I'm a Jew and by and large a supporter of the State of Israel, but allow me to express some reservations and differences of opinion with those stated here. Of course, that is only natural for our people. "Two Jews, three opinions" as always.
A little over 4 months ago, John McCain said "in the 21st century, nations don't invade other nations." Of course, he was speaking about South Ossetia, a nation with a proud history dating back almost two years. But that was an invasion by Russia and was a BAD invasion. This, of course, is a GOOD invasion and the world should if not actively support it at least not interfere.
What makes it a GOOD invasion? It is virtually guaranteed to help the Labor Party and the Kadima coalition in the upcoming elections. In a poll released just before the invasion, Labor was expected to lose 7 of their 18 Knesset seats, while Netanyahu's Likud party was expected to gain 17 seats. Barak has shown that he is not "soft" on Hamas now, hasn't he?
The Kadima or "peace" party has suffered a lack of confidence since Olmert had to step down because of that corruption stuff. The invasion is expected to help in the polls. It's not like the timing is suspect, is it?
What exactly does Israel hope to gain from the attacks? An end to Hamas? Not going to happen, any more than Israel was able to destroy Hezbollah by invading Lebanon. Let me peer into the future and tell you that what will happen is that there will be a loss of life, some key Hamas leaders may be killed, eventually a six month or one year cease-fire will be signed that will, of course, be violated, resulting in an Israeli response....repeat as needed.
For those of you with check lists, you can put a mark in the box that says "Make new martyrs."
Let me go on record as saying that nothing of lasting good will come of this. Gaza is densely populated, correct, by people living in abject poverty with no future. Is it any wonder that they hate Israel? Yes, I know that they hated Israel before, but in more than 14 years since the Olso Accords there has been zero progress toward a lasting peace. There is blame enough to go around.
Fool that I am, I once thought after the deaths of Arafat and Sharon, the passing of the Old Guard so to speak, peace might be possible. I guess that I am an optimist. "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."
As for ONLY 50 civilian casualties being an acceptable level, you do realize that some of the dead you are talking about were children? Obviously, someone is reading a different Talmud than the one that I read, that teaches that all life is sacred. "Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world."