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Olmert Charged With Corruption

Ex-Israeli PM convinced in court he'll 'be able to prove his innocence once and for all'

(Newser) - Israel’s attorney general has officially indicted former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on corruption charges, the BBC reports. The 61-page charge, filed in court today, accuses Olmert of "fraud, breach of trust, registering false corporate documents, and concealing fraudulent earnings.” Olmert denies all the charges, which relate to... More »

Livni Rejects Netanyahu Coalition Offer

Move means ultra-right parties will make up next government

(Newser) - Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister-designate, failed to persuade rival Tzipi Livni to join him in a broad coalition government, Haaretz reports. At a meeting today, Netanyahu made substantial concessions to the current foreign minister, including key ministerial posts for her party, Kadima. But Netanyahu's refusal to endorse a two-state solution... More »

Netanyahu Will Be Israel's PM

Likud leader secures support of ultranationalist Lieberman

(Newser) - Benjamin Netanyahu is now all but certain to become Israel's prime minister after winning the backing of Avigdor Lieberman, whose far-right Yisrael Beiteinu party came in third in last week's election. Centrist Tzipi Livni edged out hawkish Netanyahu in the Feb. 10 poll, but Netanyahu has garnered the endorsement of... More »

Livni Running Out of Options, and Time

Seems unlikely vote winner will become Israel's next PM

(Newser) - Though her party nabbed first place in Tuesday's Israeli election, Tzipi Livni seems to have shelved her long-shot effort to become the country's next prime minister. The question that remains, writes the Los Angeles Times, is whether she will join forces with Benjamin Netanyahu or go into opposition. "Livni,... More »

Israeli Rivals Move Toward Consensus

Livni will join a Netanyahu-led government, parties say

(Newser) - While Israel's two possible leaders continued negotiations with smaller parties, a consensus has grown that Likud and Kadima will join forces in a national unity government. According to senior sources in both parties, Benjamin Netanyahu will serve as prime minister, while Tzipi Livni will remain foreign minister. Haaretz also suggests... More »

Peace Is Big Loser in Israeli Election

(Newser) - The indecisive Israeli election will likely produce weeks of wrangling and coalition building, frustrating both Israelis and the Obama administration, which had hoped for an immediate partner in Mideast peace talks, Time reports. Though Tzipi Livni’s centrist Kadima party slightly edged out Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud, he is... More »

Israeli Pols Scramble for Tiebreaker Coalitions

After near-tie, Livni, Netanyahu scramble to form coalitions

(Newser) - Israel's two would-be prime ministers began meeting with possible coalition partners today as the country prepared for weeks of squabbling to resolve last night's inconclusive election, Haaretz reports. With 99% of the votes counted, Tzipi Livni's centrist Kadima has won 28 seats in the 120-member parliament, while Benjamin Netanyahu's hawkish... More »

Netanyahu: I'm the Next PM; Livni: Nope, I'll Be PM

(Newser) - Benjamin Netanyahu says the voters have spoken and it's clear that he'll be Israel's next prime minister, the Jerusalem Post reports. Rival Tzipi Livni says the same thing. "I've spoken to party leaders, and we have agreed to begin negotiations on a new government tomorrow," says Netanyahu. Exit... More »

Livni's Party Wins, but Netanyahu May Be Next PM

(Newser) - This much is clear: Exit polls show that Tzipi Livni's Kadima Party has narrowly defeated Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party, the Jerusalem Post reports. So who will be the next prime minister? Not so clear. In fact, both candidates are claiming the mantle. Israel's election rules say the party with the... More »

Israeli Election Goes to the Wire

Netanyahu falls back ahead of vote on Tuesday

(Newser) - With four days to go before the Israeli election, Tzipi Livni has pulled within striking distance of Benjamin Netanyahu, whose hawkish Likud Party has led throughout the race. In the last polls before a media blackout, Likud is forecast to win 25-27 seats, while Livni's centrist Kadima would win 22-23.... More »

Israel Turns Right—and Away From America

Two weeks before election, Netanyahu poised for victory

(Newser) - Polls indicate the next prime minister of Israel will be Benjamin Netanyahu, an election result that will push the country even further to the right and away from a two-state solution. The Likud leader presents a paradox, Damien McElroy writes in the Telegraph: although Netanyahu is the most "American-style"... More »

Rival Israeli Pols Gain From Gaza Attack

Offensive could make or break the election for leaders who planned it

(Newser) - An uneasy triumvirate of Israeli politicians united to plan the offensive against Gaza, the Washington Post reports. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who will compete to become prime minister in February's election, both want to convince the electorate they can successfully defend Israel. For outgoing PM... More »

Opposition in Israel Makes Hard Right Turn

Likud party, forecast to win election, chooses hawkish candidates

(Newser) - Benjamin Netanyahu, whose Likud Party is leading polls ahead of February’s Israeli election, promises to continue peace talks if elected—but after primaries this week, the former PM will be heading a ticket including extreme right-wingers who have advocated withdrawal from the United Nations, or cutting off water and... More »

Israel Faces Snap Vote After Talks Collapse

Ultra-Orthodox party says it won't join a Livni government

(Newser) - Tzipi Livni received a potentially fatal blow in her bid to become Israel's prime minister when the ultra-orthodox party Shas announced today it would not join her coalition. Livni, who succeeded Ehud Olmert as leader of the ruling Kadima party last month, has struggled for weeks to build an alliance.... More »

Tzipi Livni Was a Spy in Paris

Israeli leader-in-waiting served in elite Mossad spying unit

(Newser) - The woman set to be Israel's next prime minister started her career as an elite Mossad agent in Paris, the Times of London reports. Tzipi Livni was part of a covert cell in the city during the early '80s, when it was a hotspot in the spy agency's battle with... More »

Israel's 'Mrs Clean' Has Quite a Mess to Tackle

But Livni faces uphill climb if she becomes prime minister

(Newser) - When she cast her ballot yesterday, Tzipi Livni took a page from Barack Obama and told the Israeli media that party members should "bring about change by voting for what you believe in." Now, writes an analyst in the Jerusalem Post, Israel's prime minister-designate has a tough job:... More »

'Indict Olmert,' Israeli Cops Urge

Resignation expected soon

(Newser) - Israeli police are recommending that embattled Prime Minister Ehud Olmert be indicted for bribery, money laundering and fraud, reports the Guardian. The final decision on what action to take after the 18-month investigation rests with the nation's attorney general. Olmert has already indicated he will resign within days.   More »

Israelis: Olmert Successor Is Unlikely to Forge Coalition

Netanyahu calls for snap elections

(Newser) - Benjamin Netanyahu has called for a snap election after Ehud Olmert's sudden announcement that he will resign as Israel's PM. Riding high in the polls, the head of Likud said that "it doesn't matter who heads Kadima. They are all partners in this government's total failure." The call... More »

Who Will Replace Olmert?

Who is likely to succeed Ehud as Kadima's leader?

(Newser) - Who will succeed Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert when he resigns in 2 months? Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, known as "Mrs. Clean," is a top candidate and would likely engage Palestine in peace talks, Ian Black writes in the Guardian. Challenging her will be hawkish Shaul Mofaz, a... More »

Olmert Pact Saves Israeli Parliament

Deal means PM will face leadership challenge this fall

(Newser) - Ehud Olmert narrowly averted the collapse of the Israeli government today by pledging that his party would hold a leadership election by late September, Haaretz reports. In exchange, Labor Party withdrew its support for a motion of non-confidence. Olmert is facing investigation in connection with $150,000 he took from... More »

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