Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Olmert, Don't You Dare Fire Livni!

Rumor has it that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert wants to fire Foreign Minister and Deputy PM Tzipi Livni. This, as a response to the fact that she called for his resignation. A possible replacement would be the current minister of transportation and former Defense Minister, Shaul Mofaz. This would be a grave mistake for many reasons.

First of all, Tzipi Livni was the only cabinet minister to be praised by the Winograd Commission. If the rebuked prime minister and defense minister stay, and only Livni goes, replaced by Mofaz, who may still be criticized by the final Winograd Report regarding his days as IDF chief of staff and defense minister, then this horrible government would become even worse. Mofaz hasn't been a great leader, and if Olmert eventually resigns while Mofaz is his deputy, the chances of this mediocre (at best) politician becoming prime minister will be greater.

Also, the Israeli cabinet is different from the US cabinet in the fact that its members do not serve at the pleasure of the chief executive. Personal loyalty to the prime minister is never a requirement. So, Livni calling for Olmert's resignation is not reason enough for him to fire her. Certainly not under the current circumstances.

Firing Livni may be the straw that breaks Israelis' backs. Livni is much more popular that Olmert, Peretz and all other cabinet ministers, maybe except for Peres. I know I'd certainly have much more motivation to go to a demonstration calling for Olmert's resignation if he had the Chutzpah to get rid of the one person who performed well during the Second Lebanon War. And I don't mean Chutzpah in a good way.

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