Israel may have reached a deterrent moment in its war in Gaza against Iranian-backed Hamas. I spoke with a senior Arab diplomat last night. He told me that the Arab street is afraid that "the Jews have gone crazy."
Yes, it's true. He noted, "Israel has begun to restore its deterrence" in the Arab world. "Hamas miscalculated," he added. They had thought Israel would not attack, but would merely accede to tougher Hamas demands for an improved "Tahdiya," their version of a temporary calm.
This is perhaps one of the more optimistic assessments I have heard from Arab colleagues recently. There is supporting documentation. Hizbullah's immediate public denial yesterday of the Katusha rocket attack from Southern Lebanon against Israel's North and the reports on Lebanese TV of convoys of Lebanese (read: Hizbullah) vehicles moving north in expectation of a major Israeli reprisal strengthens this sense.
So while the world is screaming that Israel overdid it, Hamas replies "Hey, that's what it took to get our attention--we thought we could bully them because they were wimps, but we were wrong!"