Biography of Ehud Olmert

Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk


Ehud Olmert - 12th Prime Minister of Israel*

    Olmert became Prime Minister of Israel on April 14, 2006 although he has exercised that office since January 4, 2006 when Ariel Sharon suffered a debilitating stroke.

     Olmert heads the Kadima, or Forward, party founded by Ariel Sharon in connection with the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. Because Israel is governed by the parliamentary system, the government must have a majority in parliament, i.e. the Knesset, in order to furnish the prime minister. Lacking such a majority, the leading party arranges a coalition with a party with fewer seats who then govern together. In the present circumstances, Kadima has arranged to accept several members of the Labor party to hold cabinet posts and therefore insure a parliamentary majority.

     Ehud Olmert has a long history in Israeli politics. He was deputy prime minister under Sharon, served as mayor of Jerusalem, was finance minister, minister of industry, trade and labor, and minister of lands administration in earlier years.

     Olmert was born in Binyamina. He graduated the Hebrew University with degrees in psychology, philosophy and law. Subsequently he practiced law in Jerusalem. His parents were major supporters of Herut, the party of Menachem Begin, which broke the long lasting power of Mapai, the Labor Party, in 1977.

     In 1973, Ehud Olmert was elected to the Knesset and was re-elected seven times. He became Sharon’s “right hand man” during Sharon’s second term and supported his decision to build a security fence to keep out Arab terrorists. Olmert believes that a Palestinian state should be established but has been unable to find any Palestinian willing to negotiate with him. Instead, the Palestinians keep screaming for the destruction of Israel and the murder of all Jews.

     Ehud Olmert is married to Aliza, who writes plays and novels. They have a daughter, Danna, who is a lecturer on literature at Tel Aviv University .Their son, Shaul, lives in New York. Another son, Ariel, is a student at the Sorbonne University in Paris (The university was founded in 1294 when Roger de Sorbon organized a school of theology there).

   Olmert’s father grew up in Harbin, China because Ehud’s grandfather fled to Harbin from Russia during the Russian civil war of 1918-1920. In 1933 the Harbin Olmerts moved to Israel.

   Ehud Olmert visited President Bush and Congress on May 23. He addressed a joint session of the House and the Senate and was given 16 standing ovations during his speech. He received considerable support from President George Bush for his policy of unilateral withdrawal of Israeli settlements from most of Judea and Samaria. Ehud Olmert refuses to deal with the terrorist Hamas government, which seeks the destruction of Israel. This is also true of the United States and even the usually anti-Jewish European Union. Prime minister Olmert said that he would try to negotiate with the president of the Palestinian entity, Machmud Abbas, whose is evidently unable to carry out the duties of his office in face of the opposition of the terrorists.

   Once more, President Bush let it be known that he supports the survival of Israel and will defend Israel against threats from Iran to annihilate Israel and murder the Jews of the world.

    There can be little doubt that George W. Bush is the only President this country has ever had who supports Israel and appointed innumerable Jews to high office. Unlike his predecessor, Bill Clinton, who invited the terrorist Arafat to the White House innumerable times, George Bush and the Republican party will not preside over the destruction of Israel. Remember that 64% of Republicans support Israel while only 34% of Democrats support Israel. That means of course that any Democrat in the White House could not and would not stand by Israel if again attacked by the Arabs. This was evident when Lyndon Johnson refused to help Israel in 1967 and when Clinton “twisted the arm” of Ehud Barak to hand Jerusalem to the terrorists.

Shalom u’vracha.

   * The prime ministers of Israel were: David ben Gurion; Moshe Sharret; Levi Eshkol; Golda Meir; Yitzchak Rabin; Menachem Begin; Shimon Peres; Yitzchak Shamir; Benjamin Netanyahoo; Ehud Barak; Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert.

Dr. Gerhard Falk is the author of numerous publications, including Football & American Identity (2005) &  Youth Culture and the Generation Gap (2005) with Dr. Ursula A. Falk.

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