Ehud Olmert is an Israeli politician who has served as Israel's Prime Minister, Deputy Premier, Finance Minister and Mayor of Jerusalem.
Born in Binyamina in 1945, Olmert practiced as a lawyer before entering politics. During his army service in the IDF, he served as a combat infantry officer and then as a military correspondent for the IDF journal Bamechane. His political career began in 1973 when he was elected to the Knesset.
In 1993 he became mayor of Jerusalem, during which time he advanced national infrastructure projects and significantly developed Jerusalem’s road, water, and sewage infrastructures. During his time as mayor, Olmert provided strong backing and advocacy for strengthening Jewish settlements in the areas surrounding Jerusalem.
In 2003 Olmert was re-elected to the Knesset, and was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade, in the new government of Ariel Sharon. Olmert quickly became an influential cabinet member and assumed a more dovish approach with his politics. He became one of the first Likud members to advocate disengagement from Gaza, which Sharon implemented in 2005. The Gaza disengagement was met with fierce opposition from many hardliners within the Likud Party and in November 2005, Olmert left the Likud Party with Ariel Sharon and joined the new Kadima Party.
In the midst of the transition from Likud to Kadima, Sharon suffered a debilitating stroke and Olmert became acting Prime Minister of Israel. In the following elections, as the new head of the Kadima Party, Olmert formally became the new Prime Minister. In the first year of Olmert’s premiership, a shadow fell over his government following its handling of Israel’s 2006 war against Hezbollah in Lebanon. Accusations of mismanagement and public pressure forced the Olmert government to issue an inquiry into the war, which accused Olmert of serious failings in exercising judgment, responsibility and prudence during the war.
Olmert’s remaining time in office was marred by investigations into corruption charges from earlier in his career. The investigations and allegations of corruption led Olmert to announce his resignation in July 2008 as leader of the Kadima Party, and, following a leadership contest, the party leadership was transferred to Foreign Minster Tzipi Livni. Olmert’s term as prime minister officially ended after Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu managed to form a coalition government in March 2009, following a general election.
In August 2009, Olmert became the first former Israeli prime minister to face criminal proceedings, after he was indicted on three corruption charges relating to his time as a cabinet minister and mayor of Jerusalem.
On July 10, 2012 Olmert was acquitted of the charges against him in two major cases, and convicted only of breach of trust, in the Investments center affair. Jerusalem District Court president, Moussia Arad, headed the panel of judges that found Olmert not guilty of the charges in the Rishon Tours and Talansky affairs, and convicted him only on one count – breach of trust, in the Investment Center affair.
Documents reveal that a substantial percentage of payments to Meir Klifi were described as a bonus. The organization is fully funded by donations for soldiers
The story of the Hollywood producer is the story of how money, charm and connections get things done in Israel
Univo discounts Olmert’s criminal conviction and points to his ‘rich experience’ in healthcare
Defense officials were responsible for photo captions that appear to spin history in Netanyahu's favor, overlooking Peres's presidency and leaving out former prime ministers altogether
Israeli officials encourage Israel’s purported monopoly on Jewish military service. 'There is only one place that Jews can fight for their lives,' said former PM Ehud Olmert
Haaretz reported that Shaked urged the State Prosecutor not to appeal former PM Olmert's parole ■ 'A justice minister shouldn’t intervene in such processes,' former minister says
Exceeding Her Authority, Justice Minister Warned State Prosecutor Not to Fight ex-PM Olmert's Release
As a result, State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan changed his position
What has happened to us if former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert doesn’t fear ridicule after requesting that his criminal record be expunged?
Former State Prosecutor Moshe Lador offers insight into the Netanyahu corruption investigations
Convicted of a number of crimes, former prime minister cannot yet return to the public arena unless the Justice Ministry agrees to his request
Analysis Despite Criticism, Israel Wasn't Wrong to Break the Silence Surrounding the Strike on the Syrian Reactor
It’s doubtful the blackout would have withstood a High Court challenge for much longer, especially considering that many of the details on the 2007 attack had already been published abroad
Even though the prime minister had nothing to do with the operation — and has spent the last decade talking about, rather than neutralizing, another nuclear threat — he still gains
Syria Strike Revealed The Intelligence Failure: It Took Years for Israel to Discover Syria's Reactor
'The scary thing is that Assad and the North Koreans were building a plutogenic reactor right under our noses for five or six years'
Ex-defense Chief Barak Rips Into Olmert for Creating 'Apocalyptic Atmosphere' Ahead of Israel's Syria Strike
Barak, who was defense minister during the strike, slams Ehud Olmert, who was PM at the time, saying: 'They acted before they thought'
Soon-to-be-published memoirs led to the easing of censorship of Israel's strike; Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak tell conflicting versions of the same story
The only Israeli prime minister to go to prison lashes out at all the people who put him behind bars — except himself
Their corruption affairs, and mostly the way in which they chose to deal with them, teach us that they are much more alike than both of them would care to admit
Ehud Olmert, who served 16 months on corruption convictions, also blames Netanyahu and accuses the law enforcement system during his time of 'persecution'
The autobiography was written while Olmert was serving a prison term for fraud and bribery
Hoping to avoid the fate of his predecessor, Olmert, Netanyahu sees the pro-Israel lobby's annual conference as the perfect place to escape his domestic woes
The answer lies with Israel’s widespread use of political appointments: Studies show they lead to bad government, but ministers seemed determined to make the situation worse
Israel is turning itself into one of the world’s most valuable tax shelters, putting it on the same footing with countries like Bermuda and Panama
If Netanyahu genuinely cared about the country, rather than himself, he would resign immediately
The police sewed up Netanyahu from head to toe – a hermetic seal, at least in the eyes of a layman - which won't suffice with a public reprimand
Judging by past cases that plagued prime ministers Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert and Netanyahu himself, the attorney general may take some time to decided on indicting the prime minister
Olmert also said he had turned down a deal to ransom kidnapped soldier Shalit from Hamas at a lower price than the one his successor paid
Lowy, 87, fought in the Israeli War of Independence before founding Westfield in Australia in the 1950s. A close friend of Ehud Olmert, both men were investigated for wrongdoing in potential sale of Bank Leumi in 2005
State Set to End Probe Into Former PM Olmert for Disclosing Classified Information in Upcoming Biography
The state had argued that Olmert's lawyer had been caught leaving a prison visit to the former PM with manuscripts describing a still-classified security mission
Israel should return to the proposals made by Barak and Olmert and show that there is an Israeli peace partner, even if there is no easy Palestinian one