Labor chairman and Defense Minister Ehud Barak urged the Kadima Party to practice self-scrutiny in choosing its path and leader, as the party’s senior members have already begun internal discussions on the matter. None, however, have outwardly called for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to resign.
Despite the roaring silence, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni chose to send a strong message to Olmert while leading a memorial service for former Irgun Commander David Raziel, Wednesday. “The State has a vision and values that bind both its citizens and its leaders,” she said.
According to Livni, “Those values are the common denominator representing the unwritten norms and personal codes of behavior that should guide each one us.” Livni is Olmert's locum tenens, making her the runner-up for premiership should Olmert declare temporary suspension.
Prior to Livni’s speech, the foreign minister met with Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik, who summoned some of Kadima’s senior members following Barak’s speech.
Itzik convened with Livni, Vice Premier Haim Ramon and Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, asking them to keep their restraint and avoid unnecessary conflicts.
Kadima’s ministers asked to address the bribery affair Tuesday kept silent – some eyeing the premier's chair, some demonstrating loyalty and friendship to their party's leader.
Olmert himself kept up a 'business as usual' appearance Wednesday. Those closed to the PM told Ynet he is going about running matters of State as always. Olmert, they added, is sure to weather the storm.
Amnon Meranda contributed to the report