The Olmert Government on Brink of Collapse? Shas Threat to Quit

Written by Lekarev Report


May 12, 2008
As I read the following, the formula now exists for the Olmert Government to collapse, should he be indicted and should the shas quite the government.  Pray for Israel. The following is from the Lekarev Report, which you can subscribe to by clicking the banner to your right, is this issue:
Olmert Indictment Likely
Majority of Israelis Say Olmert Should Resign
Syria Hardens Position
Negotiations for Schalit at Standstill
Shas Upgrades Threat to Quit Govt
Olmert Indictment Likely   

Major-General (ret.) Borovsky, who headed the anti-corruption department at the State Comptroller's Office, said yesterday that the current police investigation against Prime Minister Olmert is likely to produce an indictment.  Borovsky is familiar with the details of the case.
The deposition that will be taken from American businessman Morris Talansky tomorrow, he said, "Will demonstrate that it's not a matter of technicalities. Olmert is not suspected of unlawfully receiving funds, but of long-standing bribery-related offenses."

He added that "the current inquiry, the fact that a deposition process is set to take place, the documents and the timing indicate that an indictment will indeed be served."
Majority of Israelis Say Olmert Should Resign

A poll published Monday reveals that 59% of the public believe the prime minister should resign or suspend himself until the investigation against him is completed. Only one-third of the public believes he should stay in office.
According to the survey, sonducted by Yedioth Ahronoth and the Dahaf Institute headed by Dr. Mina Tzemach, 60% of the public do not believe Olmert's statement that he did not take a bribe, while 22% do believe him.
The prime minister is also perceived by the public as paralyzed in his ability to lead. Sixty percent of the public state that he is incapable of leading diplomatic moves due to the investigation against him.
Syria Hardens Position
In the last 48 hours, Damascus has broadcast new, intransigent policy positions through diverse channels under the influence of Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert's legal plight and the swift victories its ally, Hizballah, has achieved in Lebanon.  According to intelligence, including Debka, Syria's new claims are as follows:
1. Leaders in Olmert's position are only capable of making war - not peace, according to leaks from Damascus to Arab media. For this reason, Syrian officials claim after the fact that they exposed the secret meeting scheduled to take place between Israeli and Syrian officials in Turkey for sabotage, knowing it would go nowhere.

2. The Israeli prime minister's offer to give up the whole of Golan for peace was likewise leaked by Damascus to discredit the prime minister at home.

3. Another message informed Jerusalem that any accommodation with Damascus was contingent on a peace deal with Beirut - or rather the real masters of Lebanon, Iran-backed Hizballah.

4. Israel must rescind the disputed Shebaa Farms enclave on Mount Hermon.

5. Syria's relations with Iran are none of Israel's business. This is a reference to the demands for the Assad regime to cool its ties with Tehran as a prerequisite for a peace deal.

6. As for the American-Israeli demand that Syria stop hosting terrorist headquarters, Damascus advises Israel to make do with the Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal's last statement. He said that Hamas is prepared to accept - though not recognize - Israel within the pre-1967 war boundaries and offer a long-term informal truce. Syria finds nothing further to discuss with Israel on the subject of Hamas.

Negotiations for Schalit at Standstill   
Negotiations for the release of captured IDF soldier Cpl. GIlad Schalit have been at a standstill for months, officials told Army Radio Monday, adding that the calm agreement with Hamas that is being brokered by the Egyptians is "an opportunity" to further the cause of Schalit's homecoming.
Earlier, Ofer Dekel, the official assigned by the PMO to handle the Schalit issue, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak in which he said that Israel should seize the opportunity to promote Schalit's release. According to Dekel, failure to include Schalit in the cease-fire agreement would in effect mean that Israel was giving up on him.   He emphasized, however, that Schalit's release should not be a condition to continuing talks with Hamas.

Meanwhile, in a meeting with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, Barak asserted that "Israel considers the release of Gilad Schalit a central component of stabilizing the situation in the Gaza Strip."
Shas Upgrades Threat to Quit Govt 
The Shas party has stepped up its threats to quit the government as an agreement with the PA seems closer.
Shas, Israel's Sephardic-religious party, is the party on which the government coalition is currently most dependent. Until now, it has threatened to quit only if negotiations with the Palestinian Authority deal with the partition of Jerusalem.  Despite much evidence that such talks have, in fact, begun, Shas has maintained that no such talks are underway - while continuing to insist that it would quit the moment they begin.  Now, however, Shas is saying that any agreement with the PA is reason enough to quit.

If Shas walks out, that is enough to bring down the government.
Int'l Aliya Day  

A large group of new immigrants to Israel arrived last week, on International Aliya Day, bring to 3 million the number of Jews who have returned home to Israel since the modern state was established.
Government officials, school children, and private citizens gathered at Ben Gurion International Airport to welcome the new citizens of Israel who arrived just in time for Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations.
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