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Israel: Dormant War
Country Study > Chapter 5 > National Security > Concepts of National Security > 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

Last Updated: December 1988

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Israel was first published in 1988. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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Section 153 of 206


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