Ukkie, I think you represent the attitudes of a number of Americans, not the majority to be sure, but enough of the supposed middle that your views are important.
First, like most Americans, you are woefully undereducated about the history of the middle east from the formation of Israel through to the present time. It is very hard to condense it but simply put, Israel is a legitimate state. It was recognized as such by a vote of the United Nations and it has fought for, purchased, reclaimed from swampland, and developed the land it has in the exact same way every other country, including ours, was formed and has fixed its borders. The Arabs living on the land were not part of any Palistinian nation that the Jews usurped. The ones who fled their homes in the Independence War in 1948 did so mainly at the urging of the neighboring Arab states. About the same number of Jews were displaced from Arab countries at the same time. The Jews were quickly assimilated into Israel and the Arabs that left Israel have not ever been accepted into the surrounding Arab countries. They have been been killed, cheated and subjugated by their Arab country hosts since then while the Arabs living in Israel have more democratic rights than in any Arab country in the World.
Many Americans don't bother to really inform themselves and would prefer the whole thing to just stop... "You kids quit fighting, I don't care who started it!" The big problem is that it matters very much who is right and can't we all get along solutions pathetically misunderstands the nature of the enemy.
I say the enemy because Israel's enemies are the precisely the same enemies America, and the Western civilization has and that is Militant Extremist Islam... Militant Muslims or Radical Islam... the Saudi Arabian, Iranian brand of radical Islam.
The real danger is that most Americans, even after 9/11, don't appreciate what they are facing. We would like to believe everybody is good at heart and basically the same and peace loving. Take a look at the vitriol that comes out of the Arab world.
Their religion teaches that once land is Muslim or has been occupied by Muslims, it is thereafter always Muslims and Muslims should be "superior" in that space forevermore.
That is another part of the problem the extremists have with the US and the West. It is not by any means limited to support for Israel it includes US bases in Saudi Arabia, for example, and the western culture of IBM, Walt Disney, womens' rights, tolerance of other religions and a long long list of other complaints and intolerable humiliations. Believe it or not, Muslims want both England and France, among others to become Muslim states.
This is all in the name of their God and their religion. Did you know that when the Arab terrorists hijacked the Air France plane, they segregated the women and had them cover their hair because of their religious beliefs?
France has about 10% Arabs and over 50% of all their inmates are Arabs and over 40% of their unemployed are Arabs. As much as I hate them, the once proud French who used to be so protective of their religion and their wine and their French ways are now so far gone that in the World Soccer match between Algeria and France, in October, 2001, the French fans actually booed the Marseillaise, the French national anthem. Anecdotal?... Read more about it in the article "Allah Mode" July 15 issue of the Weekly Standard.
You naively place entirely too much credit in "International Peace Keeping Forces" to keep the peace. Nobody, no other country is of any consequence, in the international military capability business is remotely comparable to the US. The US spends about 20 times more per year, believe it or not, on the military than the next 15 countries combined! If the EU, for example, can agree first of all, and then batalion or so of troops together to go someplace... guess who has to transport them and support them. You probably aren't that familiar with the nitty gritty in the Bosnian War but the European Peacekeepers were routinely taken hostage by the Croations until America entered the whole mess and saved the Muslims... a fact that has been completely forgotten by them.
Furthermore, you seem to be appalled by the excess of firepower you claim Israel used to kill the Hamas leader.
If you ever fought a battle, you would know it is not easy to use the minimum amount of force necessary. Israel seems to be the only country in the world that is expected to accept losses of the most worst type, purposely aimed at innocents, and not retaliate in kind. They are supposed to use a surgical strike to "take out" someone they know absolutely is responsible for terrorist acts. Well, it isn't that simple or that easy. The US sees how hard it is to prosecute a war without collateral damage. Only Israel is accused of heinious crimes against humankind when an innocent is killed in a war. It is grotesquely unfair and, in our case, stupid not to support the best ally the US has in the entire world.
If you value this Democracy, our liberties, our tolerance of others and other religions, you would be in complete sympathy with Israel. If you were ever there or saw recent pictures of their streets and cities you could easily compare them to say, Miami or Cleveland. If you look at the Arab shitholes you can see the same things in Kabul and Cairo. Their leaders, once again, keep them ignorant, inflamed and appeal to their religion to keep themselves at the trough. That is not to say that quite a few of them are genuine religious fanatics.
You have a new situation here, Ukkie, and it would be best if you educated yourself before you espoused your "everybody is equally at fault" nonsense. There is no moral equivalence here. If you want to keep America great you should appreciate that America at least tries to do what is morally right.
Israel, you may not believe this, does not want the Arab lands. They don't all have the same views but most know they can't absorb so many Arabs and maintain a true Democracy and a Jewish state with so many Arabs in it. They have a right to be a Jewish state. They fought for it and won it. They want peace above all else and would give up lots of land for true peace in a heartbeat. The problem, you so innocently sloughed off, is that going back to the 1947 borders means going back to NO Israel, which is what the Arabs have always wanted. Israel will not commit suicide ... even if it means you won't approve.
You alluded to this feeling of moral superiority they feel, this "choseness" that drives everyone crazy. That is only the feeling, not of any superiority but of the obligation to bring moral monotheism to the world. That's it and nothing more! Part of the religion is a feeling that they should be a shining beacon to the nations of the world... just like the U.S. (who got it from the Torah) A harmless view by an infintesimal fraction of the world's population. So what? Japan thinks it is the Land of the Rising Sun and the Sun rises and sets on it and nobody cares. China thinks it is the "Middle Kingdom" between whatever and heaven... and no one cares. One of the Indian tribes here referred to themselves as "human beings" and everyone else was not. Again, so what? Why should it be the infuriating basis for much hatred?
The Jews have less than 2% of all the Arab lands and a huge multiple of the GNP (excluding oil exports) of all the Arab lands put together. That is what sticks in the the Arab craw. The reason is that it is a democratic state that doesn't oppress its women or its people. That doesn't fit in the Muslim culture and they are going to play the "poor displaced Palistinian" card over and over to keep everyone from looking at the rest of their hand.