Uri Orbach
Photo: Tomer Barzide

Art of lowering expectations

Our leaders have become the masters of keeping expectations low

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said something like this: “We’re not talking about a peace conference in Annapolis, but rather, a meeting aimed at a declaration of intent. Well, not even intent for peace, it’s actually one lunch and two or three meetings right before and after it."


A peace conference? Come on, I’ll fly out in the morning and be back on the plane by evening. It will be real quick. This entire conference, or more accurately, meeting, or even more accurately, mini-meeting, will not even be dealing with matters of peace or the core issues. We are just getting photographed and then leaving.


I am not even sure we shall have enough time to shake hands. Perhaps we will have enough time to wash our hands, when we get out of the bathroom at the hotel. Wait, did I say hotel? We will actually be meeting at some roadside motel for 15 minutes, assuming we can fit it into our schedules, so I do not propose that the public build any expectations.


It is important for me to emphasize the following: I do not want people to fantasize about a full-fledged peace deal and the exchange of ambassadors. Do not expect too much. Even if something comes out of it, this is not because we are talking about a peace conference. It is just a meeting.


If something indeed comes out of it, this would be because I just I happened to be in Annapolis already, so I told myself: Why don’t we give up some territory and divide Jerusalem and bring Palestinian refugees back? But peace? A peace conference? I suggest that we do not exaggerate here.”


Peace with Syria in 2 hours

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said, “Syria! Peace with Syria! Give the Golan Heights to the Syrians! There, I too have an agenda of my own, despite the fact that all the agendas have already been taken.


The prime minister is getting entangled in that affair with the Palestinians, where nothing will come out of it anyway, so I will be betting on Damascus. It is so simple. If I only sit down with President Bashar Assad in one room for two hours, I shall bring you peace. I will give him the entire Golan Heights, and he will sign. It is so simple.


But if possible, dear Bashar, do not sign right away. Do not accept my generous offers tomorrow. If you can take your time, drag your feet, refuse and accept at the same time – that would be better. If you agree right away, this will put an end to my agenda. If you say “yes” and come for a visit in Israel like Egyptian President Sadat did, Olmert will get the credit.


Wait a little, until I regain power, and the Golan shall be yours. I am giving you my word. Let Olmert drag his feet with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, while you don’t go with anyone else except for me.”


פרסום ראשון: 11.20.07, 09:27
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