JERUSALEM, Israel -- The resiliency of 21st century Israelis didn't happen overnight. It's a byproduct of generations of anti-Semitism and discrimination.
Last Thursday, Gaza-based Palestinians carried out sequential terror attacks that snuffed out the lives of eight Israelis, including two soldiers.
Over the next two days, Palestinian Arabs fired more than 120 missiles, rockets and mortar shells on southern Israeli towns and cities and then declared a unilateral ceasefire Sunday evening.
On Monday, they fired more rockets, vowing to continue the attacks until Israel ceased its "aggression." The escalation was meant to provoke a strong response by the Israel Defense Forces.
But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his eight-member security cabinet didn't take the bait. It was obvious the escalation was meant to draw Israel into a fight.
The idea -- according to one senior Israeli official -- was to weaken Israel's position internationally before the Palestinian Authority's bid for unilateral statehood at the U.N. in September.
"This way Hamas will be seen as leading the way for the establishment of a Palestinian state," the official told Army Radio on Monday.
Israelis are used to efforts to delegitimize and demoralize the Jewish state, but they are equally determined to live and flourish in their own land. They know instinctively the need for strategy and wisdom to deal with such convoluted plots.
Perhaps what Israel's enemies have failed to consider is the deep connection between the Jews and eretz Yisrael -- the land of Israel.
After millennia of persecution in every country to which they'd been exiled, the return to the land of their forefathers was and is the proverbial last stop.