The arguments about the correct definition of the outcome of "Protective Edge" will go on for a long time – was it a knock-out or did we win by points? Was it a victory with stripes running down it? Is it a victory at all? Will it end?
One outcome can be pointed to for sure: we have stopped getting worked up. Threats, combinations of expressions and well-used mantras that up until the beginning of July gave us goose pimples, now elicit a bored yawn.
Goldstone/Schabas, for example. Before the beginning of the operation they warned us that if we –Heaven forfend – enter Gaza, we will find ourselves facing Goldstone Report II. One month and 5000 rockets later, it does not seem as though that prospect frightens anyone. We have been subjected to Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the raised eyebrows of (leftist newscaster) Yonit Levi, so that Goldstone or his replacement is not going to be the one to pass judgment on us. And if, when we are about to get into our car, we find his report tucked under the windshield, we will brush the dust off it.
Our expectations from the world have gone down to zero and even lower than that. Now that a respected international organization of doctors has accused us of war crimes, we will not fall from our chairs if it also embraces the claims of a Hamas spokesmen who said that the IDF was told to obtain the blood of Palestinian children in order to bake bread. Of course, we'll tell them. Of course we have to bake our pitas with Palestinian blood, it's so that the Palestinian spleens and hearts that we reaped in the last blood libel won't be rejected when we use them for transplants.
And if those international doctors hate us, let them. When we report about the rocket arsenals under Gaza's Shifa Hospital, they don't believe us. But if Hamas decides to aim a rocket barrage at an Israeli hospital and hits it, they will contend that it was a legitimate operation against the pocket knives that one can find on patients in the hospital's Emergency Room.
We have also lost interest in Obama's moods. We have suddenly realized that it is Netanyahu who should put his feet up on the table when he is on the phone with the President of the United States. Not out of disrespect, G-d forbid, but as a precautionary measure, just in case a terrorist sticks his hand out of the attack tunnel under the floor of the room and tries to kidnap him.
At the moment, it looks as though America supports us when Israels with US citizenship are hurt – and that, only on condition that the bulldozer that turned over the bus was not made by General Motors.
The UN is simply not a factor in our mindset anymore. Now that rockets were found under and inside three UNWRA schools, we have a sneaking suspicion that the organization is arming itself against an attack on it by UNICEF or UNIFIL. The most the UNWRA people were willing to do up to now is to hand over the Qassams to the Palestinians and ask to get them back signed by a parent.
We all know how to parrot the mantra that if Hamas falls, we will get something worse in its place, but it is quite possible that the something worse is Ban ki-Moon. Look, even Tzipi Livni, until a short time ago a synonym for "what-will-the-goyim-say", used her Facebook page to write "you can look for me " (the Hebrew equivalent of "bug off") to the Human Rights Council.
And this is the time to send a minor request to that Council: if you really do come looking for Livni and find out where she is, you can keep the information to yourself for a few days. We will not be anxious.
So here we are, not quite done with Operation Protective Edge, and no one's threats bother us.
The other question is, of course, whether Hamas has stopped being bothered by the threats coming from us.
(Translated from the Hebrew daily Makor Rishon by Rochel Sylvetsky. Note: The article's Hebrew title, Siach Adishim, is a take on the book Siach Lochamim, Conversations with Soldiers, published in the aftermath of the 6 Day War.)