And so they give until it hurts. Until it agonizes. Until it kills. And they wont stop giving until they have nothing left to give.
Second, Israels governmental system promotes centrism. Even if most Israelis found the intestinal fortitude to push for destruction of their enemies, the governmental system would prevent it. Israel, unlike the United States, has a parliamentary government. This means that every elected prime minister must forge a coalition with those across the aisle in order to maintain power. Every Israeli government is a conglomeration of rightists, leftists, and centrists. That is why Kadima, a center-right government led by Ehud Olmert, has hard-left former Labor Prime Minister Ehud Barak as its Minister of Defense. The moment an administration veers too far from the center, the government falls, and new elections are called.
Third, Israel has never decided on a founding philosophy. Israel was originally established as a homeland for the Jewish people -- but such ethnic and cultural sentiments are considered passe by Israeli policymakers. The post-Zionist movement, which accepts Arab nationalism but rejects Jewish nationalism, dominates Israeli intellectual life. And it forces Israel to apologize for its own existence.
Israel need not apologize for its existence. It must remain a proudly Jewish nation. For 2,000 years, Jews were persecuted in other lands. In Israel, they have a refuge. Not only that -- in Israel, Jewish principles can be promoted. And those principles are worth promoting. After all, it is the Judeo-Christian ethic that underlies Western Civilization. It is the Islamist ethic that underlies the murderous, terrorist-sponsoring regimes in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Syria and Egypt.
In order for Israel to win its long fight against its Muslim enemies, Israels population must shake itself off and stand together -- proud, unified, and strong. Israel must stop making excuses for defending herself.
Until then, Israel will continue its losing streak. In a week or two, a cease-fire will be declared. Hamas will celebrate victory. Ehud Olmert will go, and Netanyahu will be elected. And a year or two from now the cycle will repeat. This endless conflict will end only when Israel decides to end it.