Israel has never been the military superpower its propaganda claimed it to be, but neither was it a paper tiger. At the very least, the Israelis did an excellent job triggering conflicts when it best suited them, they excelled at camouflaging what where surprise attacks into a „defensive operation”, and they always managed to conceal their real losses. But none of this would have been possible if Israel did not have at the very least maybe not an „invincible Tsahal„, but a credible and basically competent military.
In 2006, the Israeli attack and invasion of Lebanon ended in one of the most humiliating defeats in the history of warfare: Hezbollah succeeded in defeating Israel’s four brigades, three reserve divisions and entire Air Force and Navy with roughly one thousand second rate Hezbollah soldiers (the best Hezbollah fighters were all kept north of the Litani river). Truly, this victory of the Resistance against the Zionist occupier was a „divine victory” and it changed the whole equation in the Middle East.
There used to be a time when the IDF would go all the way to Beirut to hunt down Arafat and when Mossad would go all the way to Tunis to kill Abu Jihad. Now the IDF can’t even occupy Bint Jbeil right across its border, and it is afraid to even enter the Gaza Strip. How the mighty fall indeed…
The consequences of this Israeli weakness are truly very serious: the Gaza Strip is turning into a safe heaven for the Palestinians while the siege of Gaza has pretty much lifted since Mursi took power. Hezbollah in the north, Gaza in the southwest, Mursi and the Islamic Brotherhood in the south and a Syria turning into a mix of 1970s Lebanon and 1980s Somalia to the northeast. To the east, of course, there is Jordan, as loyal to the USA and Israel as ever, but that also might change in the not too distant future.