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I was having a discussion about Shimon Peres with a friend of mine the other day. My buddy said that Peres reminds him of Willie Mays in the 1973 World Series—hanging on way too long. I disagree with my friend because Willie Mays was once the greatest there was, Peres was never even close to great.

Now that he is angling to be Prime Minister for the third time, without ever being elected mind you, Peres doesn’t really seem like an elder statesmen. He doesn’t display a wealth of knowledge to share with the younger generation of leaders. It would be wonderful to have him as a leader if he did. You see the real difference between Peres and the “Say Hey Kid” is that Willie stayed on too long because he loved the Game. Shimon hangs around because he loves….well Shimon.

Because of that Shimon Peres always seems more like the doddering old fool who would be better off if he took his meds, watched Wheel of Fortune then went to bed with a glass of his favorite fiber drink by 7:00PM.

You gotta hand it to the drooling old SOB though, he’s got fight in him. What he doesn’t have is any sense of timing or appropriateness. Of course that has nothing to do with his age Peres has always had a knack of saying the stupid thing at a stupid time.

Today was classic Peres. Israel is being split apart by Olmert’s refusal to resign. The Kadima party is fighting amongst itself. The Prime Minister is not only accused of screwing up a war, but of being corrupt. The President of the country is on trial for rape, the military needs to be revamped, the country is facing a three front war and “Little Mr. Happy Peres” waltzes out of a party meeting to declare “What a Great Day for the Kadima Party !” This guy needs to be given a gold watch a set of golf clubs and put out to pasture. Any relationship between his thought process and reality is pure coincidence.

Shimon Peres: ‘It’s A Great Day for Kadima’

by Hana Levi Julian and Baruch Gordon

( The Kadima faction was in a polite uproar Wednesday night as it met in an emergency session at the Knesset, although Vice Premier Shimon Peres acted as though it was a victory bash.

After one resignation, myriad recriminations, a few threats and exhortations to reunite, the elder statesman emerged from the meeting and told reporters, “It’s a great day for Kadima, the government and Ehud Olmert.”

The faction meeting was held to discuss the fallout from the scathing criticism of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, published Monday in the interim Winograd Commission report.

Faction Chairman Avigdor Yitzchaki resigned at the meeting after warning earlier in the day that if the Prime Minister refused to step down, he would leave instead.

Yitzchaki had told Israel Radio earlier in the day that a large majority of the Kadima party believed Olmert should resign.

“A leader can [only] govern the public when he has legitimacy with that public and the trust of the public,” said Yitzchaki.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in a private meeting Wednesday that he should step down from office.

Livni clarified that she would not resign from her position as Foreign Minister and would not act to bring down the government, regardless of what the Prime Minister did. “The decision whether to resign is Olmert’s, and I am merely expressing my opinion in public,” she told reporters.

Livni said she would not support a new Prime Minister from another political party, nor would she vote in favor of Knesset no-confidence motions to bring down the government. “General elections are not what the country needs right now,” she said.

Livni said bluntly at the faction meeting, “There is a crisis of confidence in the public and we cannot ignore this.” The Foreign Minister warned that party members could not ignore the report and “give each other mutual compliments.”

Only three Kadima members called publicly for Olmert’s resignation, including Livni, Yitzchaki and MK Marina Solodkin, who was the first to recommend that the Prime Minister step down. Political analysts are saying that what was perceived as a party rebellion against Olmert has apparently lost its tailwind.

In the wake of Livni’s call for his resignation, Olmert must decide whether to tolerate Livni’s continued presence in the government or immediately terminate her tenure as Foreign Minister.

Olmert warned Livni Wednesday that he intends to fire her if she undermines him. “You cannot conduct a campaign of sabotage against me and remain my Number Two,” Olmert told Livni. “You have to consider your path of action and decide what you want to do.”

Tal Zilberstein, Olmert’s strategic adviser, commented that “there is no choice but to fire [Livni] after what she did. Her behavior is unworthy.” Other advisers in the Prime Minister’s bureau warned him not to hurry, saying that such a move would hurt him because the Foreign Minister is more popular than he is.

“Enough with the festival of firing people and of resignations,” said MK Yoel Hasson at the faction meeting. “Kadima needs to preserve its unity and moves like this will only create opposing camps in the party and cause it to crumble.”

According to a report by Ynet, Olmert is considering replacing Livni with Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz.

Knesset Member Tzachi Hanegbi was tapped by the Prime Minister to replace Avigdor Yitzchaki as the new Kadima faction chairman. Hanegbi, who is chairman of the Knesset’s Foreign Relations and Defense Committee, is considered to be one of Ehud Olmert’s closest confidantes.

Another possible casualty of the Winograd Commission may be Defense Minister Amir Peretz, whose performance just prior to the war and during its first days was also slammed in the Commission’s report.

Peretz was severely censured for his lack of military experience and his unwillingness to consult with others who had more expertise. The report listed among the Defense Minister’s failures the fact that he “did not ask for the IDF’s operational plans nor did he examine them.”

The Commission was blunt in its criticism of Peretz: “…the Minister of Defense failed in fulfilling his functions. Therefore, his serving as Minister of Defense during the war impaired Israel’s ability to respond well to its challenges.”

Yet Peretz’s advisors say that they cannot find in the Winograd interim report any justification for the Defense Minister to resign. Peretz said earlier Wednesday that the word “failure” appears in the Winograd report relatively few times in relation to his name. The Defense Minister’s attorney, Eitan Liraz, told reporters that the Winograd Report contained many compliments for his client.

Opposition MK Limor Livnat (Likud) responded to Livni’s announcement by saying that demanding Olmert’s resignation is not enough. She charged that responsibility for failure in the Second Lebanon War rests on all members of the government, and it is incumbent upon each one of them to resign.

Livnat applauded Minister-Without-Portfolio Eitan Cabel (Labor), the first government official to quit his post in the wake of the report, for stepping down. “All the others,” said Livnat, “are clinging to their chairs.”

Meanwhile, the Cabinet also met Wednesday in a special three and a half hour session to discuss the report.

In a unanimous vote, the ministers decided to establish two new committees – one to study the issue of how to carry out the recommendations listed in the report, and the second to make sure the recommendations are actually implemented.

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