Israel is fully justified in its recent actions against Hamas and its extremist Muslim leadership, who think that it is a positive thing to bring shock and awe onto the very people that it purports to be standing up for.
In their sick and twisted world every death ends in martyrdom, whether the individual chooses it or not.
The Jewish State can’t negotiate with these people as Hamas doesn’t even recognise that Judaism, let alone the State of Israel has any place on the Planet, and with the backing of the Holocaust Denier President Mahmūd Ahmadinejād of Iran Hamas feels strong enough to take on a full-scale war against Israel and hang the cost to the Palestinians.
Fatah are to blame for this, pure and simple.
Successive leaders of the secular and, in most cases progressive wings of the PLO, soaked in cash from Arab countries feeling guilty for how they betrayed Palestine in 1948 have indulged in petty politicking, corruption and then arrogantly expected the Palestinian people to be grateful to them as they drove around in Mercedes cars whilst doing nothing about the crumbling infrastructure that the Palestinian Authority inherited from Israel.
Money was never a problem for Fatah as they received huge subsidies from all over the world including £500 million from the EU alone post Oslo.
But the appalling conditions in Gaza were never addressed.
Step in Hamas who, with Iranian money set up the schools, hospitals and other Public Services that were so desperately needed.
Hence Hamas had a free hand to spread its poisonous Islamic extremism amongst a grateful community, using intimidation to make Mosque attendance virtually a condition of receiving aid and using the pulpit and Mosque schools as conduits to recruit foot soldiers to carry out terrorist acts and man the rocket launchers.
In some respects this situation gives Israel an historic opportunity to right some wrongs from the past, but this will only become possible if they are able to decapitate the Hamas leadership, occupy Gaza (a UN solution would be preferable, but this will never happen), and then institute a massive reconstruction programme, allied to a real push towards the eventual two state solution by weaning the Palestinians away from extremism via jobs and prosperity.
Israel must be allowed to finish the job, but in the ensuing period the West MUST hold the Israelis to account regarding confidence building measures such as the deconstruction of the security wall, restoring full services to the PA, and a sensible brokering of agreements over land on the West Bank.
We are where we are and sometimes pragmatism, however distasteful is the only way forward but this tragedy once again puts into focus how appallingly the Palestinians have been treated by the Arab States, the West, Israel and most of all by the decadent and inertia riddled leadership of the Fatah dominated PLO.