UPDATE, AUGUST 3: JJ Goldberg of the Jewish Daily Forward is, I hope, on top of the news this morning. He has a rundown of a possible scenario to bring the carnage in Gaza to closure. Whether Netanyahu will follow this path may be up in the air. Reading between the lines, it appears that the Israeli military thinks its job is done. (Goldberg is my neighbor and I salute his general sanity on Israel and his ability to keep five or six conflicting ideas in the air at the  same time.) Jewish Forward

August 2: PM Netanyahu has issued marching orders to President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and perhaps the rest of us: "Netanyahu told [U.S. Ambassador] Shapiro the Obama administration was "not to ever second-guess me again" and that Washington should trust his judgment on how to deal with Hamas, according to the people. Netanyahu added that he now "expected" the U.S. and other countries to fully support Israel's offensive in Gaza...."  AP at Yahoo News

Obama and Kerry seemed to have clicked their heels and saluted. "I have been very clear throughout this crisis that Israel has a right to defend itself.  No country can tolerate missiles raining down on its cities and people having to rush to bomb shelters every 20 minutes or half hour.  No country can or would tolerate tunnels being dug under their land that can be used to launch terrorist attacks. And so, not only have we been supportive of Israel in its right to defend itself." 8/1 Obama News Conference. Kerry's statement.

In the meantime, "Hamas Says It Isn't Holding Missing Israeli Officer." Hamas also says that the confrontation with Israeli soldiers began at 7 AM, an hour before the cease fire was to begin. Israel says it was 9:34.  NYTimes  Different time zones??  And per the missing soldier: Are soldiers "kidnapped" or "abducted" in war time, or are they captured? 

Turns out: Hamas is not holding Israeli officer. The Israeli military says he was killed in action on Friday. AP

Margaret O’Brien Steinfels is a former editor of Commonweal. 

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