Israel's Mrs. Clean

A once reluctant politician, former Mossad agent Tzipi Livni is the favorite to succeed the scandal-tainted Ehud Olmert as Israel's leader

Farah Nosh / Reportage by Getty Images for TIME

Israel's Foreign Minister and Kadima party member, Tzipi Livni.

Who can blame Israelis for being disgusted with their politicians? A sex scandal brought down the last President; a former Finance Minister faces indictment over alleged fraud, theft and money-laundering; and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert may be indicted for taking more than $150,000, mostly in cash, from a New York businessman. A popular bumper sticker says, OLMERT, YOU DISGUST ME. The deepening sense of odium is reflected in Olmert's single-digit popularity ratings. He may be forced to resign within weeks, and already politicians have begun to handicap the succession.

It's probably no coincidence that the odds-on favorite to replace Olmert is...

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