Ehud Olmert is not a new figure in the international political scenario. He has always been the guy who hides behind the leader. He is the example that shows the transition of Israel’s “ideological Zionism” to a “Zionism” which is much more conscious of the use of force and negotiation elements. These are the two characteristics that allow us to describe Olmert as “opportunistic” too. However, even when the noticed change reflects the difficult situation the Likud is facing nowadays, it does not mean that Olmert’s desired solutions, after Sharon, are fair and balanced. This is the difference between a committed-to-a-“noble”-strategic-goal “ideological Zionism” and an “operative Zionism” which has taken control of as much ground as possible and has ignored what is not related to the balance of forces.
Thus, that “operative Zionism” avoids targeting those inaccessible goals due to regional and international circumstances, although its appetite is not eliminated. For writer Mark Heler, “Sharonism” and “Olmertism” have nothing to do with the “peace process” advocated by the left or the “Great Israel” of the right.
Since the 1980s, Olmert became one of the new “princes of the Likud” which formed the second group in command after Yithzak Shamir and Moshe Arinz. Ehud has extremely exploited the media to reflect Israel’s positions and face the local left and western public opinion at the time that he kept collecting contributions for his party.
He could leave “ideological Zionism” behind apparently thanks to his “left-wing” wife. Nonetheless, the difference between both tendencies is above all due to the Sharon-Netanyahu conflict.

Source
26 sep (Yemen)
“26 sep” is a pro-governmental Yemeni journal.

عن إيهود أولمرت...”, by Hazem Saria, 26 Sep, January 10, 2006.