Last December, Israeli leaders decided to bomb and invade Gaza in order to get Hamas to adhere to their desires and the result was a loss of respect for the nation in the world and ruptures in its relation with close ally Turkey. Israel Military Intelligence Chief, General Amos Yadin, insists the reason Hamas is willing to negotiate was because of the operation, but Defense Minister Barak believes Israel would have been better off negotiating with Hamas through the good office of Egypt. On the other hand, Prime Minister Olmert made clear he did not want to negotiate with Hamas and as far as he was concerned the major issue is the release of the captured Israeli soldier.
Israel is completely divided without a leader who can offer new ideas on how to resolve its conflict with Palestinians. In a sense, the Israelis are trapped in the past and are unable to adjust to new conditions which might offer alternatives that were not available months ago. They can draw upon the good offices of Turkey, Egypt and Hillary Clinton to forge new opportunities for meaningful peace negotiations.