October 16, 2010 |
The list of corruption investigations in Israel in recent years reads like a Who's Who of the political elite. It includes every prime minister of the last 14 years, two previous presidents, two past Jerusalem mayors, numerous Cabinet ministers and one recently convicted felon who is still serving in the Knesset, or parliament. Ehud Olmert, the only former prime minister to be indicted, is accused of double-billing and is being investigated for allegedly accepting bribes in a real estate scandal.
April 8, 2010 |
The Holyland Park apartment project, its massive towers strung together on a hill, has long been a source of controversy in Jerusalem, where the tradition has been for buildings to flow with the natural contour. Environmentalists and some city officials objected fiercely, but the project was nonetheless approved, and 14 years later, many Jerusalem residents still call the buildings "The Monsters." Architectural taste isn't criminal. But new details of a corruption scandal stemming from the deal suggest that real crimes may have been committed and possibly explain how the project gained approval despite widespread objection.
September 26, 2009 |
Ehud Olmert became the first current or past Israeli prime minister to go on trial, insisting in a Jerusalem courtroom that he is innocent of corruption allegations that drove him from office. The allegations that haunted Olmert's term, which ended this year, gravely damaged Israelis' faith in their leaders and hurt Olmert's chances of reaching a peace deal with the Palestinians. Entering the court, Olmert told reporters that he had been subjected to an "ordeal of slanders and investigations."
August 31, 2009 |
Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was indicted today in corruption scandals that drove him to resign last year, a long-awaited legal step that made him the first current or former holder of Israel's most powerful office to be charged with a criminal offense. The decision by Atty. Gen. Menahem Mazuz will give Israelis a single judicial airing of three cases against Olmert that, along with other scandals involving senior government officials, have undermined public confidence in the country's politicians in recent years.
March 18, 2009 |
The split screen seemed to capture Israel's mood of frustration over its setbacks in recent years. On one side, television viewers saw the somber face of Ehud Olmert as he addressed them Tuesday evening for perhaps the last time as prime minister. His message: Marathon efforts to win the release of a captured soldier had failed. The other side showed the soldier's dejected parents as they listened from a tent outside Olmert's residence.
January 13, 2009 |
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert boasted Monday that he successfully pressured President Bush last week to reverse course on U.S. diplomacy over fighting in Gaza, in an episode that could sharpen tensions between the close allies at a sensitive moment. Speaking to an audience in Ashkelon, Israel, Olmert said he had called Bush last Thursday and convinced him that the United States should not vote for a pending U.N. Security Council resolution urging a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.