Did someone spike the coffee at yesterday\’s New York Times editorial board meeting?  Or has there been an actual “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” in which the members of that board have been replaced by alternate beings which, unlike their predecessors, actually make sense when it comes to the Israel/hamas conflict?

I\’m not sure how it happened.  But today\’s lead editorial in The Times – unlike its previous editorial stance, supplemented by its wholly biased “news reporting” – actually makes a lot of sense.

You can click here to read the entire editorial.  Please do.  But, in the meanwhile, here are its most salient parts:

After10 days of aerial bombardment, Israel sent tanks and groundtroops into Gaza to keep Hamas from pummeling Israeli cities withrockets and carrying out terrorist attacks via underground tunnels.The tragedy is that innocent civilians on both sides of the borderare paying the price, once again, and that military action will notguarantee long-term stability or peace.

There was no way Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was going to tolerate the Hamas bombardments, which are indiscriminately lobbed at Israeli population centers. Nor should he. As President Obama said on Friday, “No nation should accept rockets being fired into its borders, or terrorists tunneling into its territory.”

Well over 1,000 rockets have fallen on Israel since July 8, and they have reached farther than ever, threatening Tel Aviv and beyond. Only two Israelis have died (a civilian was killed by mortar shells from Gaza as he distributed food to soldiers near the border on Tuesday, and an Israeli soldier may have been killed by friendly fire at the start of the ground offensive), but Israeli citizens are running for cover from incoming rockets. Hamas can’t defeat Israelis, so it tries to terrorize them.

Innocent Palestinians are being killed and brutalized: four Palestinians boys playing on a beach; four children playing on a rooftop; a rehabilitation hospital, all destroyed by Israeli firepower. The United Nations says that of the more than 260 Palestinians killed, three-quarters were civilians, including more than 50 children.

Hamas leaders deserve condemnation for storing and launching rockets in heavily populated areas, cynically knowing they will draw Israeli fire to places where civilians live and play. Still, in a call with Mr. Netanyahu, Mr. Obama was right to express concern about the”risks of further escalation and the loss of more innocent life.”

The best solution remains a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, headed by the Fatah faction, which operates in the West Bank.

Without a political strategy, another cease-fire may be the most anyone can hope for at this moment. But Hamas leaders have rejected one proposed in the past week by Egypt and are demanding better terms. Meanwhile, Palestinian civilians suffer the consequences.

If you have been following the Times\’ journalistic journey through these past 10 days, I assume you are as surprised by these words as I am.

Can we possibly hope that, after many years of being far more critical of Israel than of the people who are committed, in writing, to vaporize the country and kill every Jew there (and elsewhere as well), a page has been turned?  Or is this a momentary ideological lapse, to be followed by the Times\’ usual anti-Israel bias?

We\’ll see…..

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