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.
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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.
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