Critique of Olmert Pushes His Tenure to Brink

An Israeli review panel has delivered a political blow to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, criticizing him along with Defense Minister Amir Peretz for "a severe failure in judgment, responsibility and caution" in undertaking Israel's war in Lebanon last July.

The panel, which was appointed by Prime Minister Olmert, was chaired by retired judge Eliyahu Winograd.

David Makovsky, director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, tells NPR's Robert Siegel that with Olmert's approval numbers already hovering in the single digits, the report makes the "lame duck" prime minister look like "a dead duck." But, he says, the findings will also likely make Israel healthier as a democracy.

Mokovsky, a former executive editor of The Jerusalem Post, was a diplomatic correspondent for Israel's leading daily Haaretz.

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