Now we will begin to find out whether Obama in his second term can deliver anything  different from what Mitt Romney or George W. Bush would deliver. Israel’s prime minister Netanyahu has begun another miniwar against a largely defenseless people in  Gaza. Israel is a practiced master of  this — send an armored personal carrier across the border, provoke a response, assassinate a Palestinian leader, wait for the reaction, use its high-tech military to kill a few dozen or a few hundred Palestinians. Of course it’s done with American weapons, provided free of charge by American taxpayers. And if the Palestinians or Arab states complain to the UN, Washington will “have Israel’s back.” Jeremiah Haber precisely describes the process here:

I spoke with an expert on the Israeli military shortly after “Operation Cast Lead,” and when I told him that many argued that the operation was a reaction to Hamas rocket-fire, he laughed. He said that Hamas rocket-fire was deliberately provoked when Israel broke the cease-fire so that Israel could do a little “spring cleaning,” deplete Hamas’s arsenal of weapons. He told me that this happens every few years, and that I should expect it to happen in another few years. Israel will assassinate a Hamas leader, Hamas will have to respond (wouldn’t Israel, under those circumstances?) and Israel will perform a “clean up” operation. If Hamas is smart and doesn’t play into Israel’s hands, then Israel will also come out ahead, because it will be weakened in the eyes of the Palestinian public. It’s win-win for Israel. That’s what having control means.

MJ Rosenberg tweets that one strategic goal of the attack, (which Obama will inevitably support, or at least fail to criticize) is to torpedo possible American negotiations with Iran. So it’s a three-fer: kill a lot Palestinians and show them who’s boss; keep the Iranian pot boiling; and illuminate Obama’s continued deference to the Israel lobby. Over to you, Mr. President.