An incomplete hypothesis

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Yes, this is fairly normal in Israel. Personally I think the Tavor TAR-21 might be better suited for buying, uh, feminine hygiene products, though- don't you agree?
The esteemed Col. Tom Kratman published a trilogy of articles recently exploring some interesting questions concerning Israel's security issues, its rather problematic lack of options with regard to said issues, and- most intriguing of all- an examination of the reasons why Israel seems to be so unusually good at beating the tar out of its Arab enemies.

Col. Kratman's conclusions on the third question were unusual, to say the least:
The Arabs are what the sociologists like to call “amoral familists.” This means that they are nearly or totally incapable of forming bonds of love and loyalty with anyone not a blood relation. Even then, the degree of blood relation determines where loyalty legitimately lies. The saying in the area is: “Me and my brother against my cousin; me, my brother and my cousin against the world.” This not only allows a superior to extort baksheesh from non-relations, but identifies him as an idiot – a weak idiot, actually – if he does not. 
The Arab private? He’s no more a coward than anybody else. Indeed, as an individual, I might rate him above, or even substantially above, the human norm. But he is just one man, alone. 
With us, the very broad us within the western military tradition and some eastern military traditions, or with Israelis, who are very western, “It’s all of us against all of them. They’re toast.” With him? With that poor dumb-shit Arab private? “It’s all of them against me alone. I’m toast.” He knows no one in his unit cares about him; after all, he doesn’t care about any of them, either. They’re just not family. So when that private is placed in the loneliest position in the world, the modern battlefield? He runs or surrenders at the first sign things are going badly. (He’ll be fine as long as they are going well, though. Note: Things rarely go well.) Defeat is a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy that has been fulfilled so often at this point that an Arab who didn’t expect it probably ought be locked up for his own good. 
Add in the fantasy mindset. Don’t forget “Insh’allah,” (Which is like “maƱana,” but without the sense of urgency) which makes it somewhat impious to train really well since it is all the will of God anyway. Insh’allah also provides an excuse for bad behavior on the battlefield. Add in a set of social values that despise and loathe physical labor. 
Militarily, they’ve got nothing going for them. 
This may piss some people off; the Israelis have routinely stomped the Arabs so badly not because the Israelis are so great. In fact, outside of a few units the Israelis are just decent citizen soldier militia, nothing very special. But fighting the Arabs even just decent militia can shine.
This is not at all a bad assessment of the reasons why the Arabs find it impossible to defeat Israel; in every war that Israel has ever fought with the Arabs- including the 1973 Yom Kippur War- they ended up going after their opponents like a squid beating its wife.

The point about Arabs being "amoral familists" is also a good one. I found this to be quite true when I went to Egypt about 5 years back- if you're not family, you're not trusted, end of story. I remember seeing an alternate version of the saying that Col. Kratman references above in a book by Leon Uris called The Hajj- a very good book, in case you haven't read it- which goes like this:
Me against my brother; me and my brother against my cousin; my family against my tribe; my tribe against the world.
No matter how you phrase it, the basic idea stays the same. The Arabs are fundamentally incapable of understanding the concept of "nation", which is partly why they are also utterly useless at actually building civilisation without substantial help from their betters in the West. (Who are very much their betters. Like, "Who's Your Daddy?" betters.)

However, with the greatest possible respect to Col. Kratman, I think he sells the Israelis somewhat short here.

The one thing that Col. Kratman fails to take into account here is a concept that every red-blooded American- such as Col. Kratman himself- understands in his bones: love of country.

The Israelis love their land, to a degree that is very difficult even for American Christians to understand. They have proven, time and again, that they are willing to fight and die to the last man to hold on to the lands that they have sacrificed so much to obtain. The Arab villagers and irregulars that they fought in the War of Independence in 1948 had no such attachment to the land, which is why, when the Jews attacked through the Galilee and the hills of Judea and Samaria and the Sinai Peninsula, the Arabs fell back in complete disarray before them.

A man who truly loves his land and his country will never voluntarily flee.

If he is part of a chain of command in an army, he might very well do so when ordered by a superior, in order that he might live to fight another day; but he will do so angrily and resentfully. And as for the civilians, by and large, the Jews of the kibbutz and the moshav and the farm and the banana plantation have stayed because it is their land. Israel is mostly just rock and swamp and desert- and yet the Jews stay, because they know that this is the only country on Earth that accepts them for who they are.

That being said, Col. Kratman has some entirely valid things to say about Israel's ability to wage long-range warfare:
Iron Dome? Note that I mentioned “transportable,” above. A 3.3 megaton nuke, carried on a freighter or a yacht, and detonated just offshore of Tel Aviv, kills about three quarters of a million people and injures another one million, one hundred thousand. Setting off another one at Haifa gets another three quarters of a million, fairly evenly split between dead and injured. Another one set off in the Arab quarter of Jerusalem gets another million and a half, many of them Arab, but so? I think Hamas has already demonstrated a certain willingness to kill Arabs if it means killing Jews, too, and about two thirds of the dead and injured would be Jews. Better still, a lot of the Arabs would be Christian Arabs, so likely “good riddance to bad rubbish” from Hamas’ point of view. And Iranians generally despise and detest Arabs [Didact: This is very true. The Iranians have a massive- and at present, entirely unfounded- superiority complex over, well, pretty much everyone, but especially over Arabs.], anyway, as do Turks [Didact: Also very true], should they enter the nuclear club. That’s from three bombs, just three. Iron Dome can’t stop them. Afterwards, between a quarter and a third or so of Israel’s Jewish population is gone. 
So why hasn’t Israel put on a full court press to stop the Iranian nuclear program? They can’t. They may have the planes to do some limited good. They may even have the intelligence to do at least that little bit of good. It is very likely that they have express Saudi permission to overfly anything they bloody well need to or want to to get the Iranian nuclear program. 
Even with all that, they lack the aerial refueling capability to keep it up. 
Ground invasion? That would probably be an impossible sell to the Arabs between Israel and Iran, but even if not, as with aerial refueling, Israel’s army is designed for defense close to Israel’s borders. They can’t support much of a long distance campaign, not enough, in any case, to take on Iran with any chance of success. It would also be so slow that the key personnel and equipment would never be found before evacuation… or after. In short, the most Israel can do is maybe buy a little time, but at an exorbitant price.
This is again entirely accurate. The entire Israeli doctrine of war is predicated upon defence of the homeland. They have absolutely no desire to become an imperial power- and when they have tried, they have failed, precisely because the Jews just aren't very good at being conquerors and oppressors these days, certain episodes of Biblical history notwithstanding.

Their mindset is devoted to defensive, reactive warfare- and they're very very good at it, by the way. They maintain very limited long-range offensive capability simply because they neither need nor want to fight that way. They do not have an equivalent of American "deep strike" doctrine.

I leave off with a simple reminder, if one can call it that, to Col. Kratman- a man who, let's be clear, has probably forgotten more about military history than I will ever learn.

It is easy to discount the Israelites on a number of grounds when it comes to almost any military operation- including their latest war in Gaza. They don't have the numbers; they don't have the offensive capability; they don't have the tactical finesse; they don't have the equipment. Let us never forget, however, that when Israel went from being just an idea to an actual state, nearly 70 years ago, her people had to fight first against the Arabs of Palestine- who outnumbered the Jews at the time by considerable margins- and then against the combined armies of seven enemy nations, along with an "Arab Liberation Army" and the (actually very competent and well-led) British-trained Arab Legion of Jordan.

They were outnumbered anywhere from 2:1 to 10:1 at any given point between 1947 and 1948 (the specific ratio depends on exactly which battle and engagement you're interested in; overall, the ratio was very much on the order of roughly 3:1 in favour of the Arabs).

And in spite of all of the odds, they not only outfought and outmaneouvred the Arabs- they took the fight to their enemies. And they won. Again, and again, and again.

At the time, the "experts" thought that it would be impossible for the Jewish state to survive. They thought that the Jews would be driven into the sea, shattered by superior numbers and armaments, wiped out by a ruthless Arab offensive that attacked Israel from pretty much every direction.

They were utterly wrong.

And the Israelis didn't just prove them wrong by crushing their enemies. They built a nation unlike any other on Earth- a nation that is one of the only countries in the world that is actually getting greener and more ecologically friendly by the day, while the rest of the world deals with increasing desertification and pollution.

This is not a people who can be easily defeated. They don't accept defeat- their military doctrine literally refuses to permit them to lose a single war. When it comes down to brass tacks, they would ultimately die to the last man than admit defeat.

That is the kind of people we're talking about. They will not back down easily in the face of Arab, Iranian, or Turkish aggression. Don't ever count them out- they have a habit of surprising even the most jaded and world-weary of us. And I have no doubt that they will do so again, when they most need to.

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