During Hanukkah 2008, Israel attacked Gaza in Operation Cast Lead.
Now it is eating the bitter fruit of that operation, which was the
turning point in the attitude of the world and the region toward Israel
and its belligerent and violent policies. The shock waves take time to
arrive, but now they are coming, and they are big. Every day has new
dangers. Some are the result of Israel's actions, its aggression, its
euphoria, its arrogance and carelessness. The outcome: The only two
countries that ever accepted it in the region, Turkey and Egypt, are
burning their relations with Israel. The first was via a government
decision, the second that of an angry mob.
During that fateful Hanukkah, the Israel
Defense Forces attacked Gaza and its defenseless population. Israelis
did not see that war on their televisions as people saw it in Istanbul
and Cairo. Here they made do with an army of pundits who reported
fighting in Gaza when there was almost none. Here they hid from us most
of the horrific pictures that were broadcast elsewhere in the world -
including, of course, Istanbul and Cairo. At the time, they only counted
the numbers of the (many) Palestinian dead and the numbers of the
(few) Israelis, and therefore the operation was seen as a colossal
military, diplomatic and even moral success.
But it was a resounding failure. What is happening now in Egypt and
Turkey must be added to the balance of Operation Cast Lead. Not that
it's all because of Cast Lead. Hatred for Israel flared before it, but
Cast Lead was the turning point when a good deal of the world reversed
its attitude toward Israel.