After last summer's disastrous war, there were protests from all different Israeli groups demanding an independent commission of inquiry. Olmert held firm and appointed his own. Then, to make matters even worse, it functioned in secrecy. All the public was allowed to know was who was "testifying." In the past Israel has had commissions of inquiry with public hearings, in which the members questioned those they called. Olmert's Winograd Commission is more like a series of "Excuse Hearings." The public officials, including the military just gave their versions, their excuses. But even that is being hidden from the Israeli Public.
Meretz faction head MK Zehava Gal-On petitioned the High Court of Justice on Sunday to instruct the Winograd Commission to make the testimonies of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz and former IDF chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz available to the public before publishing its interim report.
Gal-On also demanded that the commission, which is charged with investigating the handling of last summer's war in Lebanon, publicize the schedule detailing when each of the protocols of the commission's discussions would be revealed.
The Meretz MK submitted a similar petition in January, asking the court to order the commission to allow public access to the hearings, which have thus far been conducted behind closed doors. (click the highlighted quotation for the entire article)
"The fact that the Winograd Commission is not rushing to publish the protocols and is keeping them from the public eye, is not just a blow to the public interest and the public's right to know, but it also serves the interest of the political echelon who appointed the commission, and is also responsible for the decision to go to war and therefore responsible for its consequences," Gal-On explained. (click the highlighted quotation for the entire article).
When it comes to most other issues, MK Gal On and I are not on the same side.
And that's not the only complaint people are having about Olmert.
'Olmert ignoring Comptroller's Law'For those wondering why the Olmert Government is still standing, it's very simple. a high percentage of the coalition MK's are in their first term. They have to stay in office for at least two years to get their very generous MK Pension Package. The government won't fall until the MK's are confident that they'll be well-compensated. Yes, that means another year of Olmert and his Kadima cronies.
...Meretz MK Avshalom Vilan called Olmert's refusal "tricky and unbecoming." Vilan said that the management of the home front during the war had been "scandalous," and it was a shame that the person in charge was playing "games."
On Friday, Army Radio broke the story of Olmert's alleged refusal to meet with Lindenstrauss.
According to the report, sources in the State Comptroller's Office said that on December 25, Lindenstrauss wrote to Olmert and requested a meeting to address home front-related issues.
According to the sources, Olmert said on January 7 that he did not intend to meet with the comptroller, and instead offered to respond in writing to a series of written inquiries. (For entire article, click title.)
It's hard to believe that it hasn't even been a full year since Olmert established his coalition. The elections were only last year, late March.