ISL - Sderot
Two years after co-sponsoring the disengagement from Gaza under Sharon's leadership, Olmert returned, this time as a triumphant prime minister with his own proud legacy of corruption and failure. Olmert began his tour in the ghost town of Sderot, formerly house to twenty thousand citizens. As a result of the incessant bombings, most have moved away, and only some dogs and policemen are left to watch the ruins of the once thriving town and it is they who meet Olmert when he stops to ask directions:
Olmert: "Excuse me officer!"
Policeman: "Yes, Sir!"
Olmert: "We are looking for Sderot, it's a town near the end of Israel – did we miss it? What is this dump anyway?"
Policeman: "This dump is Sderot, Sir."
Olmert: "Really? It's just an overblown dust bowl. Do people actually live here?"
Policeman: "Not anymore. Most have left because of all the bombing."
Olmert: "Well, I can't say I blame them. I would have left even sooner. What a hellhole! Why did they come here to begin with?"
Policeman: "I don't think anyone asked them Sir. They came to Israel and the government decided to put them here."
Olmert: "Typical Israeli bureaucracy. It's in the middle of nowhere, nothing to do here, and nowhere to go - why, we had to drive more than two hours from Jerusalem just to get here!"
Policeman: Yes, it is kind of an out of the way place. Used to be pretty quiet too."
Olmert: "I'll say. Gives me the shivers. Why the hell did they put people here in the first place?
Policeman: "I guess they were Zionists, Sir. They had the idea that the land belongs to us, and that we have to settle it and fight for it, so that we will have an independent country."
Olmert: "Sounds silly if you ask me. I bet there was an angle. Probably some kind of real-estate scam."
(Sound of rockets landing nearby)
Olmert: "Jesus H. Christ! What the hell was that?"
Policeman (crawling out from under the limousine): That was a mortar shell exploding nearby , Sir. No big deal."
Olmert: "No big deal? Easy for you to say – I might have gotten killed! Killed man!"
Policeman: "Well, people have been killed by the shells. Not as many as you might expect. Lots of damage to property though, and hard on the ears, and the kids."
Olmert: "Sounds awful. Why doesn't the government do anything?"
Policeman: "I expect you would know something about that."
Olmert: "Yes, of course. I am the government! I guess it slipped my mind. There is so much to do when you're Prime minister."
Policeman: "I feel for you, Sir. It must be terribly difficult dealing with all the pressure – the war in Lebanon, The Iranian threat, the chaos in the Gaza Strip."
Olmert: " What really worries me is that eventually I'll get indicted for something. That would be a disaster! Come to think of it, I can't wait to get back home. Can we go back home yet Fred?"
Fred, the PR man: "No Sir, you have to give a "State of The Union Address" to the people here in Sderot. Tell them that you care, that Israel is with them and so on. Promise them money and a solution to all their problems. After that you can go back home."
Olmert angrily: "What the hell are talking about – didn't you hear what the policeman said – everybody is gone!"
Freddy: "Of course they are, but that doesn't matter – there are two hundred people waiting for you in City Hall, not to mention dozens of camera crews. You can't go back now."
Olmert: "Where the hell did you get two hundred people from? The place is empty."
Freddy: "Which is why we had to hire them."
Olmert: "You hired people and brought them all the way down here?"
Freddy: Sure. No sweat. They know what to do, they have painted signs and they'll clap on cue. They're paid for. Don't worry."
Olmert: "Paid? How exactly? You know I'm in enough trouble as it is."
Freddy: "What do you care? If you don't pull this off you won't be Prime minister anymore and no one will care enough to sue you, and if you do manage to get out of this hole, you'll have enough power to do something about it. Start a war or another disengagement or something."
Olmert: "I guess you do have a point. So, we go to City Hall?"
Freddy: "Onward - to City Hall"