THE THIRD – EHUD OLMERT


Ehud Olmert was born on September 30, 1945 near Benyamina in the British Mandate of Palestine, Ehud Olmert is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with degrees in psychology, philosophy and law.

Olmert’s childhood included membership in the Beitar Youth Organisation and dealing with the fact that his parents were often blacklisted and discriminated against due to their affiliation with Herut, the opposition to the long-ruling Mapai party. However, by the 1970s this was proving less detrimental to one’s career than during the 1950s, and Olmert succeeded in opening a successful law partnership in Jerusalem.


Olmert served with the IDF in the Golani Combat brigade. While in service he was injured and temporarily released. He underwent many treatments. Later he completed his military duties as a journalist for the IDF magazine “Ba Mahane” which means “In the base”.


During the Yom Kippur War he joined the headquarters of Ariel Sharon as a military correspondent. Already a Knesset member, he decided to go through an Officer’s course , at the age of 35, in 1980. He was first elected to the Knesset in 1973 at the age of 28 and re-elected seven consecutive times.


From 1988 to 1992 he was a member of the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee and has also served on the Finance, Education and Defense Budget Committees, as Minister without portfolit responsible for minority affairs and as Minister of Health.
From 1992 till 2003 he serves two consecutive terms as Mayor of Jerusalem being the first member of Likud to hold this position.


On August 7th, Olmert was appointed as acting Finance Minister, replacing Benyamin Netanyahu , who had resigned in protest against the planned Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Olmert, who had originally opposed withdrawing from land captured in theSix Day War, and who had voted against the Camp David peace Accords in 1978 was a vocal supporter of the Gaza pullout. When Sharon announced his leaving the Likud and the formation of a new party, Kadima, Olmert was one of the first to join him.
Today he is the 12th and current prime minister of Israel.


Ehud Olmert’s wife, Aliza, is a writer of novels and theater plays, as well as an artist. It has been rumored that Aliza was a (founding) member of the Israeli left wing organization Women in Black but this rumor is unsubstantiated.. Still, Aliza is known to be more left-leaning in her politics than her husband. She claimed to have voted for him for the first time in 2006.

The couple has four biological children and an adopted daughter. The oldest daughter, Michal, holds a Masters in psychology and leads workshops increative thinking. Their daughter Danna is a lecturer in literature at the Tel Aviv University and the editor of a literature series. She is a self-identified lesbian and lives with her partner in Tel Aviv. Her parents are accepting of her sexual identity and partner.

Danna is moderately active in the Jerusalem branch of the Israeli human rights organization Machsom Watch, protests Gaza killings and takes part in left-wing demonstration outside army chief’s house where protesters call Halutz “murderer”, declare “intifada shall prevail”!


Their son Shaul married an Israeli artist and lives in New York. After Shaul was through with military service, he signed a petition of the Israeli left-wing organization ”Yesh Gvul” which means “There’s a limit”. He later became the spokesman ofBeitar Jerusalem FC, his father’s favorite football team. This team is often associated with the Israeli right. Ehud’s younger son Ariel, who did not serve in the Israeli Army, studies French Literature at the Sorbonne in Paris. Shuli is their adopted daughter. She was orphaned from her mother at birth.

Olmert’s father Mordechai, considered a pioneer of Israel’s land settlement and a former member of the Second and Third Knessets, grew up in the Chinese city of Harbin where he led the local Betar youth movement. Olmert’s grandfather, J.J. Olmert settled in Harbin after fleeing post World War-I Russia. In 2004, Ehud Olmert visited China and paid his respects at the tomb of his grandfather in Harbin. Olmert said that his father had never forgotten his Chinese hometown after moving to what was then Palestine, in 1933 at the age of 22. “When he died at the age of 88, he spoke his last words in Chinese,” he recalled.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: