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I am looking for the details of a quote that goes something along the lines of "It is easy to look like a great general when you fight Arabs" by Moshe Dayan (or maybe Golda Meier). I believe the context was in reply to some comment about how he was such a great general.

  • Who said it?

  • When & where was it said?

  • What is the exact quote?

  • Where is the original source/citation?

I did a few Google searches but couldn't find the quote. Even if apocryphal, would appreciate the scoop on how it came to be.

Note: Although the quote may seem to indicate an anti-Arab sentiment, it is a quote; it represents the speaker's opinion, not the original poster's.

  • Why did someone negative one this? It's a serious question (albeit a minor one). At least more historical than the 1969 Life Magazine pretty girl question. – guest Dec 4 '19 at 17:47
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    This website has a bad history of new users (in particular unregistered ones) trying to promote racist content by pretending to ask a question about it. You are a new user, the supposed quote is definitely racist, and this is a question asking about it, so it fits the profile. – T.E.D. Dec 4 '19 at 18:00
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    So we have a quote with no exact wording, no secondary source, no associated person and no context. Hmmmmm – user31561 Dec 4 '19 at 19:48
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    Ugg...you put it on hold. I'm not anti-Arab. Have read Seven Pillars of Wisdom, taken a class on Islamic history, and have read several popular sympathetic books like Wind in the Sahara and Doomed Oasis. – guest Dec 4 '19 at 20:19
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    I didn't VtC, but this might have gone over better if you already had some reputation on the site. The question looks fine to me now. – Aaron Brick Dec 4 '19 at 22:45
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Quoting this site that supposedly quotes the book:

סיפורו של משה דיין משרד הביטחון – ההוצאה לאור, 1997 [ספר נידח שגם אזל כי שארית עותקיו נשלחה לגריסה עם סגירת ההוצאה לאור, על פי החלטת שר הביטחון אהוד ברק]

Translation:

"The story of Moshe Dayan", Ministry of Defense - Publishing, 1997. (Ehud Ben-Ezer: "Courage: The Story of Moshe Dayan") [A rare book that also ran out, the rest of its copies sent to shred when the publishing house closed, according to Defense Minister Ehud Barak's decision]

(the grammatical quirks and language are in the original)

Moshe Dayan allegedly said:

"ככה זה כשנלחמים עם ערבים," משוכנע משה מאז הקרב על הדגניות: "אם נותנים דפיקה אחת בפח – הם כולם בורחים, כמו ציפורים."

Translation:

"That's the way it is when fighting with Arabs," Moshe is convinced since the battle for the Deganiot, "If you put one knock on the tin bin - they all run away, like birds."

Note that this quote is from 1948 when Dayan was still a battalion commander, and is not necessarily racist but reflects the kind of fighting that took place against non organised mobs or poorly trained armies.

I couldn't find this quote anywhere else using different wording. The exact quote inquired in the question is even more elusive.

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