The Democratic leadership’s strident support for the ongoing Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip underscores how the Democrats suffer from the same illusions as the outgoing Republican administration: that placing an Arab territory under debilitating sanctions that punish the population as a whole, bombarding heavily populated civilian areas — resulting in widespread casualties among innocent people — and invading and occupying territories with a long history of resistance to outsiders will somehow lead to greater moderation from those afflicted. 

The reality is that Israel’s war against Hamas and the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip is no more likely to result in more rational and compromising positions from the Palestinian side than the firing of rockets by Hamas into Israel will lead to more rational and compromising positions from the Israelis. 

As a result, the hard-line militaristic position of the Democratic Party does not bode well for a more enlightened Middle East policy after eight disastrous years under President George W. Bush. 

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