• “The Israeli decision to kill Ahmed Jabari was total insanity. Jabari was behind enforcing all of the recent ceasefire agreements. He sent his troops out to stop the rockets and was prepared to reach a long term ceasefire. Jabari was also the main interlocutor of the Egyptian intelligence service in reaching ceasefire understandings. Now who are they supposed to talk to? . . . Now the government and people of Israel will face a massive barrage of rockets and they bought the entrance card to Cast Lead II. God help us all. . . .”

—Gershom Baskin, Jerusalem Post columnist, on Facebook


• “Israel demanded of Hamas that it observe the truce in the south and enforce it on the multiplicity of armed organizations in the Gaza Strip. The man responsible for carrying out this policy was Ahmed Jabari. . . . The assassination of Jabari will go down in history as another showy military action initiated by an outgoing government on the eve of an election.”
—Aluf Benn, Ha’aretz editor-in-chief
• “[E]veryone was aware that Israel was planning to carry out the assassination of leaders of Hamas. It was even published in the Israeli press that Israel . . . would start assassinations and bombing on Hamas movement leaders, governmental officials, and its headquarters . . . All analysts predicted that the Israeli right-wing government, which announced new elections in Israel on January 22, 2013, would carry out an operation against Hamas in order to ensure the re-election of the right wing parties in Israel. . . . Now, after . . .  days of violence and counter-violence . . .  we find that the leaders of the resistance in Gaza are in a better situation than the leaders in Israel, where there were many who were skeptical of the action, while the Hamas government acts of resistance . . . contribute to increasing the popularity of Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank.”
—Ali Abu Shahla, Israel-Palestine Journal
• “To be clear, Hamas is using human shields. Even the most ardent peace advocate does not doubt that — whatever the grievances of the Naqba and occupation — Hamas has been engaging in terrorism of the most brazen sort, which must be stopped. This brazenness is earning Israel something unusual: the near universal, if provisional, sympathy of Western nations. There can be no excuse, none, for firing hundreds of rockets into Israeli cities, aiming to kill Israelis at random, betraying a totalitarian political imagination in which the people here become mere categories (‘Zionists,’ ‘occupiers’), and categories have become candidates for elimination. . . .  But while 90 percent of Israelis support the operation, 70 percent oppose invasion, and not just because they fear the losses. In a way, they are intuitively more afraid of the losses they will inflict — and for good reason.”
—Bernard Avishai, Daily Beast
• “The Israelis are definitely sending a message to Iran in the war in Gaza.”
—Geneive Abdo, United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
• “I don’t believe this is an indication that Israel is about to strike Iran, but it’s certainly part of the preparation.”
—David Wurmser, former Mideast advisor to Dick Cheney
• “At home [in Israel], elections are looming, and the major focus of the emerging campaign, till last week, was the domestic social and economic crisis — not foreign policy. With that as the central issue, the pro-corporate, anti-poor-people, anti-middle-class policies of the Netanyahu government were vulnerable. A new Gaza War would shift the conversation and strengthen a government proclaiming ‘self-defensive war.’ . . . Meanwhile, President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority was preparing to ask the U.N. General Assembly to recognize Palestine as a state with ‘observer’ status, not full membership. . . . Moreover, Abbas had just publicly renounced the ‘right’ of millions of Palestinian refugees to ‘return’ within Israel itself, thereby easing one deep fear many Israelis hold about the possibility of a two-state peace. Instead of encouraging this step toward peace, Netanyahu pooh-poohed it. . . . In this atmosphere, a long-term truce with Hamas, the de facto government of Gaza, would make the achievement of a two-state peace much more likely. But the Netanyahu government does not want that. It prefers the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the subjugation of Gaza.”
—Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Huffington Post
• “What has been true for 45 years remains true today: the fate of Gaza and the West Bank will not be determined either by Israeli military action or by terrorism. . . . Rockets can sow fear and suffering inside Israel, but they won’t destroy Israel, won’t buy Hamas international legitimacy, and can’t force Israel to end the occupation or even lift the Gaza blockade. Indeed, Hamas’ current actions are rallying Israelis from across the political spectrum in support of the Israeli government and its policies — even many Israelis who are deeply supportive of peace and oppose the Gaza blockade and settlements. . . . Likewise, Israel’s military offensive against Gaza . . . cannot destroy Hamas, won’t stop rockets from falling in the future, and will, by killing and injuring many civilians and destroying civilian infrastructure, build even greater hatred of Israel among Gazans and stoke anti-Israel sentiment around the world. Similarly, the Israeli and international policy of trying to pressure Hamas by squeezing the people of Gaza has failed to oust the party from power or stop rocket fire from Gaza into Israel. Rather, it has created a situation in Gaza that has fed harsh criticism of Israel throughout the world and has been seen by many as a legitimate basis for Hamas attacks. . . . The international community, led by the U.S., must provide the leadership for both sides to step back from the brink, sooner rather than later, and to launch a political process that will prevent another round of Gaza-Israel violence in the future.”
—Americans for Peace Now