(Ha'aretz, Nehemia Shtrasler, 7/25/06): The whole world watches the mighty Israeli army, the world's fifth largest, with its state-of-the-art warplanes, pinpoint weapons and colossal budgets -- and sees it is incapable of defeating a small terror group of a few thousand fighers.
: The Israeli army is not even the fifth largest in the Middle East, never mind the world. Egypt, Syria, Iran, Morocco and Turkey all have larger armies than Israel's (Anthony H. Cordesman, "The Military Balance in the Middle East," p. 11). And the armies of China, the United States, India, Russia, North Korea, South Korea, Pakistan, Vietnam, France and Germany are all larger than Israel's (Cordesman, "Trends in Western Military Efforts," 16).
(Guardian, Ghada Karmi, 5/15/06): .... Israeli forces in the 1948-1949 war were greater in number and better equipped than the Arab armies that attacked them.
: Israeli historian Benny Morris laid out the relative strengths of Jewish and Arab forces at the start of the 1948 war in an article published in the New Republic on May 8, 2006.
When Israel declared its Independence in 1948, Arab forces possessed a decisive advantage in weapons and combat manpower. The following comparison illustrates this advantage:
1) Combat aircraft: Arabs possessed 70 — the Jews had 0
2) Standard armored fighting vehicles: Arabs possessed over 200 — the Jews had 2 (one of which was missing its cannon)
3) Artillery pieces: Arabs possessed dozens — the Jews had 2 batteries.