When US President George W. Bush met with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert last week he urged Olmert to reconsider his ill-conceived rush to surrender the Golan Heights to Syria.
That according to diplomatic sources briefed on the White House meeting between the two outgoing leaders.
The sources told Ha'aretz that Bush pointedly asked Olmert, "Why do you want to give [Syrian President Bashar] Assad the Golan for nothing?"
Olmert reportedly responded that the surrender of the Golan would "not be for nothing. It's an exchange for a change in the region's strategic alignment."
Bush then suggested that Olmert was foolish for taking Assad at his word, to which the Israeli leader had no reply.
Israeli commentators believe Olmert is eager to score a major diplomatic victory before leaving office in February, and sees a hasty peace deal with Syria as the most viable option.