Arab-Israeli War

Arab-Israeli War

Arab-Israeli War

1948–49, 1956, 1967, 1968-1970, 1973, 1982

The State of Israel was virtually born of war. After the end of the British mandate, Israel was thrust into conflict with its Arab neighbors. Israel prevailed in all such wars, excepting its invasion of Lebanon in 1982, from which it ultimately had to withdraw. Arab success was nearly achieved during the surprise attacks of the Yom Kippur War, however these too ultimately failed. While superpower intervention was frequently threatened on both sides, ultimately success or failure in the conflicts rode upon the relative capabilities of Arab and Israeli militaries.

Time: Early War
Side: USSR
Ops: 2
Removed after event: No


On the Turn 1 headline, this has a 50/50 shot of eliminating the US from the Middle East entirely if your subsequent Iran coup is successful.  So it’s a 50/50 Suez Crisis, with the added benefit of 2VP and 1 influence in Israel if you succeed.  That makes it one of the better candidates for the USSR Turn 1 headline.

During Turn 1, a decent US player is going to take Jordan / Lebanon before investing in Israel.  (Egypt is also a good choice, but it will probably eventually fall to Nasser.)  So it’s nice to take those Israel-neighboring countries first, before the US can, so that you can wield the threat of Arab-Israeli War to keep the US from the only Middle East battleground not susceptible to Muslim Revolutions.

If the US does manage to solidify Jordan/Lebanon, this event is best played for Ops.  If you’re under Red Scare / Purge, maybe you would consider triggering the event, just for the Mil Ops, but the odds aren’t in your favor to actually win.


This is not much of a threat if you draw it.  Israel is expensive enough that it is usually the last battleground in the Middle East to see any play anyway.  So when you play Arab-Israeli War early on, there’s usually not much influence at stake.  As long as you manage to get out of Israel before this event is played, even if you lose the War, it’s not a huge deal.  Accordingly, Arab-Israeli War is one of the few events where you’ll often see the opponent’s event triggered after the Operations are conducted.  Simply use the card to place 1 into Lebanon and 1 into Jordan or Egypt, and you will be fine.

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13 Responses to Arab-Israeli War

  1. pilight says:

    I prefer to go to Egypt over Jordan on turn one as the US. Nasser can only take out half the influence, and it gives access to Libya.

  2. Yes, I too prefer 2 to Egypt as even with Nasser, it gives me at least a route to Libya witch is a very economical country at the start (and even breaks even with Muslim Revolts).

  3. discomute says:

    I am a very new player, but I don’t understand why you’d play this card in the first turn. It has a 50% chance of doing nothing. If you used the 2 ops into Israel you’re still ‘1 up’ on it, and you don’t get the VP’s…. But 50% for a wasted card?

    • Charles Martel says:

      Up 2-1 is different from up 1-0, because if they don’t have any influence, they can’t move into Lebanon, or Egypt, or Jordan. Just played a game where the USSR headlined this on Turn 1, couped Iran, then scored middle east on turns 2 and 3 where I didn’t even have presence. You play the event to get rid of US access to the region. Also, you get 2 VPs if you succeed as well.

      • discomute says:

        It is different yes but is it worth 50% chance of getting nothing?

        I guess the accepted wisdom is : ‘yes, easily’

        I just need to play more

        • Charles Martel says:

          Yeah. If I can indo-pakistani war with only a 50% chance, I do it instantly if my opponent has any influence in the target.

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  5. Bad Apple says:

    Only 50% ? 50% is the best chance you’re ever going to get! So yeah, definitely. Some players would wait for the US to put more influence into Israel before triggering Arab-Israeli War, thinking the 1 influence gain isn’t worth the trouble. That’s a mistake. Israel is (as it was historically) the last line of defence the US has in the ME. So it’s wisest to attempt to clear it out ASAP, Preferrably in the headline cuopled with the Iran coup as stated above.

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  7. Brainstrainer61 says:

    I have a question: As a USA player, if I play Arab-Israeli War, do we both get the Military Operations credit? The Deluxe Rulebook, both Rule 7.6 and Rule 8.2.3 seem to indicate I (as USA player) get Military Operations credit, and Rule 8.2.4 indicates the USSR player gets them as well. I don’t see any language in the rules cited making the Military Operations exclusive to one player only. I’m sorry if this is easily refuted; I just can’t find the answer I want in the rulebook.

    • theory says:

      It’s a USSR event – only the USSR player gets the Mil Ops from t he event. Of course, if you use Arab-Israeli War for a coup, you will get Mil Ops from that.

  8. Oliver Worbs says:

    If in turn 6 in the headlinephase the USSR chooses the ARAB-ISRAELI WAR and the US player chooses CAMP DAVID ACCORDS (his event occurs first), do both events still occur (since the headline phase events are chosen simultaneously) or does the USSR player just lose the event right away and does not even receive any MO?

    • m01andcia says:

      I know I’m late, I’ll leave here an answer for future generations…

      Nothing is simultaneous in this game. In this case the US event is triggered before and its effects apply before the USSR event which, therefore, is discarded without consequences.

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