There is no question Israel bombings and its land invasion has destroyed numerous sites where Hamas launched rocket attacks, but there is growing evidence it has been a political disaster of the first order. Throughout the West Bank, Palestinians are rallying in anger against the bombing of schools in Gaza and the killing of innocent men, women and children. Many people now wear signs indicating, “we are all Hamas now” in order to protest their fury at what has happened in Gaza. President Abbas is now even in a more difficult position since he continues to fight for an independent Palestine, but he has little to show for his fight except minimal gains. Pictures show little girls wearing a Hamas banner around their head and carrying dolls whose bodies have been smeared with red to show alliance with the children of Gaza.
Bassem Khoury, president of the Palestinian Federation of Industries put it bluntly but accurately: “This is unbelievable. How will this help Israelis? It only generates recruits for Hamas.” It would have been wiser for Israel to have launched air attacks and then used its troops to deal with destroying tunnels leading into Gaza.
An ongoing problem for Israel leaders is believing that George Bush policies are a model of how to interact with the Arab world. Hopefully, Barack Obama will focus Israel on winning the propoganda battle for the minds of Arabs.