Like Jon, I thought Jeff Goldberg's Times op-ed about Hamas today was absolutely terrific--hands down the best thing I've read since the Gaza conflict started. My favorite passage:  

“Hezbollah is doing very well against Israel, don’t you think?” I asked. His [Nizar Rayyan's, a member of the Hamas ruling class] face darkened, suggesting that he understood the implication of my question. At the time, Hamas, too, was firing rockets into Israel, though irregularly and without much effect.

“We support our brothers in the resistance,” he said. But then he added, “I think each situation is different.”

How so?

“They have advantages that we in Gaza don’t have,” he said. “They have excellent weapons. Hezbollah moves freely in Lebanon. We are trapped in the Israeli cage. So I don’t like to hear the sentence, ‘Hezbollah is the leader of the resistance.’ It’s a very annoying sentence. They are heroes to us. But we are the ones fighting in Palestine.”  ...

Hamas men across Gaza were of two minds on the subject of Hezbollah: One night, I met the members of a Hamas rocket team in the town of Beit Hanoun, on Gaza’s northern border with Israel. The group’s leader, who went by the name of Abu Obeidah, said that he, too, was frustrated by Hezbollah’s success against Israel; he even asked if Hamas’s rocket attacks that summer were featured on television in America, and seemed to deflate physically when I told him no.

“Everyone, all the media, says that Hezbollah is wonderful,” he complained.

I half expected the next line in the quote to be: "This is another example of how the Jews are against us..."

I thought this led to Goldberg's most critical insight:

One irresistible reality grows from Hamas’s complicated, competitive relationship with Hezbollah. For Hamas, Hezbollah is not only a source of weapons and instruction, it is a mentor and role model.

Hamas’s desire to best Hezbollah’s achievements is natural, of course, but, more to the point, it is radicalizing. One of the reasons, among many, that Hamas felt compelled to break its cease-fire with Israel last month was to prove its potency to Muslims impressed with Hezbollah.

Very depressing.

--Noam Scheiber