Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was to unveil his new cabinet this week in a move to solidify his strength in the Kadima Party and herald a new era after a year of crises, while the opposition Likud Party advanced the date of its own primary and the Labor Party selected Ehud Barak as its candidate for prime minister in the next election.
Israeli President Moshe Katsav suspended himself this week to fight sex charges, including rape, that the state’s senior law officer planned to file. But some government officials and the media said that wasn’t good enough and called for the president’s immediate resignation or ouster.
“In the present situation it is impossible to educate students to respect the presidential institution and ask them to hang pictures in every school of a president charged with grave offenses,” Education Minister Yuli Tamir was quoted as saying.
John Faso, the Republican and Conservative nominee for governor, acknowledges that he is fighting an uphill battle against his popular Democratic opponent, Eliot Spitzer. But he told The Jewish Week that should there be a Democratic sweep Nov. 7, it would inevitably spell "much higher taxes" for New Yorkers.
The leader of the far-right party in Belgium, Filip Dewinter, failed in his bid to become mayor of Antwerp after his Flemish Interest party came second, capturing 20 of the 55-seats in the city council.
They may have their differences, but “Tikkun olam,” Hebrew for repairing the world, was the one phrase both Andrew Cuomo and Mark Green used in why they want Democratic voters to support them in Tuesday’s primary to be New York’s attorney general.
“Every day since I left law school I have been a people’s lawyer and public advocate,” Green said. “I live my professional life according to the classic ‘tikkun olam,’ and this is not just an election year slogan. It is a mirror of my life.”
With a cease-fire in place since Monday after 32 days of fighting, finger pointing has begun in Israel over the conduct of the war, with some questioning whether Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his government will be able to survive the close scrutiny to which it will be subjected.
As the family of Ariel Sharon played a recording of his grandson's voice in an effort to wake him from a coma, members of the Kadima Party he founded selected Ehud Olmert as his successor and polls showed Kadima with an ever widening lead.
"What seems important is that Kadima hasn't begun to deflate," said Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "If anything, the opposite is happening."
Although his Labor Party opponents insisted this week they would not make an issue of Ariel Sharon's health as he campaigns for re-election in March, the minor stroke that left the prime minister temporarily incoherent Sunday is certain to be on voter's minds.
As members of the Labor, Likud and Shinui parties defected to join Ariel Sharon's new centrist Kadima Party this week, Labor Party Chairman Amir Peretz accused the prime minister of acting as though it were "the season for trading soccer players, where everyone moves from one side to another."
One of the biggest defections to Kadima (that of Israelís elder statesman and former Prime Minister Shimon Peres from the Labor Party) was anticipated Wednesday.