Much more to be said about this, but for now I’d just add this to Cliff’s observation that the question is whether Israel will “demonstrate clearly that terrorism is a dead end – figuratively and literally — for those who employ it, sponsor it and support it”: Will Israel demonstrate that terrorism is a loser for those who vote for it?
For myself, I don’t think terrorism is a dead-end: It’s been a very successful strategy for Hezbollah and Hamas: the more atrocities they commit, the more the Europeans and factions of our State Department and our intelligence community want to negotiate with them — just as they want to embrace the Muslim Brotherhood, which ostensibly has given up terrorism but in actuality continues to preach it.
As for demonstrating that it is a dead-end, I suppose that depends on whom the demonstration is intended for. Hamas, for example, exists to be a terrorist organization. They are incorrigible, and there has already been enough demonstration for them that their methods work.
The question is whether the Palestinian people are educable. Which brings me back to the first point: the Palestinians voted to put in power — i.e., vest with the power of a quasi-sovereign government — a terrorist organization which thinks legitimate governing consists of bringing about the annihilation of its sovereign neighbor and, meantime, targeting the said neighbor’s civilian population with bombing attacks. When you do that, you make yourself a target.
There are worse things than war — like Hamas. They have to be defeated, just like al Qaeda had to be defeated in Iraq. If Israel pulls up short of that — or is pressured into pulling up short of that — it just throws another life-line to Hamas jihadists, who will gather themselves for the next inevitable round of savagery.