The way things look now, not only will the Olmert administration stay put for another year, at least, but it could grow stronger if two heavyweights like Barak and Ayalon - the general and the admiral, as Peretz sneeringly calls them - are brought in. If the political deck is reshuffled and an experienced defense minister is appointed, this could provide Olmert with the push he needs to get started on a political initiative based on the Saudi plan, in cooperation with U.S. President George W. Bush, and seriously explore the messages that are secretly passing back and forth between Syria and Israel.
At the same time, a message would be conveyed to the Palestinian extremists that they are better off dancing with the peace-seeking Israel of Olmert, Barak and Ayalon, than holding a match to their short fuses.
The larger impact of the squabblings within the Israeli labor party are getting extensive attention in the Israeli press. This is one of the more hopeful pieces.