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Sunday, September 10, 2006

DEBKAfile sheds light on why Olmert pulled the 'road map' out of the dust bin

DEBKAfile has shed some light on why Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has decided to take the 'road map' out of the dust bin. The bottom line is: He screwed up again.
The answer lies in Washington, where he is in very hot water with the Bush administration. First, the White House was angered by the way Olmert, defense minister Amir Peretz and foreign minister Tzipi Livni mismanaged the Lebanon war and, in doing so, got in the way of America’s plans for Iran.

This was followed by a further complaint: During his May visit to Washington, the Israeli prime minister presented the US president and the two Houses of Congress his realignment (aka convergence) plan for a partial withdrawal from the West Bank. He asked for American support and received it with an ovation.

Two and a half months later, that same prime minister ditched his realignment plan – only forgetting to drop a word to Washington. That was too much for the administration to swallow. Olmert was given to understand that it was totally unacceptable for him to discard a Middle East program taken seriously and adopted by the US government like an old shoe.

It was only then that Olmert began to realize the extent of the damage he had caused US-Israel relations. Last weekend, he sent his senior advisers, Yoram Turbovitch and Shalom Turjman, to Washington to pour oil on troubled waters.

But they were ill-prepared. Confronted by secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and national security adviser Stephen Hadley, the two Israeli officials announced Olmert was ready to make a fresh start with a new plan. What plan?

Since there was no plan, the prime minister’s office decided to give the Middle East roadmap the kiss of life for the umpteenth time and invite Abu Mazen to return to the game as a player.

Most Israelis received the news with a yawn (|We’ve been there before). But the Labor ministers, the prime minister and foreign minister grabbed eagerly for the suddenly floating roadmap as a lifesaver for their sinking administration. These events took place during the weekend break in Washington. So no US response can be expected before Monday.
When is someone in Israel besides me going to start lumping Livni in with Olmert, Peretz and Halutz and demand her resignation too? She is responsible for the foul up known as UN Security Council Resolution 1701.


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