Tuesday, 30 December 2008

And so it is war...

The Israeli public has rarely been a dutiful amen chorus for its political leaders, to say the least. Israel’s hyper-active democracy involves frequent demonstrations attacking the government of the day from the left and the right. Public opinion led to commissions of inquiry into the Yom Kippur War of 1973, and more recently, the 2006 Second Lebanon War. Twenty-five years ago massive public protests against government policy during the First Lebanon War led to the removal of Defence Minister Ariel Sharon.

All of this makes the overwhelming public support for this campaign against Hamas in Gaza all the more notable. A few days before the attack began, the left-wing Meretz Party – unwaveringly committed to a negotiated two-state deal with the Palestinians – called for military action against Hamas.

Israel has had enough.