Here is a very incisive analysis of some of the major reasons for Ehud Olmert’s rejection by most Israelis:
To find the deepest reason for the Olmert hatred, one must search the depths of mass psychology, in the general sense of the crumbling of the state’s authority, the lack of vision – all the factors that make up a leadership crisis. Israelis may be content on the personal level, but they are depressed on the national one. They have no direction. Author David Grossman put it well: “The people leading Israel today are unable to connect Israelis to their identity …. [to] give some meaning to the exhausting and despairing struggle for existence.”
Olmert is a victim of this dynamic, but he also contributes to it through his personal and political behavior. As a leader, he personifies the Israeli identity crisis – he lacks a clear vision, he is not built for greatness, he conducts small, shady business deals and is beholden to the techniques of survival. It isn’t as if there are other great lights at hand, but when we look at him we see ourselves instead of who we could be. That’s why we don’t like him.