I wonder whether Mead is right that Americans would be indifferent to — or even encouraged by — a "time-limited war of unlimited ferocity" against Gaza. Since Mead evokes World War II as the template, let's consider what that would entail: at a minimum it would mean the destruction of most of Gaza's civilian infrastructure and the deaths of tens of thousands, potentially hundreds of thousands, of civilians. It would take a year's worth of awful images from Syria's civil war and compress them (and magnify them) over the space of several weeks. In a fairly short period of time, Hamas would lose its ability to fight back at all and the "war" would become even more one-sided than it already is. At a certain point, unrestrained military action against a civilian population that has no capacity to fight back ceases to be a "war" and becomes something much worse.
That "something much worse" increasingly seems to me to be the logical end-point of the trajectory Netanyahu has put Israel on. As with all fanaticism – and it is passing strange to read an American yearn for a foreign country to engage in a war of "unlimited ferocity" – it has no means for self-correction or restraint.