah made some pretty serious criticisms of him. Defence minister Amir Peretz seems extremely likely to quit, and although Mr Olmert is sounding defiant, it looks like he's going to have to go as well.

This is what the two men get for trying to prove how tough they are. Ehud Olmert's a rarity in an Israeli leader, in that he doesn't have a high-profile military career behind him. His two immediate predecessors, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Barak, are among Israel's greatest military heroes. Both he and the traditionally dovish Mr Peretz, the leader of Israel's Labour party, were clearly keen to pick a fight with Hizbollah to demonstrate they could be trusted as strong defenders of Israel. The war failed to achieve any of its aims, and with Israel's captured soldiers still not returned, and Hizbollah apparently fully re-armed, it's no surprise Olmert and Peretz are on the brink of paying with their political careers.

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