Indeed, Hamas' actions set back the cause of Israeli moderates. And Israel's actions set back the cause of Palestinian moderates. More salient to those of us in the United States, Obama's actions hurt both.
What lies behind this latest round of attacks and counter-attacks? Hard to say why Hamas decided to take on Israel's leadership on the cusp of a national election when anything short of unremitting Israeli retaliation would undermine Netanyahu's "security first" campaign platform.