Yes, It was. But what made it come back (and I am speaking of West Germany) was not "levelling" it, but the chances offered afterwards. Rather than running it to the ground following the Morgenthau Plan it was given the chance to rebuild as a democratic nation. Not necessarily out of nicety by the Western Allies but by fear of a communist domino effect; but the thing worked, and after decades of inflation, socio-economical turmoil and authoritanism, Germany's society received a chance to join the "free" world. This is my point: Stomping on a society and not giving it a chance to develop again will not achieve anything. Versailles has proven that quite clearly.
As much as I agree with you (and I don't often do that), I also believe that Hamas is most probably not the right choice for the Palestinians - and I guess the next months will prove that. But it is the democratic and free choice - and therefore it is to be respected and accepted.
If the Middle East is to embrace "western" values - and I don't agree that they have to adapt to them - we have to accept their decisions. "Flattening" them - as others have suggested - will not help anyone, but giving them a realistic hope and chance to develop freely and democratically will.
Oh my, I sound like a neocon - just that I don't believe in bringing democracy by the sword...