“Israel Strikes”. Washington Post. 28 Dec. 2008 – While the fighting lasts — and Israeli officials were warning yesterday that it could be prolonged — Hamas’s principal sponsor, Iran, will have achieved a tactical success. Israeli diplomats have been working feverishly in recent weeks to focus international attention on the Iranian nuclear program as the Obama administration prepares to take office. They’ve been warning that the new U.S. president will have to act quickly if an Iranian bomb is to be stopped. Now, for weeks or possibly months to come, all eyes will be on Gaza — on the fighting, the continued suffering of civilians and the need for a fresh settlement. Israel might have avoided this fight, and gained a diplomatic advantage of its own, by relaxing the economic blockade. Now it will be embroiled in a costly battle that, in the end, is a distraction from the most serious threat it faces.