Corruption: With an "O" as in Olmert

All we can hope for is that his over-confidence will topple him, like King David wrote about evil being stabbed by its own sword.

Batya Medad,

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Years ago, OK, decades ago, when I was studying dance, we were taught that if we fell or made a mistake, we were to always smile and "recover," showing the confidence, as if it was all part of the choreography.

That's how Olmert rules. He always has a smile and moves with confidence, never, ever admitting that he's wrong.

Most people make their judgments according to superficial observations. Confidence rules, and that's how Olmert is succeeding. He exudes confidence and competence.

When Olmert first became the Mayor of Jerusalem, the "elite," the Teddy Kollek fans were totally horrified. They did everything in their extensive powers to rile him and rid the city of that "Likudnik." Teddy was king of the Jerusalem establishment. He had been mayor when the city metamorphosed from a plagued and terrorized backwater to the "Golden" capital of Jerusalem. How could the thankless Jerusalemites vote against him and for Olmert?

I must admit that, at the time, I thought Olmert was a good change from the already elderly Teddy. Yes, sometimes I'm wrong.

As mayor of Jerusalem, Olmert honed his powers and collected markers from the moneyed and powerful. And now he has begun to cash them in and, at the same time, collect even more. Yes, he's a real pro, unfortunately. Remember that it is human nature for people to be attracted to powerful and confident people. That's why it will be exceedingly difficult to oust him from office.

All we can hope for is that his over-confidence will topple him, like King David wrote about evil being stabbed by its own sword.

Prime Minister Olmert's Winograd Committee is a case in point. With his legendary confidence, Olmert established a committee of people he appointed to "investigate" himself. This isn't the innocence of Chelm. It's more like 1984, or worse.

Do you think I exaggerate? I wish that were the case. Not only was Olmert the one who appointed the committee - instead of having an "independent impartial commission" - it has even been given its own public relations official, Moti Seraf, who did PR for the IDF during the war in Lebanon.

And just in case you're curious as to how the Winograd Committee is functioning, it's just providing a forum for Olmert, Livne and Peretz to explain themselves, make excuses. It's not investigating anything at all.

Recently, on TV, there was an interview with Yaakov Hasdai, who had been on the Agranat Commission, which investigated the Yom Kippur War of 1973. He is horrified at the farcical conduct of the Winograd Committee. Instead of checking facts, protocols, minutes of meetings, he explained, the committee is just being used as a forum for the politicians to spout their stories.

I'm not going to say that it will be easy, but our job is to wipe that smile off of Olmert's face and save our country.



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