Sat Jan 3rd, 2009 at 04:50:00 PM EST
IDF troops are moving into Gaza, supported by artillery and air strikes. Unless Hamas quickly collapses, which seems unlikely, this stage of the operation by the Israeli military will inevitably bring more casualties among Palestinian civilians, radicalize public opinion in the Arab world, and make prospects of peace in the Middle East even more problematic. There is definitely a legitimate reason for Israel to make sure its southern cities and towns are protected from missiles. The question is if that will be the case in the long run. Diplomacy clearly failed in its efforts to work out a common set of goals that would bring all the parties together, and most recently to even renew the cease fire agreement between Israel and Hamas, which triggered the current conflict. Perhaps, the world was too busy trying to figure out its way out of the economic crisis, to pay much attention to that perennial hotspot?