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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Report: Olmert was not crooked enough to advance in the Likud

Ehud Olmert did personal favors to 115 of the Likud party faithful when he was Labor, Trade and Industy minister. This was not enough to advance his position in the Likud part, since others were crookeder:
The statement also maintains that Olmert was unsuccessful in advancing his placement on the Likud party list because he refused many requests from party members, and that the conduct of the Likud party is "contaminating Israeli politics."

Report: Olmert granted personal benefits to Likud activists in 115 cases

By Mazal Mualem, Haaretz Correspondent

An internal document written by an aide of the prime minister in 2005 and revealed Wednesday night by Channel 10 states that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his associates advanced the interests of Likud Central Committee activists in 115 separate incidents.

The document details various incidents in which Olmert's office was involved while he served as Labor, Trade and Industry Minister. The incidents included blocking the dismissal of employees in the Postal Authority, granting permission to employ foreign workers and promoting employees in public positions.

Other incidents detailed in the document include assisting in the advancement of land compromises within the Israel Lands Authority as well as other activities which advanced the interest of Likud members employed by Bezeq; the Employment Service; the Trade Ministry; investment centers, the Israel Small and Medium Enterprises Authority, and others.

The Prime Minister's Office confirmed Wednesday that at least some of the details in the document are accurate, but claims that any treatment given to Likud activists was proper and legitimate.

Some excerpts from the document read as follows: "Pini Sabah - a central committee member from Ashkelon - we arranged for his associates 21 foreign workers [for construction]" and "Freddy Mellick - a central committee member and chairman of the Nesher branch - a nurse to aid his mother."

In an interview with Channel 10, both Sabah and Mellick confirmed they had received these benefits, but denied the involvement of Olmert and his office in the matter.

Raviv Drucker, the Channel 10 journalist who revealed the report, said the document was intended to strengthen Olmert's ranking on the Likud list (No. 33) during his support for the 2005 disengagement from Gaza.

"The prime minister was introduced to the wording of the document for the first time [Wednesday] on Channel 10," the PMO said in response to the allegations. "The document was apparently written by a former political adviser, out of intent to elevate the minister and show his political achievements on behalf of the [Likud] Central Committee. There are clauses that appear to be correct; the righteous and fair handling of requests - mostly from party members - including appointments which were done legally and with proper disclosure, alongside clauses that are incorrect."

The statement also maintains that Olmert was unsuccessful in advancing his placement on the Likud party list because he refused many requests from party members, and that the conduct of the Likud party is "contaminating Israeli politics."

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