The Israeli papers are reporting that Olmert may be sending messages to Syria about peace. In one report, which may or may not be true since these discussions are always held in secret, Olmert has committed to giving up the Golan Heights to Syria in exchange for permanent peace that includes Syria cutting its relations with Iran and Hizbullah.
Fine, let’s say this is true.
Who the hell is going to trust Olmert’s judgment and allow him to make decisions of this magnitude at a time when his approval rating is almost low enough to freeze water (in Celsius degrees).
Then again, who is going to trust him to make a decision to go to war again?
In fact, his failure to rally the country around Sderot and to solidly put his government behind that besieged town is probably about as significant as the way he ran the Lebanon war last year. He may be a brilliant political tactician and strategist, but perhaps these skills do not apply to the battlefield. Even if they do apply and Olmert is simply experiencing some bad luck and the fate of those surrounded by less-than-capable people, the public perception is that he is incompetent. So again, who is going to trust him to strike a solid bargain with Syria?
Of course, he should try, if only to gauge Assad’s seriousness, but things would be so much simpler if he would accept responsibility for last year’s war and if he would take a brief vacation from politics. As Barak is proving, eventually there will be a second act.