EVEN before the firing between Israel and Hamas had fully died away in the wake of the ceasefire announced on the night of November 21st, two new/old battle-fronts had opened up for Binyamin Netanyahu and his ministers. The first is over public and governmental opinion in the region; the second over the support of the Israeli voter, with elections looming on January 22nd. The issue is the same on both of them: Who won?
Mr Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, the defence minister, and Avigdor Lieberman, the foreign minister, quickly convened a press conference in Tel Aviv to proclaim victory and fulsomely congratulate the nation, themselves and each other for achieving it. No sooner were they off the region’s TV screens than Khalid Meshal, the Hamas leader, came on in Cairo, suggesting to assembled newsmen there that the three Israeli leaders looked glum, which proved, he said, that they knew they’d lost.