Shark Blog points out something that hadn’t really occurred to me in quite this way.
As I wrote earlier, Israel has a very short window of time after a terror event to act forcefully against Arafat. If the move on the Muqata doesn’t happen tonight, it probably never will happen. And if Arafat survives the night, both he and the rest of the Palestinians will have to conclude that Israel lacks the will and/or international support to adequately defend itself. This would reinforce the Palestinian assumption that terrorism succeeds at weakening Israel and will ultimately force major concessions. If Arafat survives the night, expect an escalation in terror attacks.
This is essentially the same logic that demanded that we strike back after 9/11, and that we do more than blow up an aspirin factory. Although I don’t know that tonight MUST be the night, the Israelis must do something quickly. Also pointed out is the fact that the US response to today’s suicide bombing didn’t include the standard request for Israel to carefully consider the implications any retaliation would have on peace efforts. Sometimes what you don’t say is as important, or even more important, than what you do say.