At the end of weeks of fighting in Gaza, international condemnation for Israel’s conduct has been increasingly harsh with each passing day. With the toll of Palestinian casualties rising to nearly two thousand at press time, and with Israeli fatalities still only several dozen and most of them soldiers, the Jewish state faces fresh opprobrium from the press as well as even senior figures in the Obama administration as combat in the densely populated strip yields new horrors.
But Israel’s resolve remains remarkably cemented, its people self-assured, as I observed personally during the opening weeks of the fighting. In virtually every other conflict in which Israel has been engaged in the decades since it came into possession of the West Bank and Gaza as a result of the Six Day War, public opinion has faltered. This stands as an exception. A country whose politics are generally characterized by bitter ideological divisions and whose elections have almost never yielded a majority to any party suddenly finds itself more united now than at any point in recent memory.