Instead, I try to look at the actors, and see if there's anything interesting to say about them. One obvious thing that's happening is the major uptick in hatred towards Israel. And so, I asked myself earlier this morning while perusing the various hate-dripping depictions of "Israel's brutal attack on Hamas" (Chris McGreal), isn't it possible that the hatred reflects the weakness of the haters? Is it possible they expect Israel is achieving some of its goals? That at the end of all this, there won't be rockets raining down on Israeli civilians? Hamas will be weaker, not stronger?
A few months ago I proposed three criteria by which to measure Israel's long-term sucesses:
1. Are there more Jews in Israel than there were the previous year?Well, just the other day we slipped out of 2008, a year in which the number of Jews in Israel grew, the cultural creativity grew, and even the economy suffered less than in many countries including some of the richest. You need to retain a sense of perspective, and if you do you'll have to admit the over-arching trajectory is rather good.
2. Is Jewish cultural (or religious) creativity as strong as it was last year, or perhaps even stronger?
3. Is Israel's economy, and with it the condition of the Israelis, better than it was last year?
In any year where the answer to any one of these questions is positive, we're doing alright...
Perhaps this is what has the antisemites so desperate?