With the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip now entering their second week, the populace at large has yet to show any signs of war exhaustion. Indeed, polls show wide support for continuing the attacks on the Gaza Strip, though they have killed hundreds and have failed in their stated goal of halting Hamas missile strikes into southern Israel.
The hawkish bent of the public is also showing up in polls for next month’s elections, as the Israeli Labor Party gains on Ehud Barak’s role in starting the war, and the opposition Likud Party gains even bigger on Benjamin Netanyahu’s long time advocacy of the attacks. The big losers seem to be the ruling Kadima Party, whose leader Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has had to play the public face of the nation internationally, presenting Israel as reluctant to fight the war and eager for its end, though they have turned down proposed ceasefires.
The pro-war sentiment is not lost on Israel’s Arab minority either, as they watch with concern as their nation cheers on the deaths of friends and relatives in Gaza. Largely in opposition to the war, the Arabs are increasingly seen as traitors and their leaders are targeted by police trying to stifle any public dissent.