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No Real Change

Uri Orbach Photo: Tomer Barzide
Uri Orbach Photo: Tomer Barzide
Olmert - A change of heart? Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
Olmert - A change of heart? Photo: Dudi Vaaknin

A show for the judges

Was PM Olmert’s leftist outburst prompted by his desire to appease courts?

Uri Orbach
Published: 10.07.08, 01:43 / Israel Opinion

We know that suspects tend to arrive at court these days while wearing a large kippah on their head. This supposedly tends to make judges more merciful and compassionate towards them.


However, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s recent interview with Yedioth Ahronoth, where he called for far-reaching territorial withdrawals, revealed a new phenomenon to us: For the first time, we saw a suspect enveloping himself in leftist opinions in order to elicit some empathy from the legal system.


But perhaps this outburst of “moderation” on Olmert’s part was only meant to prompt naïve people to bid the resigning minister farewell with sadness in their eyes. The Israeli public may be deceived into thinking that we were oh so close to finalizing a peace agreement with the Palestinians, and then came the legal system and all those purists and toppled a prime minister who could have brought us all those good things.


Rebirth as anti-occupation philosopher?

But perhaps Ehud Olmert is actually trying to facilitate his own rebirth as an anti-occupation thinker and philosopher. After all, there is nothing like cultivating an image of a moderate and well-reasoned person in when it comes to gaining the sympathies of the judges and the public.


Perhaps this, and perhaps that. However, there is only one thing I am completely convinced of: It is impossible that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert reached his new political conclusions just like that, by engaging in realistic analysis and deep thinking.


By now I can believe anything about our deceptive prime minister, with the exception of one thing: I cannot believe that he is capable of doing anything in good faith and because he truly believes in it. I do suspect Olmert, but I don’t suspect him of that much.


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