A majority of Israelis want their prime minister to resign according to opinion polls which show growing support for the right-wing Likud party. Ehud Olmert has seen his public standing plummet for failing to deliver a fatal blow to Hizbollah during the 34-day war in Lebanon. Adding to the political crisis, his cabinet is in the midst of a moral crisis involving several members including the premier himself, who is under investigation over the purchase of an apartment in Jerusalem two years ago.
President Moshe Katsav is also under the spotlight. He has denied accusations by a former employee who claims he coerced her into having sex with him. Other scandals involve Lieutenant-General Dan Halutz, chief of staff of Israel’s armed forces, who has acknowledged selling off his stock portfolio shortly before the start of the war. More than 50% of Israelis want him to resign, along with Defence Minister Amir Peretz. Justice Minister Haim Ramon was the first to actually step down last Sunday amid accusations of sexual harassment.