Editorial from the New York Times:
Israel has a right to defend itself, but it’s hard to see how Wednesday’s operation could be the most effective way of advancing its long-term interests. It has provoked new waves of condemnation against Israel in Arab countries, including Egypt, whose cooperation is needed to enforce the 1979 peace treaty and support stability in Sinai.
The action also threatens to divert attention from what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly described as Israel’s biggest security threat: Iran’s nuclear program.
Engaging in a full-scale ground war is especially risky. Israel’s last major military campaign in Gaza was a three-week blitz in 2008-09 that killed as many as 1,400 Palestinians, and it was widely condemned internationally. It did not solve the problem. Hamas remains in control in Gaza and has amassed even more missiles.
Some Israeli commentators have suggested that Mr. Netanyahu’s decision to order the operation is connected to elections in January.