In his famous work The King’s two bodies, German historian Ernst kantorowicz studied the consecration of the royal figure of the Middle Age and of Modern Times in Europe. He studied how the myth of the double Royal nature had been created: on the first hand, the individual with his own gifts and shortcomings (the King) and on the second hand the incarnation of a function well above the person who would incarnated that function (the King). By means of complicated rituals, especially during burials and coronations, the staging of such royal power legitimization allows European monarchs to strengthen their power by getting on them qualities and virtues which would naturally come from a divine power.
Although we are not living in the Middle Age any longer, the practice of political legitimization are quite resistant and may adapt to different times. The coming to power by Ehud Olmert as the successor of an agonizing Ariel Sharon, in a dynasty-transmitting environment- Ehud Olmert has even been frequently described as “prince”, something rare to democracy- constitutes a good example.

Following hagiographies describing Ariel Sharon as “centrist” and “pragmatic”, who offered an “opportunity” to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict-, the western press mainstream, has focused the personality of Sharon’s appointed successor, Israel’s Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Such media presentation of the dolphin adopts many mechanisms mentioned by Kantorowicz.
That way the successor of Sharon has his own virtues and shortcomings, but he has also inherited qualities apparently inherent to the first Israeli prime ministers, according to consensual media. It seems like given for granted that, according to the media vision, the Israeli PM always wants peace but he must the absence of interlocutors for the Arab party. The PM is a brave man whose major concern is the defence and wellbeing of the Israeli population, but not territorial control. The PM is pragmatic and that quality makes him oppose extremists, but also the pigeons that spark signs of an angel-like nature. The PM incarnates the heart of Israel’s political life.
These qualities, which featured Ariel Sharon in his time, are now attributed to Ehud Olmert.

Those are the qualities that lead the editorialist of the Jerusalem Post, Larry Derfner to support Ehud Olmert. The Israeli journalist resorts to a rhetoric and delicate kind of practice, done in a pretty good way: assuming all shortcomings of the person he supports in order to better minimize them and highlight virtues, which are of course more important. That way, Ehud Olmert is being introduced as a pretentious, contemptuous and probably dishonest individual, as corrupt as Ariel Sharon, but at the same time as a pragmatic man concerned about the security of the Israeli people, who opposed fanatic Netanyahu and inept Peretz. In all, a sad man who has the qualities necessary to rule the country and the right man to occupy the post of Prime Minister.
Israeli General in the reserve, Danny Rothschild, also former chief military intelligence and occupied territories, also welcomes the commanding qualities of the Interim PM in an interview granted to the centre-left French Weekly Le Nouvel Observateur in which he asserts that Ehud Olmert will give continuity to Ariel Sharon’s policy and he even will improve his predecessor since he quite more committed to the withdrawal policy. The author affirms that he will drag the Palestinian to that policy, but if it is not possible, he will go on with the withdrawal from the territories in an unilateral way. Finally, as the existence of an “interlocutor of peace” is not yet a fact, the unilateral withdrawal will go on; that is to say, the outlining by Israel itself of its own borders.
In a chronicle of the Washington Post, published by Beirut’s Daily Star, US analyst and novelist David Ignatius appears confident of the capacity of Ehud Olmert to rule Israel and keep on with Ariel Sharon’s policy. He predicts the continuation of the annexation wall and an association with the Bush administration to undertake Israel’s withdrawal from Jordanian zones located beyond the wall. He revitalizes the “shortcomings” of the new PM given his lack of military experience and lack of knowledge as to how rule the country.

We will notice that with the virtues of a “good ruler”, the figure of Ehud Olmert has got over that of Ariel Sharon, whose health condition is now being followed with less attention than before.

The Arab press, as expected, presents another image of Sharon’s right hand man.
In the Arabic language Lebanese daily Annahar, Lebanese journalist Rendah Haidar recalls the history of the person she introduces as an opportunistic. Taking strong sides with the right and having joined numerous contradictory groups, Ehud Olmert later joined Sharon of whom he became his right hand man and his obstacle. Without making any prior judgement on the capabilities of the Interim PM, the author asserts that it will be difficult for a politician without historic legitimacy to preserve unity among heterogeneous personalities either from the Labour party of from the Likud.

But beyond the virtues and shortcomings of Ehud Olmert, mass media outlets wonder about the strategy of the future winner appointed to contest the March 28, 2006 Israeli elections, and while the majority predicts the continuation of the policy undertaken by Ariel Sharon, some expect to see a change in Israel’s power and its return to the bargaining table with the Palestinian.
In that direction, the general director of Al Quds Educational Television in Ramallah and of AmmanNet, Daoud Kuttab, published an opened letter addressed to Ehud Olmert and which widely spread by Project Syndicate and published as well by the Jerusalem Post (Israel), El Tiempo (Colombia), the Korea Herald (South Korea), the Daily Star (Lebanon),La Libre Belgique (Belgium) and of course by other media outlets. In the letter, written with great modesty or with a great sense of self-denigration, the author, traditional Arab camouflage of editorial pages in the Jerusalem Post, praises the big advancements contributed by Ehud Olmert to Israeli policy and he supports his view on the Palestinian changes, “in a small scale” in claiming the resumption of bilateral negotiations. So, he affirms that only the resumption of negotiations and the improvement of the Palestinian living conditions will allow for a cease of violence.

Israeli analyst Ze’ev Schiff says in the Haaretz that there are three possibilities for the evolution of Israel’s policy: 1) Israel keeps on with its “defensive war” against Palestinian terrorism, limiting itself to withdrawing illegal control stations and stopping the expansion of settlements. 2) Israel tries to reach a final-status agreement with the Palestinian Liberation Organization, but the journalist disregards it since he does not trust the Palestinian. 3) Israel sets its borders by itself and continue with unilateral withdrawals, the most probable possibility according to the journalist.
For Lebanese writer and analyst Hazem Saria that will be the policy to be followed by Ehud Olmert. In Yemen’s pro-government daily 26 sep, he says that Ehud Olmert’s strategy will focus on the continuation of Sharon’s policy. He shares the opinion that Olmert and Sharon are to right-wing men who have travelled from “ideological Zionism” to “operative Zionism”; that is to say they have adopted the “realistic” implementation of the objectives for territorial annexation. Ehud Olmert, who has been presented as a centrist man, whose wife takes sides with the “left” and who is expected to give a great contribution, must not be underestimated. Nothing new is expected to come out of the Israeli strategy.

This analysis has been confirmed by the discourse of highly nationalist Tzipi Livni, Israel’s new Interim Minister of Foreign Affairs and member of the Kadima “centrist” Party. In an interview granted to the French daily Le Monde, she announced her creed in terms of foreign policy. By developing a multiculturalist approach of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the minister asserts that that the Palestinian and the Israeli are too different to understand and reach negotiations with each other, and that the Palestinian mentality is too hostile to establish a discussion. She predicts that several generations will be necessary to come before the Arab mentality makes a change. Such statements confirm that for the Israeli Foreign Minister the whole process aimed at setting up a Palestinian state will be a decision to be taken by Israel. During the construction of the Israeli wall in Jordan, Ms. Livni strongly stated that the wall outlined the future Israeli frontiers.
However, the author thinks the advancement must take fast steps since, she says, globalization erodes national identities and makes the Israeli project more difficult to understand by the rest of the world. She indirectly refers to persons who, like British historian Tony Judt, describe Zionism as an obsolete ideology, the last stage of nationalist movements born in the late 19th century. Along the increasing distance between the Palestinian and Israeli mentalities and huge world opinion trends, the Israeli minister also fears that Jewish Israeli people become a demographic minority in the country’s territory. Therefore, she directly reveals the reason of the strategic rupture between Kadima and the Likud, a strategy that outlines the future policy of Ehud Olmert.