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Israel Table of Contents


Dormant War

Israelis traditionally viewed the Arab-Israeli conflict as a struggle for survival, convinced that even one military defeat would mean the end of their country. National defense became the first priority, with proportionately more human and material resources devoted to defense than in any other nation in the world. Israelis regarded major conflicts, such as occurred in 1967 and 1973, as "rounds" or battles in a continuous war. Even when it was not engaged in outright combat with its Arab enemies, Israel remained in what General Yitzhak Rabin, who became minister of defense in 1984, called a "dormant war" that, "like a volcano," could erupt with little warning into a major conflagration.

Data as of December 1988