The Gaza operation underscored significant changes in attitudes around Jews. Israeli Arabs were not afraid to riot in response to a war abroad. Even Livni now accepts the need to transfer the fifth column to its own area.

Though the world responded in its usual anti-Semitic manner and applied pressure to end the violence only when Israel took action against it, so far the condemnations have been remarkably mild—and would have been still milder had Israel paid no attention to them. Instead, sensitive Jews listen to countries like Russia, which bombed Chechen and Georgian towns while rejecting any criticism, but lashed out against Israel.

The world’s mild response doesn’t indicate that it accepts Israel’s right to defense. Nor is the world concerned about rising Islamic militancy (Hezbollah is well received in European capitals). Rather, the political establishments of European and Arab countries alike oppose Hamas because it is a true revolutionary movement. Unlike various putschists and Latin-American partisans, Hamas seeks to bring a real change: an honest government based on non-Western principles. Unlike European parties which buy their way to power with media ads and don’t differ from each other in practice, Hamas is genuinely different—and popular. Now, one might not like the Taliban-style Palestinian leaders, but by any moral gauge they stand head and shoulders above corrupt European politicians and Fatah gangsters.

Egypt is isolated in the Arab world for its all-out collusion with Israel against Hamas. Mubarak’s government leans to Israel because Hosni needs American approval to pass the reins to his son Gamal, suppress the Muslim Brotherhood, and prevent democratic elections which would bring the Islamist group to power.

The two-state solution is increasingly recognized as obsolete. World leaders realize that Hamas cannot be eradicated. If the Egyptian government failed to extirpate the Muslim Brotherhood with all kinds of unseemly measures, Israel has still fewer chances with its offshoot Hamas. Dependent on Iran and true to Muslim values, Hamas will neither settle with Israel any time soon, nor allow Fatah to do so. Since Bush Sr., and especially Clinton, the American political bureaucracy has dispensed with Carteresque ideas of Palestinian freedom-fighters and increasingly sees them as vile terrorists, incapable of diplomacy. The Palestinian issue continues to lose popularity among liberals, and Jewish liberals seem to realize that “two states for two peoples” equates Jewish people with insignificant Levantine Arabs.

Saudi Arabia, the biggest lobbyist for an Israeli-Palestinian settlement, has enough worries with nuclear Iran and pays scarce attention to the Levant. The Jewish government realizes that Israeli Arabs—a third of Israel’s young—are no less a demographic threat than the West Bank Arabs, and disengagement from Judea and Samaria solves nothing. Negotiations with Fatah over the settlement blocs are deadlocked: evacuating the 150,000 Jews is politically impossible, and Jewish and Arab villages are so interspersed that separating them with a border is infeasible.

Israel has a small hope to be left alone and for the status quo to continue.