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Olmert with the new immigrants Photo: Moshe Milner, GPO
Olmert with the new immigrants Photo: Moshe Milner, GPO

Olmert: Kadima will remain a leading party

A day after police recommend charging prime minister with fraud, bribery offenses, Olmert finds time to welcome some 250 new immigrants from US. 'You have come to the greatest country in the world,' he tells them

Amnon Meranda
Published: 09.08.08, 09:57 / Israel News

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert continued his daily routine Monday, following the police's recommendation to charge him with fraud and bribery offenses over two corruption affairs, finding the time to welcome some 250 new immigrants from the United States.


The new olim arrived on "The Single Flight" of the Nefesh B'Nefesh organization, and were told by the prime minister that "Kadima will remain a leading party in Israel."


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Olmert appeared exhausted and was not wearing a tie as he arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport, but attempted to maintain business as usual.


He told the immigrants, "You have come to the greatest country in the world. It's true that we face dangers and threats, but they cannot harm the State of Israel. The State of Israel will live forever as a Jewish state in the Land of Israel. The olim are the answer to any threat."


The prime minister went on to praise the Israeli economy, and added, "American is here."


Olmert also found the time to joke with the coalition chairman, Knesset Member Yoel Hasson, who was among the audience and said he hoped the single immigrants would find partners soon.


"I would just like to inform you that Hasson is also single," the prime minister said. "Hasson is a member of Kadima, he will be one of the party's senior leaders, and it will remain a leading party in Israel."


Olmert went on to hand out immigrant certificates to the new olim. He did not refer to the police recommendation to indict him.


The Nefesh B'Nefesh organization brought 235 new immigrants to Israel, 92 of them single (57 women and 34 men). The flight was joined by heads of the parliamentary lobby for the advancement of immigration from Western countries, and MKs Yoel Hasson and Gilad Erdan.


Among those who arrived in Israel on Monday were a three-month old baby and an 86-year-old woman, as well as 34 families, 48 children and 18 youths who will soon join the Israel Defense Forces. Ten new dogs will also have to get used to the Israeli climate from now on.


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