Israeli News: A Daily Analysis
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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

November 29, 2007 Olmert Not to Be Indicted for Bank Leumi Affair

Prime Minster Olmert has returned to Israel to be greeted with good news.  The police have decided not to recommend indicting him for the Bank Leumi affair.  As one commentator stated, ‘one down two to go’.  The other affairs are more complicated and it is expected to be some time before the police decide whether to recommend an indictment.  So, at least on this front, the Israeli Prime Minister is safe. 
The next hurtle the publication of the Winograd Committee’s report. The rumors coming from the Likud is that Minister of Defense Barak and Olmert are planning a major incursion into Gaza; that way Barak will have an excuse for not resigning from the government when the report is published.  Meanwhile, today’s polls has shown that most Israelis believe that the Annapolis Summit failed and that Olmert’s approval ratings have not risen above 23%, which is the lowest rating for any Israeli Prime Minister.
For now Olmert has to deal with problems with his coalition.  The Labor party announced that it was no longer going to follow coalition discipline in the Knesset.  This is due to the actions of Minister of Justice Friedmann, who has continued his campaign to limit the power of Israel’s judiciary.  The Shas party is threatening to do the same if the law that increases the power of rabbinic judges is not passed.