You are President of the United States. In border cities like Detroit, Seattle, San Diego and El Paso, there is a daily barrage of mortars and rockets fired indiscriminately into these urban areas. You have negotiated truces only to see the rocket attacks increase before the ink is dry. Your citizens live in constant fear as the attacks come at all hours and they have as little as 15 seconds to seek shelter. The aggressors don't care who gets killed or what is attacked - a school, hospital, women, children, elderly - it does not matter. The more casualties and fear the better.
What would you do?
This is exactly the situation Israel has faced for over 6 years! Even after all military personnel and citizens were forcibly removed from Gaza - ending the "occupation" and supposedly the largest grievance against Israel. The squatters in Gaza decided to elect Hamas whose campaign promise was the destruction of Israel at any cost. What followed was an ever increasing volley of attacks, becoming more sophisticated as time passed.
Over 5,500 rocket and mortar attacks have occurred during the last seven years. 3,000 attacks have have taken place in 2008 - in spite of a ceasefire. With the level of violence continually escalating, and an enemy that preaches your destruction 24/7 from halls of authority, mosques and even on children's programming, you finally must realize that war is the only answer.
Nobody likes war. But the only way to peace is the complete annihilation of the threat. Hamas and the various factions in Gaza only chance of success is draw Israel into a bloody PR nightmare. Hamas cannot win militarily - especially if Israel takes the gloves off. Their only hope is to win the battle of world opinion. That is why you see the useful idiots in the western press and all of the Middle East talking heads using words like "massacre" and "disproportionate force" when it is obvious the IDF has gone out of its way to avoid civilian casualties. Hamas is counting on civilian casualties - even if they have to manufacture them.
For the sake of the handful of innocent Gaza residents who truly desire peace and prosperity, may the war be quick and decisive.