[Palestinians gathered in a Hamas house and prevented its demolition by the Israeli air force.]

The Arabs, practical and ideologically motivated, once again taught Israel a lesson: fight a war only when you’re ready to win by whatever means necessary. Don’t pursue non-essential objectives. Don’t make war a PR exercise.

Demolishing Arab guerrillas’ houses is absurd. The Palestinians quickly rebuild them with collective labor and Saudi money. The militants become popular heroes at no risk, since Israel warns them to leave their houses before blowing them up. Air strikes cost a lot more than houses.

If the Hamas guerrillas are enemies, kill them along with their families and supporters. In WWII, the Allies did not try to demolish the German generals’ homes without harming them. The West took no note of enemy civilians in the Dresden firestorm, in Hiroshima, or in the Vietnam defoliation campaigns.

The Palestinians scored a great victory. They stopped the barrage of demolitions, Israel’s major weapon for years. Instead, Israel should have scored a victory, brutal and inhumane but effective: bomb the house along with the hundreds of Hamas supporters gathered there.