Ehud Olmert often reminds us of Ehud (Napoleon) Barak. Not because of his military background, his analytical thinking nor his personal record as a fighter in Israel's wars.
In these matters Ehud Barak overtakes big time. Instead, Olmert resembles Barak by his arrogance and his automatic fire towards enemies, whether real or imaginary.
Olmert's pompousness led him over the weekend to declare war on his Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. He brutally attacked the one person who closed her eyes and acted as though she was not aware of his record. Yet, he still stuck a sharp knife into her, and with much talent added her to his list of enemies. By so doing, he actually admitted that she was capable of beating him in the next elections.
No skeletons in her closet
Tzipi Livi can be criticized over a number of issues. However, she, in no way resembles Olmert: she has no skeletons in her closet, she has no open or closed lawsuits pending against her at the attorney's office or the state comptroller's office, and she has no criminal ties.
Livni is cautious and responsible in her stately role, she knows how to take criticism and she doesn't threaten the press. The fact that she does not possess malicious traits, as is all too common here, has so far only been to her benefit. Olmert realizes this.
Livni could have been sitting in the prime minister's chair. According to surveys, she was assured a victory. However, she feared that a dispute over Sharon's inheritance within the Kadima ranks would destroy the newborn party. Therefore she acted nobly and relinquished the prime minister's post …keeping her eyes and nostrils tightly shut.
Sprinkling rose petals
She called for the support of someone who was less capable than herself; she sprinkled rose petals in his path and at party hovels, and she convinced many naïve people to join the gang. We may safely assume that Kadima's victory can primarily be attributed to Livni.
Olmert and some of his loyalists in his office and in the media knew how much Livni was worth on election day. Therefore, he agreed to upgrade her immediately and embraced her warmly. However, the embrace didn't erase the envy and the suspicion: Olmert began clipping his foreign minister's wings, left her in the shadows and hinted that she was too independent.
He discovered that she was highly respected overseas, that she has red lines, and that she is not afraid of expressing her opinions even if it is unacceptable to him. She does not exercise blind obedience.
This combination of clean hands along with her refusal to become just another marionette in Olmert's theater has in the last few months turned her into a threat.
Olmert severely wounded
Olmert has been severely wounded in this second war in Lebanon. The public is beginning to understand that he is an amateur, and Livni once again presents a fitting alternative. Before this war, there were those who marked Chief-of-Staff Dan Haluz as the next prime minister, today - Livini remains the only candidate.
This is what is apparently aggravating comrade Olmert. Instead of counting to ten and thinking about what is good for the country and allowing his foreign minister to join the Security Council discussions, Olmert instructed her to stay put. As though he were punishing her for the independence she demonstrated in the cabinet during the war.
A leader who sticks a knife in the back of his foreign minister for no apparent reason, particularly during wartime, is not intelligent to say the least.
Lack of such intelligence, not to mention the foolishness, tells us quite a lot about the man appointed by the state to protect human lives. He is unable to see beyond the tip of his nose, and proof of this is his failure to understand that he could not get rid Tzipi Livni. She returned fire and emerged strong. In her elegant way she slapped him in the face.