Angus Reid Global Monitor
April 10, 2008 - 1:53pm

Most people in Israel express disappointment over the performance of Ehud Olmert, according to a poll by the Dahaf Institute published in Yediot Ahronot. 59 per cent of respondents think the prime minister did not succeed in his role as head of government, and 49 per cent acknowledge that their support for Olmert has declined since he was sworn in.

In March 2006, Israeli voters renewed their legislature or Knesset. Kadima, founded by former prime minister Ariel Sharon and led by Olmert, secured 29 seats. Labour, the Retired People’s Party (Gil) and the International Organization of Torah-observant Sephardic Jews (Shas) joined Kadima in a coalition. In October 2006, the Israeli cabinet approved the addition of Israel Our Home to the government. Olmert’s coalition now has the support of 78 of the Knesset’s 120 members.

A preview of the so-called Winograd Report—which looked into Israel’s handling of the 2006 conflict with Lebanon-based Hezbollah—was released in late April 2007. The document, drafted by a special commission appointed by the prime minister to investigate Israel’s military and political actions during the war, found Olmert, then defence minister Amir Peretz and then Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) chief of staff Dan Halutz responsible for "very serious failings" when making decisions throughout this period.

The full Winograd Report was released in January 2008. The document blames the IDF—and particularly its ground forces—for failing "to meet most of the missions and challenges they were assigned" and characterizes the conflict against Hezbollah as "a major and serious missed opportunity (which) ended without Israel achieving a clear military victory." Olmert rejected calls to resign following the release of the Winograd Report.

On Apr. 2, opposition parties renewed calls for Olmert to step down. Arieh Eldad, a lawmaker with the National Union-National Religious Party, accused Olmert of corruption and cronyism, saying, "He who doesn’t understand the secret to Olmert’s survival learned tonight how he turned his public service into a goldmine of political appointments and a job-making market. (...) Olmert surrounded himself with a network of partners in crime and he runs the country as though he were a crime boss."

Polling Data

Did Ehud Olmert succeed in his role as prime minister?







Has your support for Olmert changed since he started the job?








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