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      Fundamentally Freund
      by Michael Freund
      An alternative approach to Israeli political commentary.
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      Michael Freund is Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), which reaches out and assists "lost Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. He writes a syndicated column and feature stories for the Jerusalem Post. Previously, he served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Israeli Prime Minister´s Office under former premier Benjamin Netanyahu. A native of New York, he holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He has lived in Israel for the past decade.
      Adar Bet 27, 5768, 4/3/2008

      A Prime Minister Resigns

      He is the Prime Minister of the country, and he is suspected of corruption.

      Police believe he took cash in exchange for favors, using his governmental post to line his own pockets.

      He has not been charged with any crime - at least not yet - but a cloud of suspicion hangs heavily over his name and his reputation.

      Sound familiar? Well, the person in question is actually not Ehud Olmert, Prime Minister of Israel, but Bertie Ahern, Prime Minister of Ireland.

      But there is, however, one major difference between the two: Ahern had the decency to announce his resignation.

      Speaking at a surprise press conference on Wednesday morning, Ahern said, "While I will be the first to admit that I've made mistakes in my life and in my career, one mistake I've never made was to enrich myself by misusing the trust of the people. I have never received a corrupt payment and I've never done anything to dishonour any office that I've ever held."

      Nonetheless, despite professing his innocence, Ahern decided to fall on his political sword, realizing that his service to his nation could not continue under the circumstances.

      Would that our own leaders in Israel would watch and learn from his example.