But money doesn’t begin to describe Israel’s real advantages, which are in the quality and effectiveness of its military, in terms of both weapons and people. Despite being dwarfed by the Arab population, Israel’s army plus its high-quality reservists vastly outnumber those of the Arab nations. Its weapons are far more sophisticated, often a generation ahead of those used by its adversaries. Israel’s technology advantage has profound implications on the modern battlefield.

The most powerful Arab military, and the one against which Israel is often judged in scholarly studies, is Syria’s. But of course the Syrian army is now in turmoil as it battles its own people and Bashar al-Assad hangs on to power…

This is why Egypt, despite being under a new Islamist government, is not going to risk war with Israel. Nor are the other Arab states. They will make fiery speeches and offer humanitarian assistance. But they will not fight alongside the Palestinians in Gaza or do anything that could trigger a wider war.