Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, British author William Congreve once wrote. He apparently never encountered the fury of an ousted prime minister. And he clearly didn't know Ehud Olmert.
The brief section of Olmert's autobiography that was excerpted in Friday's Yedioth Ahronoth, and which was devoted to Defense Minister Ehud Barak, is apparently just the opening shot in Olmert's campaign of vengeance against the man who stabbed him the back and ousted him from the Prime Minister's Office.
"Wait for the next installments," said one person close to the former premier. "Barak will be raked over the coals. All the pistols that Olmert put on the table in the first act will be fired in the coming acts."
One thing is clear: Ehud O. has decided to pay Ehud B. back in kind, by destroying his political career - and not just his career as a politician, but his career as a security expert. In this war, all is fair.
Even Tzipi Livni, who was Olmert's chief rival within the Kadima party, got off easy by comparison, despite the terrible things he said about her performance as foreign minister in his government. Or at least, she has so far. We'll wait for the next installment.
Olmert is exacting his revenge drop by drop, like Chinese water torture. Who knows what document, testimony or tape recording Olmert will pull out of his hat in the future?
Substantively, none of what was said is new.
People close to Barak's predecessor, Amir Peretz - whom Olmert fired by fax mere days after Barak defeated Peretz in the Labor Party leadership primary - have been saying for years what Olmert has thus far only hinted: Barak wanted sole credit for the strike, without having to share it with the premier.
The Winograd Committee's investigation into the Second Lebanon War was due to conclude soon, and Barak - so claim Peretz's cronies - hoped Olmert would be ousted, leaving him with all the glory of the operation.
Barak was in New York last night, and his office issued only a laconic statement that termed Olmert's comments "pathetic and unworthy of response." But that can't be his last word. A former prime minister has made a ringing accusation that he says he can document. Barak will have to respond, and soon. He can't wait for his own tell-all.
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