The principal reason for the existence of all government is to confer safety to its citizens. If the government of Israel did not respond to the escalating danger from Hamas, it would be failing in its most basic reason for being.
In November 2012 Mohammed Morsi's Egypt was a vocal supporter of Hamas. Now, less than 20 months later, Egypt's current leadership classifies Hamas as a terrorist organization that ought to be wiped off the face of the Earth.
Bloodshed can produce more bloodshed and retribution, but if seized properly, it can also increase the pressure on the international community to take a second look at a sustainable and effective plan for deescalation.
How many people have to die before the United States, The U.N., and the entire International Community has the moral courage to step in and says enough is enough?
In the morally skewed universe that the Times editorial board evidently inhabits and eagerly promulgates, Hamas intends to "terrorize" Israeli citizens while Israel merely intends to accomplish military objectives by dropping thousands of tons of bombs on Palestinian people in Gaza.
Hamas is a murderous terror regime which is dedicated to the destruction of Israel, and even worse - cruelly exploits the desperation of its own people, the Palestinians that it's supposed to lead and protect.
Border clashes are suddenly breaking out making immigration reform and Middle East peace now even less likely. Shrum and Lowry debate origins and solutions and a) whether the downing of MH17 will force Putin to choose between partner or pariah; and b) how Elizabeth Warren became the new Thor.
You can never achieve a lasting peace if a major player in the conflict is excluded from the process. If Netanyahu will not muster the courage for a creative long-term strategy, the next escalation with Hamas is only a matter of time.
In Jerusalem, where the Iron Dome has received $720 million in American money since 2011 and will likely draw another $350 million in 2015, some Orthodox Jews dance in the streets. Sirens are celebrated. It's a peculiar reaction to the shrill warning of rockets arriving from Gaza.
Israel's traditionally pragmatic and more realistic military and security establishment must now be telling Netanyahu what a mess this operation will become if he persists with it.
The Palestinians of Gaza are guilty of that new post-Cold War misdemeanor: voting while Muslim. The punishment for this crime has been eight years of economic hardship, international isolation, and periodic Israeli bombardments.
At a time when hundreds of rockets are fired by Hamas and Islamic Jihad from Gaza against Israel -- threatening population centers, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv -- criticizing Israel's occupation of the West Bank would seem inappropriate at best. Many Israelis justify the continuing occupation in light of the intensifying violence. They argue that Israel cannot allow the West Bank to become under any circumstances like Gaza -- a staging ground for rocket attacks that could cause unimaginable death and destruction. The repeated acts of violence emanating from Gaza and the relative calm in the occupied West Bank are used to "validate" this claim. In reality, the occupation itself is the root cause behind the unending Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the current deadly flare-up between Israel and Hamas.
When the family of kidnapped and lynched Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir recently grieved together with the family of abducted and murdered Israeli teen Naftali Fraenkel, we were reminded that the loss of a child is both painful and universal.
With the security barrier and long-term closures of the West Bank, and the effective embargo of Gaza, Palestinians seem increasingly foreign to Israelis. But Palestinians are among the most democratically minded populations in the region. If genuine democracy has any chance in the Arab world, it should be with the Palestinians.
Calls for an immediate ceasefire notwithstanding, Israel will press on with its bombing in Gaza in the hope that it can achieve a level of deterrence with Hamas that will last far longer than the 18 months that came after its November 2012 air operation.
Beginnings matter. Questions about culpability and responsibility, about the narrow cynicism that defines so much of life in the Gaza Strip, sequence and motive -- they all go to beginnings.