It was a Soviet tradition for an insignificant functionary to become head of state. The results were palpable. Not every minor bureaucrat can lead a state. And so we have Olmert, the town clown.

His condition for talking to the Hamas government: release our soldier, stop the rocket barrages. Wow! Israel is asking a minor Palestinian enemy for a favor. When Gaza was in our hands, the Arabs fired no rockets. When Sharon showed goodwill and gave the Palestinians Gaza, they started shelling Israel. The correlation is there for everyone to see. The policy implications are self-evident. Olmert tries to look tough: “Stop shelling us! (pleeeeaaaaseee)”

Decades ago, Israel used to take enemy hostages to exchange for our MIAs. Young Sharon kidnapped Jordanians. Like it or not, it worked. Go round up a few dozen Hamas parliament members, and don’t put them in jail. Then offer an exchange, but not from the PM level. Attention – that is what the terrorists look for. Don’t pay attention. Don’t stir media. The violence is routine.