There's no denying that Palestinians would be in a much better position now if Hamas had responded differently to Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. Anyone with genuine sympathy for Palestinian national aspirations--not to mention the actual human beings living in Gaza--should be able to acknowledge honestly that what Hamas did there was grotesque and inexcusable. That's the elephant in the middle of the room (one of many, perhaps) for those who focus only on Israel's failings, and it explains why many Americans aren't persuaded by attempts to scapegoat Israel. We saw Israel withdraw, and we saw how Hamas chose to respond. We're not fooled by the nonsense about the rocket fire being a response the blockade. The fact is, it was the other way around, and Hamas squandered a genuinely hopeful moment for everyone, with sickening disregard for the people of Gaza. Of course, failings on the Palestinian side are no excuse for Israel's shameful and ugly pro-settlement policy. But critics of Israel who refuse to admit how seriously Hamas's actions have undermined the Palestinian position are just plain hard to take seriously. Openly admit Hamas's culpability, and then serious critics of Israeli policies can take you seriously.
UN: Satellite images show Temple of Bel in Syria 'destroyed' (AP)
from the article: LIVE BLOG: Obama visits Israel, day two