Lessons from the Yom Kippur War

Posted By Daniel Greenfield

Forty years ago, Israel experienced the most devastating war in its modern history. Israel not only suffered its worst casualties during the Yom Kippur War, but actually came close to being destroyed with Defense Minister Moshe Dayan warning that “The Third Temple is falling.”

To understand the lessons of the Yom Kippur War, it is important to understand the three key elements that led to it. These are Muslim deceptiveness, American diplomatic pressure and Israeli complacency.

Egypt had lulled Israel into complacency by faking a crisis. Before the Yom Kippur War everyone “knew” that Egypt’s air force was defunct and that its military was no threat because of an arms dispute with the Soviet Union. While there was a dispute, one of many, with the Arab powers demanding more and better weapons, the claims of weakness were a façade. During the Six-Day War, Israel had faced overwhelming odds. Now it seemed to be facing a weakened Egypt under a “moderate” leader whose ties with his Soviet allies appeared to be fraying.


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