Ehud Olmert, youre fired: The people have had enough

“Citizens of Israel,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said, “there are moments in the life of a nation, when it is compelled to look directly into the face of reality and say: no more!”

Olmert also said: “I alone bear responsibility for the failure,” and added: “This is my place of work.”

And now, with no hesitations or doubts, the time has come for this nation, this battered and skeptical nation, scarred and struck by distrust, to look directly at its prime minister and tell him: No more.

After all, he already announced he will not be leaving his place of work voluntarily. He already prepared his ministers — the ones who did not know what they were voting on when they decided to embark on a war — to praise him in every media outlet. He already enlisted the support of his spin masters so that they can juggle words, and he apparently believes in their ability to blur reality, juggle promises, and put the public to sleep.

However, maybe this time the public realizes it must not fall asleep, because it is no longer possible to fall asleep while we are safeguarding our lives. This government is headed by people who failed, severely, in exercising their judgment in one war.

The next round, according to the experts, is coming soon. What have the leaders learned since then? Have they made time for protecting the home front while they were busy protecting their seats? Can we believe that in the next round they will be more level-headed and responsible? Is there anyone who can still believe that without being a complete idiot?

“This is my place of work,” Olmert said time and again in a speech drafted by his word-masters, yet he did not say how he was going to pay the price for failing at his job. He failed to mention to the public that the public — this nation that is looking directly into the face of reality — is his boss.

He appointed a commission of inquiry that does not have the authority to recommend that he be fired. The commission did everything in its power to make it clear to the public that the report is the gravest indictment possible against a prime minister in Israel: From this moment on, Ehud Olmert’s future can no longer be a result of his own decision.

His place of work has a boss, and that is the public. The time has come for the public to say that this prime minister, and this entire government, the people responsible for the deaths of 117 soldiers and 44 civilians in a confused war, the people responsible for the distress faced by hundreds of thousands of bomb shelter dwellers, the people who did not possess a realistic or reasonable plan for what should be done on the front lines or at home — these people must leave their offices with disgrace and disappear from the public arena. Now. Before the next war.

They are stubborn, so this will not be happening at once. It will not be the first, or second, or third demonstration that would shock them out of their comfortable surroundings and curb their desire to continue their deception. Yet it will happen, as it happens in democracies, within a few months.

It will happen if the public regains its faith in its ability to be the boss and in the utmost importance of its publicly owned enterprise — this country. For the sake of this country it is worthwhile to stand in the sun for months on end during demonstrations, and for its sake we should leave behind this contemptible indifference — for its sake and for the sake of its residents, the public must stand up and prove that it deserves more than Ehud Olmert and his government.

Ariana Melamed is a columnist for, where this column previously appeared.