Here’s an image of some Israeli soldiers not happy with the decision not to sent ground troops — them — into Gaza, Soldiers spell out critique of Netanyahu as a ‘loser’ for not using ground forces in Gaza:

My emerging assessment:

There is no way to spin this as an Israeli victory.  But that doesn’t make it a loss.  Think big picture.

Israel probably destroyed 80% of Hamas’ capabilities, and thereby destroyed 80% of Iran’s southern base to launch attacks against Israel in the even of a war over Iran’s nuclear program.  To achieve the remaining 20% would have required efforts which may have damaged Israel’s ability to deal with Iran.

The fact is that Israel never has a free hand.  When the President of the United States calls up and explicitly or implicitly says Stop, an Israeli Prime Minister needs to think through the consequences of saying No.

There may be times when No is the answer, but yesterday was not one of those times, when there are more existential threats to be dealt with in the coming year.