This article shows that Israel's success in wars against Arab states should not be attributed exclusively to its own military prowess and the relative incompetence of its enemies. Another important factor was great-power involvement in the Arab-Israeli wars.Despite Israel's early fears, such involvement in most cases either failed to deny Israel its military achievements or was an asset for two main reasons: lack of will or capability on the part of hostile great powers to intervene against Israel; and a friendly patron's support, without which Israel's own military skills might not have been suf ficient to secure military success.

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