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Setting the Record Straight on Israel's "Qualitative Military Edge"

JINSA's recent three-part series on the 40-plus-year history and current status of Israel's Qualitative Military Edge was misinterpreted and distorted by Middle East Newsline, an online news service. Sadly, MENL's mistaken story was quickly used as source material for web articles put out by other online news organizations.

In the series (JINSA Reports #956 , #957 , and #958 ) four key points were made:

  • The concept of a QME is "iffy" to begin with;

  • The Bush Administration did several things that reduced Israel's capabilities against certain of its enemies, while strengthening Israel in other ways;

  • The Obama Administration is repeating the mistakes, doubling down on them and adding its own new ones;

  • Israel, in very important ways, isn't protesting where it might.


  1. MENL added the name of Prime Minister Netanyahu in the context of a supposed Israeli failure to protest a mythical Obama Administration "embargo" on Israel. The JINSA Reports never used Netanyahu's name or introduced the word or even the concept of an embargo.

  2. MENL took our stated questioning of why the Israeli government does not protest U.S. training and equipping a nascent Palestinian army and extended it to Obama Administration arms sales in general.

  3. MENL characterized our reports to have said, "More than 20 years ago, the Israel Air Force stopped participating in U.S.-sponsored regional exercises to prevent the leakage of combat tactics," suggesting that there were regional exercises in which the United States and Israel had been participating, and from which Israel withdrew. In actuality, we wrote "At one point in the 1980s, Israel declined to participate in certain U.S. air exercises, knowing that tactics the IAF developed for use in U.S. aircraft would be shared with American pilots and then shared with Saudi pilots."

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