, in a typically (although now infrequent) well-written and thoughtful post, states the following:
The question What the Gazans think they're doing, what they possibly hope to achieve by their actions, isn't easy to answer, and I don't pretend to know. It certainly doesn't look like anything rational. It's not as if anything they might throw at us will make us go away.
Funny, for all that typical thoughtfulness, I can't remember a time when I disagreed more with one of his posts. Here is what the Gazans thought they were doing:
1. Testing the post Arab-spring waters, and--no surprise--the waters were fine. To give only one example, Hamas et al had important Arab leaders visiting them during Operation Shale Stones/Pillar of Defense.
2. Testing/showing off the improvements to their arsenal--they can now hit Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
3. Shoring-up their Jihadist/resistance credentials. Leftists and other Arabs and Muslims won't accuse them of doing the Zionist entity's bidding by restraining Islamic Jihad for a while. They aren't going to sell out the Ummah, not them. Resistance forever.
4. Demonstrating that their capacity to disrupt Israeli life isn't going away. Isn't that the usual way terrorism works?
It seems to me that this was all a brilliant success. They got back the previous cease-fire with essentially no cease-reload while only suffering something like one tenth the casualties they suffered during Operation Oil Stain/Cast Lead.
What about Israeli achievements? Yes, they honed their most-moral-army shtick. So what, the usual suspects were as glib as ever with the war-crimes accusations. Yes, the star Hamas weapon in this last round had no defensive value. And yes, the star Israeli weapon had no offensive value. Is there some kind of moral victory there? It will be very small comfort if (when?) Hamas follows this success with the next one, G-d forbid.