Israel sees no likelihood of ending the fighting in the coming days. Politicians spoke out against an immediate ceasefire – in line with the vast majority of the media and public opinion – provoking fury among Israeli-Arab MPs. Likud deputy Youval Steinitz likened the Israeli stance to that of the US and UK in the so-called war on terrorism: “I never saw the Americans or Brits postpone their activities in Afghanistan or Iraq and there also sometimes there were very heavy civilian casualties.”
And despite international outrage over the attack in Qana which killed 54 civilians, including 37 children, the predominant feeling on the streets of Jerusalem is that this conflict is about the survival of Israel. One woman said: The Israelis left Lebanon, they returned the territories… each time they took step after step. They thought they were getting closer to the end but ended up back where they started. They were threatened again, responded and were treated as the aggressors. It’s a crazy situation.”
Many Jewish commentators see the war as the most just since Israel was founded in 1948 and opinion polls have also shown overwhelming support.