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Palestine conflict: The tides have changed (Part 1)

My Israeli classmates in a high school overseas in the late 1980s, in moments typical of rowdy adolescent boisterousness and friendly banter, would spew out quasi-nationalistic quasi-ethno-religious challenges to their Muslim friends.

"All of you put together, we still kicked your [collective posteriors]! Israel's the best!" they would say.

They were, of course, reminding us of 'our' armies' collective humiliation at the hands of the Israeli forces during the 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, and 1982 wars. Against individual armies, and on some occasions the combined forces, of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq, Israel's defense forces succeeded not only in "whipping" them but in stretching the boundaries of Israel considerably.

My Israeli classmates' banter was, of course, in the spirit of harmless rowdy adolescent boisterousness and mock rivalry. Moreover, a number of historians, Jewish and goyim, would beg to differ as to the factual accuracy of my friends' belief that the relative sizes of the opposing armies were comparable to the biblical struggle of David against Goliath.

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