Tzipi and Bibi, Netanyahu and Livni, and not one word about Olmert, Ehud. Sic transit gloria that never was. Still, three years in office, even if they add up to nothing, oblige a brief summation, because there is no cause for length.
Olmert is responsible for the resurfacing of the question: Who is the worst prime minister in our history? Yes. He, who recently ranked Ehud Barak as the worst. One might definitely be able to agree with him, were it not for the fact that he himself is a competitor for the title, and only a Photoshopped image will decide between the two Ehuds. Both are at the finish line.
The disappointment with the outgoing prime minister was not especially bitter: The level of expectation was low to begin with. We have already had bigger disappointments here, and will soon have again.
Which of our prime ministers can take pride in two wars in one term? Only Olmert can. In the Second Lebanon War, he exposed the faces of soldiers and civilians in the full starkness of betrayal; in the Gaza war, it's the opposite: He is keeping their faces in darkness, lest they come to harm.
And between the two wars he conducted negotiations for peace on two parallel tracks: Only Olmert can. As his end approached, he had a final fling of words. He said the right things, not before ascertaining their nullity-like the last will of the near-moribund; not before he himself was certain he had no more to lose, other than his chains. And he left all the settlements where he found them, only making sure to expand their boundaries.
True, and why deny it, he formed special ties with our friend and ally. But Washington as Olmert knew it, its paths as familiar to him as the paths of Jerusalem, was and is no more; and the new international club does not accept members who number George W. Bush as their friend.
It was not only with Bush but with other great figures that he hobnobbed, and there wasn't a high shoulder he didn't pat familiarly. Did he not rub shoulders also with the prime minister of Turkey, Erdogan? Yet in the first test, the buddy-buddy school of diplomacy didn't prove itself but collapsed. What a disgusting world, all vested interests and no true friendship. He did not succeed in freeing Gilad Shalit, because in this case it's necessary to act for a change, not only to backslap and claptrap and decamp from a complicated decision.
And this week's decision, so typical of Olmert and his way of life, and possibly the last decision of his government, to build a luxury residence for the prime ministers of Israel at a cost of NIS 650 million - only Olmert can. The end of this government is as its beginning: Cut off from the reality of life, hovering high and mighty above it.
In three weeks, President Obama has already managed to cut back the wages and bonuses and dividends of America's vampires, because he enjoys moral authority, because he himself is not rotten. Our next prime minister, too, resembles Olmert a lot more and Obama a lot less. Or maybe Olmert resembles him. One way or the other, both these Israelis of yesterday are more American than Americans of today.
Of late, I have been hearing about the prospect of a comeback to the new residence, which shall be built quickly in our time. Don't rule out that possibility, it should be taken into account. It will attest to the nadir we have reached, though we may not yet have hit bottom.
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