August 2, 2008
Ehud Olmert: A political time line
NEW YORK (JTA)—The following is a time line of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s political career:
Sept. 30, 1945 Born to Bella and Mordechai Olmert in Binyamina, near Haifa.
November 1963-1971 Begins military service in the Golani Brigade, but hand and feet injuries that predate his service force him out of the combat unit. He completes his service as a reporter for the IDF magazine, Bamahane.
1965 As student representative of the Herut Party, the predecessor to Likud, Olmert makes a name for himself by demanding the resignation of party chief Menachem Begin.
December 1973 Elected to the Knesset as a Likud Party member.
December 1976 After Olmert discloses to the Knesset that Housing Minister Avraham Ofer is likely to be the subject of a police investigation, Ofer kills himself.
December 1988 Appointed minister without portfolio in charge of minority affairs by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir.
April 1989 Comes under criticism for receiving a $50,000 loan from a fictitious company owned by the head of the Bank of North America, Yehoshua Halperin. Olmert is tried and acquitted.
June 1990 Appointed health minister under Yitzhak Shamir.
November 1993 Elected mayor of Jerusalem, defeating longtime incumbent Teddy Kollek.
September 1996 Indicted with other Likud party members for illicit fund raising from corporate donors and for knowingly signing a false statement. Olmert is acquitted of the charges.
February 2003 Appointed deputy prime minister and minister of industry, trade and labor by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
December 2003 Throws his support behind Sharon’s plan to disengage from Gaza, retreating from his former assertions that high Arab birth rates are not a threat to Jewish democracy.
November 2005 Leaves Likud and follows Sharon to his newly formed centrist party, Kadima.
January 2006 – Becomes acting prime minister after Sharon suffers a debilitating stroke.
March 2006 Wins general elections and becomes prime minister.
July 2006 Wages a 34-day war against Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terrorist group.
September 2006 Questioned by the State Comptroller’s office over suspicions of bribery after purchasing a property in Jerusalem for far less than market value.
January 2007 Questioned by investigators about whether, as finance minister, he used his influence to favor a friend in the sale of a large portion of the newly privatized Bank Leumi.
April 2007 Found ultimately responsible for the failures of the Lebanon war in the interim report by the Winograd Commission appointed to investigate the war’s failures; commission stops short of calling for his resignation. In the same month, the commissioner for standards in public life speaks out against Olmert’s activities during his term as industry minister, accusing him of a conflict of interest when a friend, Uri Messner, applied for government financial benefits.
October 2007 Diagnosed with non-terminal prostate cancer.
January 2008 Leadership during Lebanon War determined by the Winograd Commission’s final report to be conducted in good faith, despite serious failings and faulty decisions.
May 2008 Investigated by police for illegal fund raising, possible bribery and double billing overseas trips in the years before becoming prime minister. Olmert denies any wrongdoing but promises to resign if indicted.
July 2008 Accedes to calls for his ouster and announces he will resign the office of prime minister after Kadima primaries in September, allowing the party’s new leader to form a new government.