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Israel, Gaza, and Hamas46:31
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Smoke rises following an Israeli missile strike in the northern Gaza Strip, Dec. 30, 2008. (AP)
Smoke rises following an Israeli missile strike in the northern Gaza Strip, Dec. 30, 2008. (AP)

And nightmares across southern Israel, where rockets out of Gaza have now reached as far as an empty kindergarten classroom in Beersheba. Four Israelis dead since Israel’s assault on Gaza began. Nearly four hundred Palestinians dead. Many more injured.

After grinding seasons of embargo and tunneling and Hamas defiance, Israel’s defense minister now speaks of “war to the bitter end.”

This hour, On Point: Bloody showdown over Gaza.

You can join the conversation. Did Hamas make this inevitable, with its rocket fire and its fury? Did Israel make this inevitable, with its chokehold and its demands? Will this turn Palestinians away from Hamas, or more deeply against Israel? What should the U.S. have done? What should it be doing now? Tell us what you think.Guests:

Margaret Coker, Middle East correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.

Aaron David Miller, public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He advised six U.S. secretaries of state on Arab-Israeli negotiations, from 1978 to 2003, and is the author of "The Much Too Promised Land: America’s Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace."

Shai Feldman, chair of the Crown Center for Middle East Studies and professor of politics at Brandeis University.

Issam Nassar, professor of history at Illinois State University.

This program aired on December 31, 2008.

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