So, it appears that Israel may have to fix last year’s mistake with an “invasion” of the Gaza strip. (This is roughly comparable in geographic and logistics scope to an invasion of Rhode Island by the Massachusetts state police, hence the quotation marks.)
Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, said he had told the Israeli army “to prepare for a broad and ongoing military operation to strike the terrorist leaders and all those involved”.
He said: “It should be clear. There will be immunity for no one.”
To be clear last year’s mistake wasn’t Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Removing soldiers and settlers from a strategically unimportant piece of land, leaving the Palestinians to fend for themselves (which they are clearly incapable of on a community wide scale) was the right move. This is doubly true given that Israel clearly has the capacity to take back even firmer control any time it likes and the Palestinian escalation of violence clearly gives Israel the political cover to do so. No, the mistake was and continues to be negotiating as though the Palestinians are a victorious army and not the perpetual losers of this conflict. Lasting peace will require lots of things, but one of the most important is going to be the realization by Palestinians and Israelis that any Israeli concessions are gifts granted by a magnanimous victor and not spoils won in a Palestinian victory. Whether Palestinians or Israelis will get that message and which group will get it first remains to be seen.