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Olmert - Photo: AP
Olmert - Photo: AP
 
Talansky Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
Talansky Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
 
 

The man who wanted to be king

Olmert did whatever he wanted for years, until his greed overcame his caution

Yigal Sarna
Published: 05.29.08, 09:51 / Israel Opinion

The elderly Talansky can from now on peacefully prepare for the day he will face the Creator, because once he is up there, standing among the angels, he would be able to recount his testimony and make it into heaven. If there is one good deed in Talansky’s life, which was filled with charity and business, donations and cash-filled envelopes, then it is the way he faced the court and the manner in which he recounted his monetary friendship with Ehud Olmert.

 

By doing so, Talansky bought his place in heaven more than with any donation, because he assisted in cleansing the country from the thing that makes states rot, accelerates their collapse, and is more lethal than the work of a nuclear spy: Corrupt politicians.

 

While standing at court and sitting in the interrogation room, Talansky lifted a heavy hood. And when we looked under that hood we were overcome with the same sense of nausea when lifting an old sewage lid and discovering a world filled with insects and rats and everything that is hidden from view right under our feet – we guess that it exists, but it’s not the same as seeing it with our own eyes.

 

I am writing these words with fury. There is a deep desire to rinse out from the place my father built a powerful man that may have brought disaster upon us with his greed, evil, arrogance, and indifference.

 

For so many years he did whatever he wanted, to the point of losing any limits and throwing all caution to the wind. He acted as a patriotic swindler, inflamed passions in Jerusalem and stirred up fury against us. He approved construction on empty mountains and authorized towers that destructed ancient landscapes. He lived like a king even in the toughest times

 

When he was appointed as prime minister, with the same manner of suicidal arrogance he appointed the least suitable candidates to the two most critical portfolios: Peretz as defense minister and Hirchson as finance minister. He should have been ousted for that sin alone.

 

Who am I, Tony Soprano? Ehud Olmert recently asked, attempting to ride the wave of sympathy for the fictitious Tony, just like he is attempting to ride on the wave of sympathy for his prostate, the wave of sympathy for the turbo-peace with Syria, and the wave of sympathy for bringing back the captives who were abducted during his failure. He is a frequent flier of rumors, lies, and false promises.

 

In a moment he shall appear with his group of swanky lawyers, unshaven and donning a black kippa, and ask the court for consideration because he has become religious. Olmert lacks Tony’s lethal charm and is more similar to Tony’s relative, that elderly and sly man who averts any arrest.

 

Just like with Tony, a light cloud of unproven suspicion always hovered above Ehud. On occasion, someone in the crowd would yell something out and immediately be silenced and taken out of the room. Once, some strange looking young kibbutznik yelled out in the middle of a meeting: “But you’re a thief.
What about the loan?” before he was immediately removed. Ze’ev Boim, who accompanied Olmert, mentioned the guy to me, and I said: He’s right, no? And Boim rushed to complain to Olmert, and Olmert rushed to complain to my editor, but was pushed aside.

 

He was accustomed to silence and covering up, and he was very successful for many years. It is possible that had his greed not overcome his caution, and had he not been pushed to the prime minister’s chair, he would have died like a righteous man and left all his treasures and apartments to his children.

 

But he wanted to be king.

 

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