The current war in Gaza recalls the Israeli bulldozers smashing Arafat’s compound in Ramallah during the intifada. While condemned widely, Arafat never regained power. And in case one forgot, the terrorist attacks against Israel largely disappeared. Israel’s economy rebounded, tourists returned (I have made two trips there since), and the Palestinians remain in squalor- the world’s welfare state.

Hamas has much less world wide support than Arafat, in spite of a few camera ready venomous anti-Semitic tirades. Even the neighboring states have condemned Hamas. Arafat seemed be able to declare victory after a humiliating defeat; Hamas tries, but is much clumsier about it.

Like Arafat, Hamas went too far and made it impossible for any but the most strident foes of Israel to support their terrorist aims.