Do the Arabs acknowledge Israeli military prowess?

Regardless of what one may think of Israel, it is indisputable that Israel has demonstrated itself, over the course of over 60 years, to be a country very good at waging war, using innovation, cunning and high technology to prevail in combat, etc.

Now, do Arabs and Arab nations, however grudgingly, acknowledge this, or has there been a tendency to deny the existence of Israel military victories or water them down?

What about the Arab military professionals themselves - do Arab military academies, for instance, teach a fairly historically/factually accurate account of Israeli military feats such as the Six-Day War, the bombing of the nuclear facility at Osirak, the rescue during Operation Entebbe, etc.?

From what I’ve read on several forums, they tend to describe the Israeli military as rabidly aggressive, criminal, genocidal but ineffective and frequently defeated.

Do the Westerners or the Western nations acknowledge the role of the Soviets in the WWII?

I have never, except in the Egyptian case, ever heard anyone deny the Israeli victories. But the Egyptians have the Umm Ad-Dunya complex in their propaganda.

but if you think in the militaries there is not an udnerstanding, you can look to the rational state actions of the Syria, the Jordan and the Egypt. There is no army action with the Israel since the 1973 war. That tells you the reality, more than message boards.

Some do, and increasingly so, especially in Europe where it’s been acknowledged for decades. But your comparison isn’t a perfect fit: the Soviets and the Western European powers had common enemies in WWII, which makes it easier to admit that they, too played an important part in the outcome.

I once knew an Arab who told me he doesn’t think his nation’s military lost against Israel; he believes his nation’s military lost against the United States.

And?
I know many americans who assert the USA won the WWII against the Germans and minimize the “communists” (and all others) contributions…

Ask about a specific country and you may have some coherent answer. Otherwise asking about “the arabs” and the Israel is like asking about “the Westerners” and the Soviets or similar.

And that struck me as relevant and worth mentioning in response to the OP’s question: “do Arabs and Arab nations, however grudgingly, acknowledge this, or has there been a tendency to deny the existence of Israel military victories or water them down?”

The only such individual who ever discussed it with me face-to-face did not, however grudgingly, acknowledge this – instead denying the existence of the Israeli military victory: watering it down entirely, by just attributing it to the United States.

It varies.

There are many Arabs who think the Jews are ultra-smart, and super-competent. And under their confident bluster, these Arabs tend to think their fellow Arabs are moronic screw-ups.

No, I’m not kidding. It’s true. In fact, that’s one reason so many Arabs embraced the crazy theory that Israel was behind 9/11. They figure Arabs are too stupid to pull off such a feat, so it HAD to be the Mossad.

so super, it will be wonderful to hear the anecdote fest of “insights” into the arabs from non arabs via “arab friends”

A good friend of mine who is a US Army colonel spent some time in the 1990s training men from our Arab allies of the time. These men were to form a professional officer corp in their home country’s militaries. My friend described them as “absolutely the worst soldiers, ever.” Yet they were considered an improvement over the men they were replacing, even so. If they were typical of the region, it would appear that the Israelis would need to be only competent to best armies led by such men. The fact that their home countries were sending them here to be trained points to a recognition that they needed better officers.

yes that is true and the discourse astorian mentions exists.

The actual facts of observable behavior, rather than vague message board references and “some arab” from some unidentified country said anectodtes, says what is in the GQ realm:
1: no arab neighboring sovereign state has since 1973 sought direct war against the Israelis
2: there has been no majority popular pressure in the neighbors to restart a war since 1973.
3: even the non-state actor, the Hezbullah had to back off the guerrilla incidents with the Israeli border due to contrary popular pressure in the Lebanon itself

what a random arab from a random country may say to a foreigner, the evidence of actual behavior over forty years is the GQ answer to the question.

the thing about this that fascinates me about your statement is that in 1995 I was at AIT at Ft. Knox with one of those officers, from Egypt in fact. I don’t know how the ranks work in the Egyptian Army but we were told his equivalent rank was Major. He was a super nice guy happy to get down in the muck and grease with all of us enlisted plebe mechanics. As I recall he told us his wealthy dad “bought” his rank for him since due to recent (at that time) changes it couldn’t be “inherited” anymore.

He wouldn’t answer questions about his countries opinion or his own opinion about Israel’s military competency. Probably as a matter of official policy

No doubt the man you met was nice and is a success story for that program. My friend described the ones he trained as being the exact opposite of the man you met. The last time I sat and had a drink with the good colonel we discussed the militaries from that general part of the world, including the Israeli army. He was just back from his second tour in Iraq. He did not have a terribly high opinion of any of them. Of the Israelis, he said that they were a second rate military in many respects, but since they faced fifth rate militaries and lightly-to-unarmed irregulars, second rate was good enough.

Just random opinion here.

But I’d say publicly various Arabs like to claim Israel ain’t all that. But privately I’d bet you’d get a very different story.

And a point to consider. Various Arab nations have been bitching about shit Israel does or represents they claim that is worth going to war about. They have had plenty of time and or excuses over the past 2 generations give or take. Yet they haven’t done so. I suspect that is because they know they will get their asses kicked.

Regarding this point, see a well-thought out and well-known essay on the culture of leadership and service, written by a US Colonel in 2000, “Why Arabs Lose Wars” http://www.unc.edu/depts/diplomat/AD_Issues/amdipl_17/articles/deatkine_arabs1.html

It has been mention in SD a few times: the essay and topic I found at random is discussed in http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=138233; but it is in Great Debates, and I have no idea of the content.

I suspect there are few Arab histories which acknowledge the role played by brave and determined Israeli fighters.

Perhaps, but there is one other factor which hasn’t been considered, except obliquely, in this thread.

During the time of the Arab-Israeli wars, the Arab states were, by and large, being supplied and equipped by the USSR and it’s allies, while Israel, at first dependent on mostly French items, has since 1967 purchased more and US military products.

And coincidentally, so has Egypt, Jordan, the Gulf States, and Iraq. Syria is the lone hold-out, and most of their Soviet-era equipment is generations out of date.

And the US/NATO does not want to see their toys used against one another…and does take precautions in that regard (I’m not going to say what I had written first, because it could run into classification guidelines-suffice it to say there are precautions).

Which is why Scumpup and guestchaz see those officers; we are training the next generation, not the Russians.

Press on.

To some extent, the Arabs are right - from what I read of the 1973 war, not to minimize Israeli prowess, the war after the first week came down to who could supply their side faster - Russians supplying Egypt vs. Americans supplying Israel. The Israelis won.

Perhaps it was Israeli overconfidence, or seriously underestimating the enemy - don’t forget the Egyptians got halfway across the Sinai and destroyed a significant number of Israeli tanks, before Israel adapted tactics to take out guided anti-tank missiles.

I suppose you could always argue the relative merits of Soviet vs. American/Israeli equipment…

But the Egyptians did study the Israeli tactics and adapt to them for the start of the war; the problem is, when the Israelis adapted back on the fly, the Egyptians could not easily modify their tactics in time. And, never underestimate the value of air superiority.

The Arab countries in the middle East acknowledge the Israeli military prowess every day that they don’t attack.

It seems to me the Arab culture is very macho - they bluster, talk big, do not acknowledge when things are hopeless - think Saddam’s “mother of all battles”. They obviously know Israel is formidable, but they don’t make a public discussion of it - they’re not at the “sensitive new age man” stage of talking about their fears and inadequacies.

This also goes along with the political climate. Saying the Israelis are better, out loud in public, is being disrespectful to the government, the leader, and in some cases Allah - depending on the mood of the authorities. it can get you tossed in jail or worse.