In the face of the onslaught, however, the Israeli government has shown amazing restraint. Though Israeli aircraft have attacked targets in Gaza, and Benjamin Netanyahu has talked tough, the response has in fact been far less severe than in the past. And far less than many Israeli voters demand.
The Israeli government is clearly keen to avoid derailing the events in the rest of the Middle East. Defence Minister Ehud Barak has even said as much. For governments that are always quick to criticise Israeli actions — which now, sadly, includes the Cameron administration — this is an occasion to express sympathy with, and understanding of, Israel's situation and its show of restraint. Not necessarily publicly, but in private messages.