A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
June 2, 2008 Olmert Fights Back and Negotiates With Abbas
Prime Minister Olmert continues to fight for his political life, desperately trying to gain time. According to Israeli media sources his wife and some of his closest aids have been recommending that he throw in the towel. However, Olmert keeps trying to fight on. Yesterday Olmert convinced the Kadima faction to put off setting a date for a new primary until he returns from the United States. People expect him to ask then to wait a few more days until after the Talansky cross examination. By then it will be late June and no one will want to hold primaries in the summer. A convincing senario... possibly. Of course, all of this become irrelevant if Olmert is indicted.
In the meantime, Olmert tries to continue to act as if everything is normal.Today he had a lengthy meeting with Palestinian authority President Abbas. There are differing accounts on the state of these negotiations. What seems apparent is that they are close to an agreement on the issue of territory, but wide gaps remain on the issue of refugees.The shorthand is that nothing has changed Camp David fell apart, because the Palestinians were not willing to compromise on the refugee issue. Since refugees is an area in which Israel cannot compromise, an agreement will not be possible unless the Palestinians accept that the refugees are not coming back to Israel.
Yesterday, the Hezbollah returned body parts they claim were taken during the Second Lebanon War. When Hezbollah first claimed it had such parts the IDF stated that all the Israeli soldiers who fell in the war were accounted for. Israeli official at all levels were surprised by the arrivial of a coffin with body parts at the Rosh Hanikra border crossing, first calling explosive experts to make sure it was not a bomb. It seems Nasrallah is trying to show that he is in control of events and that the release of Nassin Nasser, a Hezbollah spy, who was released today after serving most of his sentence was the result of his actions. Hezbollah sources continue to claim that a deal for the release of the Israeli soldiers abducted before the war is near. Today it was confirmed that the reclaimed body parts were indeed those of Israeli soldiers killed during the war.