While I fully support the Israeli military fighting back against Hamas in Gaza and I further agree with many of the citizens of the country in that it is about time, I do find the timing interesting.
Israel has endured many years and thousands of bombs and have seldom fought back in a strong and convincing way. Some of this is restraint, the targets in Gaza are often in civilian areas, and I believe Israel has not wanted to kill innocent civilians.
There also is the likelihood that they have bowed to pressure from the United States and George Bush and not retaliated. It has appeared that Bush has asked them over the years to remain in a defensive position to prevent tensions in the Middle East from boiling over. I do not agree with this position. I believe Israel has had the right to defend themselves and the rest of the Middle East be damned.
Now though, Israel has decided to put on a major offensive and appears ready to settle in for a long and punitive war. I think there is a reason why they are doing it now, Barack Obama.
Pro-Israel George Bush is leaving office and being replaced by a Barack Obama who has shown not only a pro-Islamic side but has appeared to be a bit anti-Semitic. I think Israel views this as their last chance to retaliate against Hamas with the full support of the US.
To date, Bush has come out in strong support of Israel in the current conflict and has verbally attacked Hamas for the rocket attacks. It is likely that Israel realizes it faces a far lonelier future in less than a month.
There's an old saying here in the Midwest, 'make hay while the sun shines'. This is appropriate now in that Israel is likely to see the sun set on their long standing strong ties with the US.