Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert fended off a public call to resign from his foreign minister by winning critical support from party loyalists on Wednesday amid a crisis over his handling of the Lebanon war, a conflict in which a outmanned and outgunned Lebanese resistance group were able to defeat the Israeli invaders last summer. For now, the Kadima party has said it will stand behind Olmert. The crisis broke out on Monday when an official inquiry savaged Olmert's conduct of last year's war with Hezbollah guerrillas.
Other Jews in the government have called for Olmert to resign but under Kadima's rules he cannot be ousted. The only course of action is to persuade him to resign or to hold a primary which would take time to organize. Tzipi Livni, the Jewess Foreign Minister, has been Olmert's most vocal critic leading widespread criticism of Olmert's decision to invade Lebanon which has been called "a serious failure in exercising judgment, responsibility and prudence," by the government commission investigating the decision to go to war.