**This just in : BBC News clip of Olmert interview broadcast today on BBC Arabic Television (I’m looking for the full interview).  Longer BBC clip, more detailed article.

The New York Times reports that Israel has offered Lebanon talks on peace negotiations and land exchange. These talks are referring, of course, to the disputed Shebaa Farms.
Part of the negotiation, according to the New York Times, will include Israel releasing maps of land mines and cluster bombs left behind from the 2006 summer war.
This news follows reports that talks have started with Syria, via Turkish mediators, and it seems that talks with Lebanon might be a result of those negotiations.
The news comes the same day that a truce in Gaza sets in.
And read below for Reb Yudel’s post on last year’s unofficial peace deal offered as a way to solve the stalled talks on Golan.
Is this Olmert struggling to convince his people and the world that he’s not a corrupt, incompetent buffoon? Is this the US exerting back room pressure so Bush’s legacy can be secured? Or, is this, maybe, perhaps, possibly even real? (unlikely, but I hope so).
If I learned anything from reading A Missing Peace, Dennis Ross’ major work on his experience as the lead US negotiator from 1987-2001, it is that a huge chunk of what happens in these negotiations is over-dramatized jockeying and a whole lot of PR and acting.
So, whether or not this is real, it clearly sends a message to Israel’s people, its neighbors and the world that perhaps there are partners with whom to negotiate. Likewise, it shows a willingness of Israel’s neighbors to be more comfortable making diplomatic meetings, and perhaps even ties.
I may be cynical, but I’m hopeful.