Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's disturbingly simplistic mantra that nothing will stop him from retreating may appeal to his household, but it hardly serves as a replacement for a well-reasoned and coherent policy.



Mr. Olmert's team's struggle to sell retreat to the world has become so desperate that they have gone so far as to try to package it as implementation of the Road Map, stripped of the Road Map's requirements of Palestinian compliance.



That's right.



The same Olmert who keeps saying that he won't negotiate with the Palestinians unless they first fulfill their security obligations is the Olmert whose team says it is now planning to retreat from most of the West Bank, and allow for the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state in the evacuated areas, if the Palestinians don't fulfill their security obligations.



That's a sovereign Palestinian state with access to the outside world via gateways not controlled by Israel.



Either the Olmert team has been so busy working on the retreat that they haven't had a chance to keep up with the news, or they simply don't care that the Rafiach Crossing has been a security failure in the absence of Israeli control.



That's a sovereign Palestinian state turning the most populous areas of Israel into one big Sderot, while Mr. Olmert is incapable or unwilling to protect the original Sderot from the consequences of the Gaza retreat.



That's a sovereign Palestinian state that, as bizarre as this may sound, would probably be praised by the world - including the White House - if it "destroyed the terror infrastructure" by co-opting all the terrorists into a Palestinian army (as proposed by "moderate" Mahmoud Abbas).



That's a sovereign Palestinian state that in all likelihood would end up also in the vital Jordan Valley (the Olmert team now uses the same phraseology to describe control of the Jordan Valley that the Sharon team used to describe Israeli intentions to retain control of the Philadelphi Corridor - before Israel retreated from that strategic wedge between Gaza and Egypt).



Olmert insists that nothing can stop his retreat, much as Ariel Sharon did in the year approaching the retreat from Gaza.



But is this retreat truly unstoppable? There is a world of difference between the two situations. The debate over retreat from Gaza relied on speculation and conjecture. The disastrous consequences of the retreat from the Gaza Strip has served to dramatically change the level of public support for Olmert's plan to retreat from the West Bank.



Back on June 7th, the pollsters at Dialog found that 56% opposed Olmert's plan. A Shvakim Panorama poll released June 22nd finds that opposition has now jumped to some 70 percent. If the trend continues, then support for retreat may be limited to Mr. Olmert's immediate family and other diehard radicals.



Mr. Olmert may want to ignore the polls, but he is surrounded by politicians more interested in protecting and advancing their own careers than in being loyal to their current leader, come what may.