Jerusalem – Embattled Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced last evening that he “intends to resign” immediately after the September primaries scheduled for his Kadima party.

Mr. Olmert’s statement did not contain one word of regret, guilt or accountability for several criminal cases pending against him. Nor did he mention accusations he badly mismanaged Israel’s 2006 war with Hezbollah.

He also omitted mention of how he allegedly mismanaged Israel’s ability to cope with the Hamas military threat from the south. Instead, Mr. Olmert presented himself as the victim of police persecution, and stated, quite clearly, that he would use the time left in office to continue advancing international agreements – with the Palestinian Authority and with Syria.

The timing of Mr Olmert’s announcement occurred only two hours after Israel’s parliament went into a long summer recess.

Mr Olmert will now administer the country with 108 paid advisers who remain in his service. It will be the highest number of paid advisers ever employed by an Israeli prime minister.

He will also retain a high-priced public relations firm and a team of lawyers, all at public expense, without being held accountable by any democratically elected body.

Mr. Olmert is now conducting sensitive and discrete diplomatic negotiations. The Israeli national security council and Israeli intelligence are not being briefed. Neither is Israel’s Knesset being briefed. The people in the know are limited to Mr. Olmert’s inner circle of appointed advisers.

Only a few hours before Mr. Olmert’s speech, two of Mr. Olmert’s advisers returned from secret negotiations with Syria, leaving Israel’s democratically elected legislative body and the entire Israeli security establishment in the dark.

Meanwhile, Mr Olmert has recruited dozens of diaspora Jewish organizations who will advance his foreign policy initiatives, because he is the “democratically elected” prime minister of Israel. Over the next month, Mr. Olmert has scheduled numerous appearances before Jewish organizations that advocate Mr. Olmert’s diplomatic initiatives.

The nearly two months time that Mr. Olmert has left himself until the Kadima primary will draw close to the American elections. The advantage of an Israeli altercation with Iran while George W. Bush is still president of the United States has not been lost on Mr. Olmert, who could conceivably prevail upon the powers that be in Kadima to “delay” the Kadima primary, in the interests of Israel’s national security, as set forth by Mr. Olmert, the first Kadima prime minister.

Meanwhile, in the wake of Mr. Olmert’s speech, headlines on many Internet sites in Israel prematurely reported that Mr. Olmert has resigned.

David Bedein can be reached at His Web site is

©The Bulletin 2008


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.