Somewhat like how the search for Iraqi WMD distracted attention from worrying developments in Iraq, such as a budding insurgency, the attention paid to the search at Al-Shifa also is a diversion. Remember a blast a month ago at a different Gaza hospital, which the Israeli government (backed by the U.S. administration) blamed on an errant rocket fired by the Palestine Islamic Jihad, dismissing the possibility that Israel would have attacked such a hospital? That now seems like quaint and forgotten lore, with the Israeli attack on the Al-Shifa hospital leading to a complete takeover of the facility and a shutdown of its medical services.
In other respects, the current situation is not analogous to the Iraq War. The promoters of that war had no ill feelings toward ordinary Iraqis and really did want to bring democracy to them. In contrast, democracy is not something that Israel, throughout several Israeli governments, has wanted for Palestinian Arabs under either one state or two states in Palestine. Denial of democracy for Palestinians has mainly meant subjugation, with the current crisis adding elements of expulsion and elimination.
There is one other important parallel to the Iraq War. That war was not preceded by any policy process in the Bush administration to address whether launching the war was a better idea than undertaking peaceful means for addressing WMD concerns. Israeli citizens can become secure from Palestinian violence only if Palestinian aspirations for self-determination are met through a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Tragically, the government of Israel—amid much attention to minutiae about detritus that Hamas might have left in a storage closet or tunnel—does not appear to be considering that fact.