Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert

Israeli Prime Minister Will Resign if Charged with Bribery

May 09, 2008 06:12 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
by Rachel Balik
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is under investigation for bribery and will resign if official charges are made.

30-Second Summary

Prime Minister Olmert admits that American Morris Taransky offered financial support for campaigns, but he vows, “I never took bribes, I never took a penny for myself." He says that his lawyer monitored all transactions with Taransky and none were illegal. However, after an investigation by Israeli police last week, he said that if official charges were made, he would resign.

The Prime Minister has endured numerous corruption investigations in the past, but has never been formally charged with a crime. Now, his closest colleagues say he will not survive the latest accusations. But Olmert’s trouble with the law presents a problem for the left, and his party, Kadima. If he resigns, the right may take control and hinder impending peace talks with the Palestinians.

President Bush will travel to Israel in mid-May to continue discussions with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Ideally, the investigation of Olmert will not hinder the process, but as one commentator notes, “the closer a politician moves toward a peaceful settlement, the more problems he has with law.”

Headline Links: “National Fraud Unit Investigates Olmert”

Background Links: Additional Olmert corruption allegations

Opinions and Analysis: Accusations will interfere with peace talks

Related Links: Bush’s visit to Israel


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