Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post): "But it’s not clear at this stage whether there is any Palestinian party that would be able to fill the vacuum in the aftermath of the downfall of the Hamas government."
Bradley Burston (Ha’aretz): "Who speaks for the Gazans? Whose is the voice for a million and a half of the most victimized people on the face of our earth, serially colonized, exploited, deprived of work, deprived of food, deprived of basic freedoms, deprived, decade after degenerating decade, of any semblance of a future? The warfare this week has demonstrated that, rather than coming to the Gazans’ aid, the supposed allies of the people of the Strip have rendered Gazans more vulnerable than ever to military attack, to misrule, and to a world community less likely than ever to seek their rescue."
Akiva Eldar (Ha’aretz): "There is no exit from the unnecessary entanglement in the south other than an immediate renewal of the cease-fire with Hamas and adherence to all its criteria, including lifting the extended blockade of the Strip. Fear of an escalation could encourage external actors like Egypt and Turkey to contribute their part to the cease-fire’s implementation."
Yossi Klein Halevi (The New Republic): "The future of the West Bank may well be resolved in Gaza. If the international community forces the IDF to end the operation before the missile threat against southern Israel is resolved, Israelis will inevitably conclude that, even when we withdraw to the 1967 borders, as we did on the Gaza front in 2005, the international community will not allow us to protect ourselves. And the likelihood then of convincing a majority of Israelis to withdraw from the West Bank–within easy rocket distance from our major population centers–will be close to non-existent. Ultimately, then, the creation of an independent Palestine depends on neutralizing Hamas."
David Horovitz (Jerusalem Post): "Iran is inspiring, funding, arming and training Hamas. Iran is avowedly committed to Israel’s destruction, and regards Hamas as a tool toward this goal. The same Iran, via an emboldened Hizbullah, is now most of the way to achieving proxy control not merely of southern Lebanon, but all of Lebanon. The same Iran, already armed with missiles that can reach Israel, is extending its missile range to Europe and, it hopes, ultimately to North America. The same Iran is openly challenging not just the Middle East order but the world order, with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad personifying that challenge, thoroughly backed by the entire Teheran regime. And that same Iran is moving ever closer to the nuclear capability it intends to use in the service of its goals. The long-term deterrence of Hamas’s capacity to threaten Israel would represent the long-term deterrence of one aspect of Iran’s rapacious and far-reaching power drive. That’s an outcome of Operation ‘Cast Lead’ that at least part of the watching world might appreciate – if Israel can manage, first, to explain it clearly, and then to achieve it."
Michael Oren (The New Republic): "To what degree will the international community accept a zero-tolerance approach to rocket attacks against Israel, and, more crucially, will the incoming Obama administration publicly endorse that stance? These and other questions might be answered in the coming days if Israel, withstanding the media backlash, dares to ask them."
Marty Peretz (The New Republic): "Frankly, I am up to my gullet with this reflex criticism of Israel as going beyond proportionality in its responses to war waged against its population with the undisguised intention of putting an end to the political expression of the Jewish nation."
Shmuel Rosner (Jerusalem Post): "And yes, eliminating Hamas’s rule in Gaza is still a (justifiably) desirable final outcome for both Israel, the U.S., and, for that matter, the Fatah-ruled Palestinian Authority. But this will be a long-term goal–‘long term’ in the sense that no one yet knows when and if ever it will be achieved. What is relatively clear is that Israel doesn’t aim to achieve it now. The 2008 Gaza war is the war of the possible. When Hamas is ready to strike a deal that will end both the operation and ‘improve the security reality of’ Israel’s ‘southern residents,’ the war will be over."
Yossi Verter (Ha’aretz): "Ehud Barak is the story here. The man who, until yesterday, had to remind the Israeli voter of his existence with self-ridicule on billboards and satirical shows is returning to the political ring with force. In the coming days, weeks maybe, Barak will stand in the center of the public’s attention. For better or worse, he’s in his element."