One press report about Olmert’s offer to return the Golan Heights to Syria started with a headline declaring that this news caused a firestorm in Israel.
Unforunately it did not. This news report includes a quote from a former, albeit distingusied, Israeli offical who expressed strong opposition to handing over the strategicly Golan Heights to Israel’s enemies. But no political leaders are quoted because the news has been greeted with virtual silence.
In fact the only fringe political opposition has come from Israel’s President, Shimon Peres, as he declared that turning the Golan to Syria is tantamount to giving the Golan to Iran.
The real question is why didn’t this irresponsible move by Olmert meet with strong opposition by Israel’s political leaders? Shas will undoubtedly tell you that Olmert can say what he wants but he can’t deliver the Golan or anything else.
What this analysis fails to address is that silence on the part of those who oppose this policy is interpreted by the international community as consent. Therefore, Olmert’s initiative is seen as Israel’s policy. This will haunt Israel in several ways, including in helping to alienate Israel’s supporters in the United States who feel that Iran must be stopped, not handed a prize like the Golan Heights.