In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 5, 2008 / 4 Menachem-Av 5768

Exit Olmert (no encore, please)

By Paul Greenberg

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Exit, pursued by a bear.

    —Stage direction
Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale"

Is it some kind of requirement that a politician who's finally leaving the stage has to depart with a graceless blast at the press, the opposition or the universe in general?

Call it the Nixon Rule, as in Richard Nixon's whine when he lost a race for governor of his native California in 1962: "As I leave you, I want you to know — just think about how much you're going to be missing. You won't have Nixon to kick around any more, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference." (He was wrong about that, too.)

Ehud Ohlmert followed the Nixon Rule last week when he announced his long anticipated resignation as Israel's premier just ahead of the Israeli prosecutors digging into his personal finances: "I was forced to defend myself against relentless attacks by self-styled fighters for justice who sought to oust me from my job and saw all means as justifying of that end."

Mr. Olmert leaves behind a record strewn with failure after failure — all rooted in overweening ambition, ethical insensibility, poor judgment, and the kind of arrogance typical of successful politicians who haven't been caught yet. All that on top of a general incompetence, which in his case was exacerbated by a lack of any extensive military experience in a country that must regularly defend its existence on the battlefield.

The one thing Ehud Olmert seemed adept at was political intrigue, and now even that talent seems to have been undone by his avarice. The most embarrassing part of his leave-taking is the sheer tawdriness of the accusations against him. They add a final, grace(less) note to his fall: taking envelopes of cash Spiro Agnew-style, double and triple billing for travel expenses, always holding his hand out for more. ... Is this a prime minister or a small-time grafter? What's he supposed to be guilty of — double bookkeeping and incessant schnorring?

Mr. Olmert's more dangerous shortcomings as a leader were on embarrassing display during the course of the Second Lebanon War two years ago this month. Israel somehow managed to fight to a draw only because of the courage and improvisation of her common soldiers — the kind of long-suffering reservists who pull on their boots and hustle off to the nearest front whenever word comes that there's another war on. Once again they had to overcome the faults of their leaders, whose incompetence didn't keep them from being arrogant, too.

In a different time and in a different Israel, another premier — Golda Meir — prepared to step aside after an official inquiry criticized her for not having foreseen the surprise attacks from both north and south that stunned Israel at the beginning of the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Even though that same report also pointed to her steadfastness after the onslaught began. (It was said at the time in Israel that Golda had proved herself the only real man in the Cabinet.)

What a contrast with the mod Israel: After an official inquiry into Israel's last war detailed Ehud Olmert's multiple failures as a wartime leader, it took him over a year to announce his resignation. And then it wasn't because of his manifest inadequacies in that conflict but because of still another investigation of his tangled finances.

Ehud Olmert is all too representative of mod, upwardly mobile Israel. Is it only Ariel Sharon, the Israelis' last great general, who's fallen into a comatose state, or has the spirit of the whole country done so as well? A once pioneering, almost spartan society seems to have developed a disease at its psychic core. Call it Olmertism.

Thanks to the byzantine rules of Israel's semi-parliamentary, semi-constitutional but always raucous democracy, Ehud Olmert will remain in office for an uncertain while, the timing of his exit as cloudy as most other things in the always hazy Middle East.

If there was one success of the Olmert Years, it was the virtual completion of the wall — excuse me, security barrier — that now has prevented all but a few suicide attacks within most of the Jewish state. And, oh yes, one more thing: Ehud Olmert can also take credit for making the hawkish leader of the opposition, Benjamin Netanyahu, the popular favorite to succeed him.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

Paul Greenberg Archives

© 2006 Tribune Media Services, Inc.