In his Rosh HaShana interview less than two weeks ago, caretaker Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert, made statements that were at once remarkable and surreal. Remarkable – because Olmert was more realistic and was more explicit about the price of peace than any Israeli Prime Minister before him. Surreal – because Olmert’s remarks were timed to have the least possible practical effect on the Israeli political system.
First, here are a few select quotes from the interview:
I sympathise with Yossi Beilin’s remarks about how sad it is that Olmert took so long to “come out” about his views on making peace with the Palestinians and the Syrians.
However it is fair to say that Arik Sharon was also very late to make his move for peace. The same applies to many other Israeli leaders. I read with some incredulity that Natanyahu has also declared that he favours pursuing a peace agenda if elected. Many commentattors place him as the front runner to be the next Prime Minister. I must say this would be a very backward step for the Israeli electorate to take, and it demonstrates that they too must take some of the blame for how long it has taken to achieve peace.