Over the last few years we have learned that the best way to protect ourselves against terrorism is to target the leaders of the terrorist groups. Generally the leaders of such groups desire martyrdom, but primarily for their followers. The leaders of such groups typically cry (to paraphrase St. Augustine) "Dear Allah, let me become a martyr... but not yet." Even when the leaders do desire martyrdom, removing the leaders means that they are replaced by terrorists with less knowledge, sophistication, and ability. Killing Imad Mughniyah did not destroy Hezbollah, but has eroded their ability to commit terrorist acts out of the area. (That Hezbollah has become a powerful paramilitary force is another matter entirely.)
It is incontestable that Israel cannot destroy its enemies, even with overwhelming conventional force. It must, therefor, find an alternative approach. It may be that Israel can maintain its deterrence by threatening the destruction of Mecca, Medina, the Dome of the Rock as Geoffrey Britain suggests (and I would add the city of Qom and a number of other sites on the "holiest sites of Islam" list for greater deterrent effect) but it may ultimately prove to be impossible to confidently deter Islam when it finds itself faced with an existential threat (which is what modernity and the existence of the state of Israel represent to Islam.)
Consider a near future scenario:
By 2020, Islam has become so emboldened that it has become unmistakable to most people in the West that Geoffrey Britain was correct; the problem is Islam and Islam and modern liberal society are incompatible.
Israel's existence hangs by a thread. It is increasingly being abandoned by its friends, who still need Arab oil and fear the fifth column in their midst. It has never been able to solve the moral conundrum that a first strike use of Nuclear weapons poses and its deterrent capabilities have steadily eroded as it has never been able to master the Information War in ways which disarm its foes. In 2020, for the first time, the number of people emigrating from Israel is greater than the number immigrating to Israel. The future looks grim:
It is early spring, 2021
In a magnanimous gesture applauded by the global community (this is fiction, so bear with me) the Israelis announce that they are going to release every Palestinian prisoner convicted of terrorism over the course of two weeks in March of 2021. The Americans and Europeans, committed to the chronically moribund "Peace Process" applaud the release and commit to re-convening the long eclipsed Final Status talks. Finally it appears that the Peace Process will resume and that the Israelis, whose intransigence has been determined to be the primary cause of the failure of the Peace Process, have become committed to Peace. A new dawn in the Middle East appears to be (once again) at hand.
The fact that the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, along with the rest of the HISH alliance (Hezbollah/Iran/Syria/Hamas) remain committed to the destruction of Israel and that genocidal propaganda remains a staple of Palestinian (along with Arab and Iranian) media continues to be ignored as an inconvenient Israeli raised obstacle to Peace and as such has not been a matter of concern since the days of the Netanyahu administration. With the news of the prisoner releases, the Palestinians and their allies are more convinced than ever that history is moving in its favor and that the hated Jewish state will soon be destroyed. At the same time, paranoid conspiracy theories abound throughout the Middle East; the theories escalate and become increasingly fantastic as no one can believe the Israelis would release deadly enemies with no promise of peace, yet as the first prisoners arrive home to hero's welcomes, the idea that Israel may finally be surrendering due to exhaustion and because of the superior will of the Palestinians takes hold throughout the once occupied territories and throughout the Middle East.
Meanwhile, for the Western powers, the media are filled with the news that the new Labor government of Israel is ready to deal and a break thorough is at hand. All assure that genocidal ravings are simply the background noise of the Middle east, not to be taken seriously.
Unbeknown to most of the participants, however, two major developments have occurred which render the Israeli behavior somewhat less than the suicidal acts that the Israeli and American right believe.
Each of the released prisoners, as part of one of his last meals, has unknowingly ingested, disguised as a grain of rice, a tiny nanobot which comes complete with an RFID and wideband transmitter. Each nanobot is designed to not only relay real time information about its subject (including sounds in the ambient environment) but to become part of a seamless mesh network with each of the other nanobots now carried within each of the former prisoners. For the weeks prior to their release the Israelis have been testing and bringing on line the computer network designed to integrate the immense amount of information that will be generated by these bots.
At the same time multiple squadrons of stealthed UAV's have taken off from an open field in Northern Israel. Additional squadrons have been released near the border of Gaza. Yet another set of UAV squadrons were already set aloft from the deck of an Israeli submarine in the Persian Gulf. Each squadron is carrying a payload consisting of a multitude of "mosquitoes", "centipedes", "spiders" and, "wasps". Once over their target, the UAV's all release their payloads and what appears to be nothing more than balloons drift down toward the surface, only to burst at various heights above their targets. The bugs then drift, glide, and fly to their assigned locations (with specific locations unimportant since there are so many bugs that the coverage will be excellent) and begin to silently go about their deadly business.
One further data point: each of the nanobots and each of the bugs is equipped with a range of toxins designed to mimic various fatal conditions including cardiac arrests and intracranial hemorrhages and leave no trace on autopsy toxicology.
In the ensuing weeks and months a number of spectacular terror attacks are thwarted. A planned cruise missile sneak attack from Southern Lebanon is noted prior to launch and coutner-measures deployed which destroy the missile and the launch crew. A number of high ranking Hezbollah and Hamas members suffer mysterious deaths and several Iranian Mullahs along with the leader of Syria's intelligence agency also succumb. Rumors of Israeli secret weapons, ray guns, biological agents, and other more fanciful inventions take off across the Middle East. Paranoia escalates within the HISH alliance who have very good reason to believe they have been infiltrated by Israeli agents. Massive purges take place as internecine warfare breaks out while the Israeli spies are sought out. Many are executed though none have any actual connection to the Mossad.
When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suffers a fatal heart attack, the Israelis announce that this is what happens to all tyrants and anti-Semites. Several Rabbis announce that the mysterious deaths of so man of Israel's enemies in such a short period of time are signs of G-d's displeasure at the anti-Semitic ravings of our enemies. The pace of attacks against Israel diminish as none are successful, save the rare "lone wolf" events. Program directors at state run Arab media organizations also have been suffering the same mysterious illnesses and deaths. The level of anti-Semitic agitprop begins to diminish as articles appear in the Arab press describing secret Jewish rays able to kill those who threaten Israel from a distance; such articles are occasionally based on suggestions from Israeli sources but more often occur to the writer de novo. The pattern of suspicious deaths of leading anti-Semites does not go unremarked. Eventually the Middle east quiets down.
In this scenario the Israelis are able to wield a scalpel to remove the Cancerous stem cells from the Arab body. The bugs and nanobots act as a powerfully enhanced immune system for the Jewish state. Vigilance will be required for generations but the accelerating pace of technology means that those states and societies which have a lead in technology today will find their lead increasing exponentially against their competitors and adversaries. The Arab world has existed for a thousand years as a culture based on extraction; for too many Arabs work is a dirty word and innovation is against Allah's will. Such a society cannot compete in a high tech environment.
Finally Peace comes to the Middle east through the workings of Jewish magic.