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The world hoped that Gaza might thrive first, and then later adjudicate its ongoing disputes with Israel through diplomacy. Instead, the withdrawal was seen not as a welcome Israeli concession, but as a sign of newfound Jewish weakness - and that the intifada tactics that had liberated Gaza could be amplified into a new war to end the Zionist entity itself.

(5) Finally, victimization is crucial. Hamas daily sends barrages into Israel, as its hooded thugs thump their chests and brag of their radical Islamic militancy. But when the payback comes, suddenly warriors are transmogrified into weeping victims, posing teary-eyed for the news camera as they deplore “genocide” and “the Palestinian Holocaust.” At least the Japanese militarists did not cry out to the League of Nations for help once mean Marines landed on Iwo Jima.

By now, these Gaza asymmetrical rules are old hat. We know why they persist - worldwide fear of Islamic terrorism, easy anti-Westernism, the old anti-Semitism, and global strategic calculations about Middle East oil - but it still doesn’t make them right.

Victor Davis Hanson is a nationally syndicated columnist, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal.