Olmert defiantly clings to power amid public outcry

Tuesday, May 01, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday rejected widespread calls for his resignation after the Winograd Commission into the handling of last summer's Second Lebanon War found him guilty of ineffective wartime leadership.

In its interim report, the commission accused Olmert, despite his previous claims to the contrary, of being woefully unprepared from both a military and political standpoint for the possibility of war along Israel's northern border.

Once hostilities had begun, Olmert went on to declare goals that clearly could not be achieved by the level of military intervention that had been authorized.

Israel's Channel 2 News conducted a snap poll just hours after the report's publication, and found that a full 76 percent of Israelis want a change of government. If early elections are held, the survey revealed that zero percent of Israelis will vote for Olmert.

Later in the evening, lawmakers from across the political spectrum, and even some from within Olmert's own Kadima Party, voiced calls for the prime minister to step down.

On Tuesday, the general public sprang into action when citizens from across the nation set off on protest marches. The demonstrators plan to meet in Tel Aviv on Thursday for a mass rally.

In his official reaction to the outcry, Olmert blasted Israelis for what he called their inability to allow others to correct past mistakes, and insisted he will not resign.

"This government made the decisions and this government will correct the faults," Olmert said in a televised address to the nation.

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