Israeli President Moshe Katsav is due to be questioned by police today in connection with allegations of sexual harassment. He is also alleged to have received cash in return for pardons granted during his term in office, which began in 2000. Investigators have seized computers and documents from Katsav’s official residence as part of a probe into allegations that he harassed at least two female employees. He has denied any wrongdoing. The news follows hot on the heels of the resignation on Sunday of Israel’s Justice Minister. Haim Ramon is also facing allegations of misconduct, which he denies. It is not good news for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, himself embroiled in a property inquiry. The loss of Ramon, a close ally, could hit Olmert hard as he tries to weather the storm brewing over the conflict in Lebanon.
Political analyst Uri Dromi said: “Right now, people are very frustrated and people feel, especially the reservists who came back from the front, they feel that they were misled. There was no consistency, lack of leadership, zigzagging.” Olmert’s popularity has taken a beating in the polls as part of a public backlash over his handling of the recent war. Critics say it failed to curtail the activities of Hizbollah or prevent nearly 4,000 rockets from landing in Northern Israel.