With the resignation of Eitan Cabel, a Labour Party member and Minister without Portfolio in Olmert’s government, who has also demanded that Olmert himself resign, comes increased pressure on Olmert. While two ministers in his government have come out in support of Olmert staying on, at least for now, others are adamant that he and Defence Minister Amir Perez, should resign but do not want to push the demand to the point that could bring on an election. An early election would almost certainly be won by Benjamin Netanyahu of the extreme right-wing Zionist Likud party.
The bottom line is; it’s not looking at all good for Olmert. What he needs now is a major distraction, one that’ll make him look good and turn around his bad fortune. Unfortunately, the only kind of events that would be that distractive is ones that will involve strikes against those he sees are their enemies. For one Arab MK, Mohammad Baraka, that could well mean an attack against the Gaza Strip. Such a move, however, would be in the circumstances too transparent for even Olmert to consider; on the other hand though, desperate people can do desperate things and such a move should not be ruled out entirely.
Meanwhile, one opposition leader is very much conspicuous by simple virtue of having said next to nothing since the Winograd report was released. Netanyahu is just itching to for an election and another chance at power where he thinks he can put paid to what he believes is Israel’s arch enemy, Iran, using his close relationship with Vice-President Dick Cheney to help achieve his objective. The consequences of the Netanyahu scenario becoming a reality could be frightening. But then, whatever happens over the next few weeks could be frightening enough for the Palestinian people regardless.
AND IN NEWS JUST TO HAND…
It seems that Tzipi Livni, the influential Israeli Foreign Minister in Olmert’s government and Kadima party leader wannabe will be asking Olmert to resign and in doing so could well be setting herself up as the next Prime Minister.
In some ways a Livni led Israeli government could be more of a disaster for the Palestinians than a Netanyahu led government. Livni would endorse the Olmert approach of a ‘Bantustan’ style future for the Palestinians where they would live a fragmented and apartheid-type life forever dominated by the Israelis in a diminished and controlled state which Livni and her counterpart in the Bush administration, Condoleeza Rice, have agreed would be the way to go to solve the ‘problem’.