In one of the blogs I got into a conversation, with a blogger called "nobody", that crossed several subjects.
At times those diversions from subject to subject were distructing but in the last one, "nobody" raised an interesting opinion.
"It appears that there is a disconnection between the government and the people in Israel. Most people i talk to dont want peace with Syria, dont trust Hamas and are sceptical about UN or joined arab peace intiatives. By the polls if elections would be held now Olmert would be swept away. Peretz would disappear. Right wing parties would take the votes.
If Lebanon are serious about a deal they should accept it now. I think it may become impossible later. Though of course if Lebanon proceeds on its own ignoring Syria and the palestinian problem it may be seen as a sort of Lebanon breaking ranks with other arab countries. But still. This window of opportunity may happen to be very short."
I would like to break your opinion apart and relate to each section.
"Most people i talk to dont want peace with Syria"
I assume you mean Israelis that you spoke with.
I disagree but I think I know what gave you that perception.
Most Israelis DO want peace with Syria (and other countries) but dont see it as realistic option. The syrian regime and Assad's action and involvement is damaging the region (i.e. Hariri murder) and is plain self-destructive for Syria itself.
The reactions which I believe you heard are from a point of view that it is plain imaginary to think that such a regime will become a sensible one.
"dont trust Hamas"
True. Being banned by the European Union, Hamas is an organisation who does not recognize Israel's right of existance. So the lack of trust can be understood from what ever side you are.
However! A more interesting question is if Israelis trust Fatah as there is a world apart between those two organizations. Needless to explain, but never the less important, Fatah has a different political agende which recognized Israel and therefor has the potential to progress towards more agreements.
"are sceptical about UN"
There is definition yet of their role but even so, there is clearly no expectation from a foreign force to disarm the Hizballa. And what else is required of them if not that?
"or joined arab peace intiatives."
This has a grain of truth. But to fill a missing part - there is scepticism AND optimism towards any peace initiative.
The problem is seen as the internal political immaturity of the Palestinians.
"It appears that there is a disconnection between the government and the people in Israel."
It only appears so.
First we need to look on where did Kadima came from - This government was elected mainly to pullout out of the West bank which is a step forward ending the occupation. The Israeli voters want to end the occupation and have elected a governement to do so (but now, things changed).
Second, where is the political balance? Kadima is a shift of the right power toward the center-left. They may differ in ideology but resemble in actions. (Mr Peres joined Kadima from that pragmatic reason).
Actually this government is the first in years to have less and less ex-generals with a militaristic orientation and more people seen as diplomats (i.e. The foreign and security ministers have both a primarily diplomatic orientation) which was seen as a postitive trend by the Israelis.
The current mood towards the government is not directly regarding any peace process but reflects a self disappointment from the management level (i.e. prepared processes were not used. Emergency plans not carried out orderly etc)
(However "nobody" - if you claim that most dont want peace, and there is a disconnection; does that mean you see the Israeli government as one that wants peace? ... I'm not sure where exactly your opinion is in this case)
"By the polls if elections would be held now Olmert would be swept away."
I dont think so. Those polls might show strong disatisfaction which is not to be confused with a will to change.
I think the reason here is simpistic. First, the Israelis see fighting the Hizballa as a justified cause. Secondly, if they were to look around they would see the vacuum of strong leadership. Olmert was promoted to be the head of Kadim as a consequence of PM Sharon's illness.
"Peretz would disappear."
No disrespect toward Peretz, but even he probably didnt expect to be there. He is filling that role mainly because of the coalition deal between Kadima and the left Avoda party.
My personal hope is that in some rotation movement, he will remain in the government and Mr Barak will be the new security minister. Barak was a PM and the Chief of IDF and has the military exerience to handle large scale conflicts. He is also seen as a strong diplomatic oriented which tried closing a deal with Arafat meaning it's the right message towards Arab countries and the Palestinians.
"Right wing parties would take the votes"
From the same reason above, I dont see that happening. No seen candidates there. If you are even thinking about Netanyahu, see his performance in the prior elections.
What used to be the right wing is now Kadima which is acting similar to a left party (although from different ideology).
These are my answers to "nobody".
When I look at it I see that the situation is not great but certainly can improve greatly by two possibilities that are seen now:
1. Fatah joining the Palestinian government and bringing some sense back.
2. Mr Barak joining the Israeli governement.
3. All-Around-the-Table meeting of Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Palestinians and Lebanon.
4. All parties identifying that this window of opportunity is very short lived.