In three days of fighting, Israel achieved its vital, relatively modest declared objectives: It thwarted a “concrete” bid by Palestinian Islamic Jihad to carry out a murderous cross-border attack on soldiers and/or civilians. It eliminated key commanders of the group’s leadership, including orchestrators of previous deadly attacks. It destroyed some of Islamic Jihad’s assets in Gaza. It arrested further Islamic Jihad operatives in the West Bank. And it cut the link that the terrorist group was trying to establish between Gaza and the West Bank, whereby Islamic Jihad attempted to deter Israel from tackling its terror plans in the West Bank by threatening to target Israel from Gaza.
It did all this without Hamas entering the conflict, without triggering fighting on other fronts, and without an upsurge in violence in Jerusalem or in mixed Arab-Jewish cities.
It initiated a preemptive operation, and it managed to bring that operation to a conclusion when those declared objectives were largely achieved.
Israel maintained fairly solid diplomatic support from its allies,…