The trouble with Israel and Russia is not that their efforts will backfire, it's that they will likely achieve the exact opposite of their goals -- while both come off looking like unhinged bullies in the process.
The Obama administration's emphasis on "talk" with Hamas will bring a significant moral shift in U.S. policy -- but it will not do away with some of the core grievances vis-a-vis U.S.-Israel relations.
Even if the guns fall silent the charges and counter-charges of violations of international law will continue. Already the airwaves are full of talk that Israel's "disproportionate" response is a violation of international law.
Why is it that there is such widespread acceptance, beginning with the apologetic arguments of George Bush, that whatever Israel does is always justified as necessary to the survival of the Jewish state?