With the borders they share with Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and even the Palestinian territories relatively peaceful at the moment, Israelis have been enjoying an unusually calm summer — at least at home.
But that can change quickly in this part of the world.
The violence in Syria threatens to spill into other countries, Iran's Israel-hating leaders refuse to end a nuclear program that could produce an atomic bomb, the Muslim Brotherhood has gained the presidency in Egypt and Israelis continue to be targets for terrorism worldwide.
Worrisome to many here is where the United States will come down if serious trouble befalls the Jewish state.
A poll of Israelis in June found that most trust the United States to come to Israel's help in an existential threat, but don't think the current U.S. administration is handling the threats well.
"We have to destroy Iran's weapons with or without the American's help, and it should be done before the elections, while Obama can't act," said Avraham Nachmani, 51, from northern Israel, standing outside a cosmetics store while his wife shopped.
Iran is among the biggest worries. The Islamic republic continues to enrich uranium into possible weapons-grade material and has refused to let United Nations inspectors verify whether it is abiding by an agreement not to make nuclear weapons.
The United States and the European Union have imposed sanctions against Iran to get it to open up its program to inspection. But Iran insisted that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes during the latest talks between six world powers and Iran held in Moscow.
Efraim Inbar, a Bar-Ilan University political scientist, said many Israelis are "disappointed" by President Obama's continuing determination to pressure Iran with economic sanctions and diplomacy, not a military assault.
"By failing to explicitly threaten the regime with American military force, the president is projecting the image of the U.S. as a weakling, and radicals will take advantage of it and Israel," Inbar said.
No 'results on the ground'
Iran's nuclear program was at the top of the agenda during Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's visit to Jerusalem earlier this month. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday it would be the No. 1 subject when he meets Friday with GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney, who will be visiting Israel.
The sanctions that Obama prefers to use to pressure Iran, have aimed to stop it from selling its oil.
The U.S. Treasury Department also recently blacklisted several companies and individuals that it says may be helping Iran acquire nuclear weapons.
Obama has insisted Iran must not develop nuclear weapons, but Netanyahu said Sunday that despite Obama's insistence the threat is "still with us four years later."
"The real thing — the real question — is not stated policy but actual results on the ground," Netanyahu said.
Israel also says it has "rock solid" proof that Iran's Hezbollah operatives were behind the killing Wednesday of five vacationing Israelis and a bus driver in Bulgaria. The website of Iran State TV called the accusation "ridiculous."
Obama condemned the "barbaric terrorist attack" but did not mention Iran.
The White House said Obama pledged to provide "whatever assistance is necessary to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators."
The June poll commissioned by the Begin Sadat Center at Bar Ilan University and the Anti-Defamation League found that nearly 70% of Israelis have a positive attitude toward the United States. More than 90% believe that in an existential crisis or "moment of truth," the United States would come to Israel's aid.
But Obama is not viewed as favorably.
In 2009, 54% of Israelis viewed him positively compared to 32% in June.
Some Israelis said they want an assurance that the United States will support Israel if it attacks Iran's nuclear capability to end the bomb threat.
Just 19% of Israelis support a military strike without U.S. support, according to a poll conducted by the Washington-based Brookings Saban Center in February.
Forty-two percent favor an attack if the United States is on board.
Counting on sanctions
Israeli military analyst Yaakov Katz, co-author of Israel vs. Iran: The Shadow War, says the polls show Israelis are "skeptical" about Obama's determination to take military action to stop Iran.
Simon Knopf, 50, an American-born physician's assistant who moved to Israel five years ago, said Iran doesn't worry him.
Cradling his 5-year-old son Avichai in his lap, Knopf said, "I think the economic sanctions are taking their toll on the Iranian people and eventually they'll rise up against their leaders. The regime is strong, but it's only a matter of time until it's toppled."
Watching her two little boys running around a play area, Arij Mohammed, a 25-year-old mother dressed in jeans and a colorful Islamic head scarf, admitted she fears Iran.
"I'm not an Israeli citizen but I live here and I worry about my family. My only concern is to keep them safe," Mohammed, a resident of East Jerusalem, said.
Regardless of which U.S. presidential candidate wins in November, Israel will do "what if feels is in its own interest, even if it goes against American policy," Katz said.
Michael Segall, senior analyst Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, said he believes the Iranians are taking advantage of the run-up to the U.S. election and making provocative moves such as conducting missile tests in international shipping waters off the Strait of Hormuz.
"They know Obama is limited in what he can do militarily, for political reasons, so they're mocking the U.S.," Segall said.