MK: 'Dirty' Money Bought Olmert

Knesset members lashed out at Prime Minister Ehud Olmert yesterday in response to Morris Talansky's testimony in the Jerusalem District Court.

"The greenbacks in Talansky's envelopes were black [with filth]," said the chairman of the Knesset caucus against corruption, MK Arieh Eldad (National Union-National Religious Party). "Black money bought the prime minister of Israel, and until Olmert is removed from his post, the black flag of corruption flies over the entire state of Israel."

Knesset Interior Committee Chairman Ophir Pines-Paz (Labor) said: "I do not understand how testimony like this jives with Olmert's statement that he did not take one shekel for his own pocket." Pines said Olmert's continued tenure was "insufferable and impossible."

Knesset State Control Committee Chairman Zevulun Orlev (National Union-National Religious Party) said: "A prime minister who asked for and received money in envelopes has lost his moral and public authority. Talansky's testimony is a serious public indictment against Ehud Olmert, and the coalition parties will be like partners in crime if they do not end his term immediately."

MK Limor Livnat (Likud) said: "If there were any doubts, along came Talansky's testimony and proved that Ehud Olmert must go home immediately and we must have elections."

MK Ran Cohen (Meretz) said: "Despite our support for the diplomatic process Olmert is leading, if what Talansky says is true, Olmert cannot sit one more day in the prime minister's chair."