Iran, Syria and Egypt have developed an even more elegant way to fight Israel without threatening their own civilian populations. They fight by proxy. In the north, Iran and Syria use Hizbullah to fight Israel. In the south, Egypt uses Hamas for the same purpose. Maritime weapons smuggling has become a thing of the past. The Philadelphi Route that Israel abandoned when it withdrew from Gaza is wide open, and the entire region is flooded with high trajectory missiles. Israel knows that any serious military incursion into Gaza will trigger a steady barrage of missiles on Beersheba and Ashdod – and possibly a simultaneous round of missiles on the north.
Ultimately, Israel will have no choice but to restore the power of deterrence that it lost in the First Gulf War. But in the meantime, Israel has a two-pronged strategy for dealing with the threat to its existence. First, it has rolled out the red carpet for the American president, so that he will be kind enough to protect Israel after it surrenders Jerusalem. Second, it has provided its citizens with a glossy pamphlet explaining where to hide when the missiles strike.