Yom Kippur War 1973, Gaza 2023—Anniversaries Matter To Palestinians
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Back on June 5, 1968, Palestinian immigrant Sirhan Sirhan assassinated Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who had just won the California Democratic presidential primary by promising 50 fighter jets to Israel, to commemorate the first anniversary of the Six Day War (June 5-June 10, 1967) in which Israel attacked its Arab neighbors. It took me the rest of the century to figure out Sirhan’s motivation.

On October 6, 1973, Yom Kippur, Egypt under Anwar Sadat attacked Israel’s occupation troops in the Sinai, crossing the Suez Canal in a brilliant feat of arms by using two-man teams of infantry, one firing a shoulder-launched wire-controlled anti-tank missile, the other controlling the joystick, to demolish Israeli tanks.

The Egyptian Army had trained intensively to win this battle to overcome the shame of 1967. But they won so quickly, sending much of the Israeli government into a panic, that it suddenly became a problem that the Egyptians didn’t have much of a plan for what to do next. There were hundreds of miles of bad road across the Sinai between them and Israel proper, plus an increasing number of angry Israelis.

One Israeli who didn’t melt down was Ariel Sharon, who hitched a ride to the front. There, he organized a successful assault back across the Canal, cutting off an entire Egyptian army.

Meanwhile, Syrian tanks were making progress in the Golan Heights. But just when things were looking grim for the Israelis in their two-front war, the Syrian commander turned his tanks around.

The U.S. was flying in huge amounts of supplies for the Israelis. When the Soviets thought to intervene to bail out their clients, Nixon, who was drinking heavily due to Watergate, took America to DefCon 3, and Brezhnev backed down.

So the Israelis wound up winning, and it took Henry Kissinger months to talk the Israelis into giving up their latest territorial conquests across the Suez Canal and in Syria and go back to the post-1967 cease-fire lines. Eventually, Kissinger figured out what he should have divined in 1972, when Sadat kicked his Soviet military advisers out of Egypt: that Sadat preferred to be America’s ally.

In the meantime, Muslim-dominated OPEC embargoed oil shipments to the West over the war, and then America’s pal, the Shah of Iran, pushed through a permanent major price hike for oil.

The vast prosperity of Americans in 1945-1973 had been subsidized by the Persian Gulf states being too dumb to figure out just how much they should charge the Western oil companies for their oil. But a smart Venezuelan, Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonzo, had finally persuaded them that they were being ripped off. And the Yom Kippur War gave them the impetus to do something about it, with enormous economic consequences.

And then a whole bunch of other stuff happened. But I’ll stop the story there and just sum up that October 6, 1973 was important.

Exactly 50 years later on October 6, 2023, Hamas in Gaza invaded Israel with quite a lot of initial success, seizing seven Israeli villages.

Well, I guess Israel now isn’t going to tear itself to pieces in internal political strife, unlike how 36 hours ago everybody was figuring it would. It could be that the Israeli military and deep state were distracted by internal politics, which is why they took their eye off the Gaza ball. But … yeah, nothing will make Israeli Jews forget how much they hate each other more than being violently reminded of how much they really hate Arabs.

The poor Palestinians’ best chance was to wait to strike until the Jewish center and Jewish right were actually at war with each other. But they don’t control their own destiny. They’re beholden to the Iranians, who are worried about an imminent Israeli-Saudi rapprochement.

So, the expected date of when Israel falls apart because its Jews hate each other more than they hate the Arabs just got pushed back a long while.

[Comment at Unz.com]

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