The power plays among Ariel Sharon’s possible successors have already begun. One Israeli correspondent e-mailed this morning that Sharon is close to death and isn’t likely to make it. His temporary successor, Ehud Olmert, is already attracting intense fire. Stay tuned. This will be a prolonged and important change. The only short-term beneficiaries will be the Palestinians, who will now claim they have no “peace partner” in Israel, and will return to higher levels of violence almost immediately.