Expose Reveals Organized Corruption of PM Olmert

An expose aired Wednesday evening brought new allegations of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s corruption to the fore.

Ezra HaLevi ,

An expose aired Wednesday evening on national television brought new allegations of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s corruption to the fore.

Channel 10 released a document detailing the ways in which Olmert and his staff used their power to help various Likud Central Committee members in return for their political support. The two-year-old document lists 115 members of the Central Committee during the period when Olmert was Minister of Industry, Labor and Trade.

The expose alleges that Olmert used his government offices to provide benefits to the listed committee members. Olmert was not popular in the Central Committee and used the favors in order to maintain and increase his power.

The internal document, authored by Oved Yehezkel, one of Ariel Sharon’s aides in 2005, reveals that 115 committee members were offered jobs, promotions, perks, leniencies and incentives through Olmert’s control of the Small Businesses Authority, Employment Authority, Israel Broadcasting Association and Bezeq phone company.

Some of the alleged actions included:
* Preventing the firing of one committee member from the Postal Authority
* Illegally obtaining a phone number from a cellular company
* Arranging permits for scores of foreign workers for at least two members

The Prime Minister's Office admitted Wednesday that at least some of the details in the document are accurate, but argued that the behavior toward Central Committee members was legitimate.

"The document was composed by a former political adviser out of a desire to elevate his standing and demonstrate his political achievements on behalf of the Likud Central Committee,” Olmert’s office stated.

"The exposure of an industry of corruption [of Prime Minister Olmert] crosses all boundaries,” MK Zevulun Orlev said, responding to the expose. “These findings require the Prime Minister to resign immediately.”