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ANALYSIS / U.S. using Goldstone report to punish Netanyahu

Operation Cast Lead in Gaza was perceived in Israel as a shining victory. Rocket fire from Gaza was brought to a halt almost completely. The Israel Defense Forces emerged from its failure during the Second Lebanon War and deployed ground forces with few casualties. "The world" let the operation continue and did not impose a cease-fire. A wonderful war.

Ten months later, it seems the victory was a Pyrrhic one. Israel did not realize that the rules have changed with Barack Obama’s election as U.S. president. Prime minister Ehud Olmert timed Cast Lead to take place during the twilight period between the outgoing and incoming U.S. administrations, and rightly assumed that the incumbent, George W. Bush, would fully back Israel. However, in contrast to the Lebanon war of 2006, which ended with a cease-fire, the Gaza campaign continues being fought – in the diplomatic arena and in public opinion – and Israel must cope with its consequences in a less-friendly Obama era.

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