My title is not intended to suggest that Israel is to blame for the Hamas rain of rockets that escalated this past week. It appears that this is an effort by Hamas, at the behest of Iran and with Iranian assistance, to divert Western and Arab attention from efforts to depose Syria’s President Assad. Why? Hamas is armed with some relatively new and more powerful rockets that come from Iran. Launching these on Israel at this time is a way to both shift the focus from Syria and remind all concerned that Israel can be hit and that Egypt is no longer willing to play the guarantor of Israel’s security by helping contain Hamas and the Palestinians.

After several rocket/missile strikes from Gaza, Israel deployed its version (Iron Dome) of what we used to call the Patriot missile system. The current Israeli version is far more effective and sophisticated than the relatively crude Patriot system that debuted back in the summer of 1990. Israel has had some success shooting down inbound “rockets,” but it is not achieving 100% prevention. Some warheads have made it through the defenses and killed Israelis.

So now Bibi is upping the ante. He is calling up 75,000 reserves and moving forces to the border. He is intending to scare the shit out Hamas and the Egyptians. While Hamas and Egypt will talk a lot of smack and threaten Israel with the end of the World, in actuality they both appear somewhat eager, now, to negotiate a ceasefire. I suspect that Egypt is not too thrilled that Iran’s support for Hamas has created a heightened security threat for it.

Meanwhile, Bibi gets to chest thump and show that Obama is his bitch. What’s Obama going to do? Hug the Muslim Brothers and inflame Jewish voters and legislators in the United States? I don’t think so. It appears this dust up will ramp down in the next few days. Hamas will be left licking its wounds. Hamas leaders, if they had coal shoved up their asses, will be rolling in diamonds (not really, but just another way of saying they were and will remain terribly frightened of going to meet Allah prematurely).

The fighting in Gaza and along Israel’s border with Gaza is a reminder of the kind of mischief Iran can spin up if Bibi decides to go after Iranian nuclear sites. This does not appear to be Armageddon. So, if you’re heading for the hills or the bomb shelter, you can go back to your couch and watch your fav TV.

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.