Why the Israeli-Hamas war echoes the Yom Kippur War of 1973

“Tell them to send everything that can fly,” exclaimed former American President Richard Nixon when Egypt and Syria jointly launched a coordinated attack on Israel in 1973.

The attack was a response to Israel’s triumph in the Six Day War, also known as the June 1967 War.

Six Day War

  • In the June 1967 war, Israel won a quick victory, occupying historic Palestine, Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula to the south, and Syria’s Golan Heights to the north.
  • The territory occupied by Israel became larger than its own land.

Subsequently, the war that followed in 1973 became known as the Yom Kippur War, or in Arab circles, the October War of 1973.

Let’s return to Nixon’s calls and the subsequent actions of the United States in 1973. This happened at the height of the Cold War, about ten years after the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

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First similarity

  • Nearly half a century after the United States intervened in West Asia, an area in which it has never been a stranger, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced Sunday the dispatch of the USS Ford aircraft carrier strike group.
  • The deployment, consisting of 5,000 sailors and several military aircraft escorted by cruisers and destroyers, was aimed at preparing aid for Israel after Hamas carried out a surprise attack that killed more than 1,100 people on both sides and wounded thousands.

Does this sound familiar?

  • In times of crisis, whether in the 1970s or today, Israel considers the United States a reliable friend and strategic partner in the fight against its hostile neighbors. The geopolitical landscape of the 1970s also facilitated Russian intervention supporting Arab countries.
  • Today, the role once played by Russia has been taken over by China, now the de facto second superpower, advocating the creation of a Palestinian state. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasizes: “The main way out of the conflict is to implement the two-state solution and create an independent State of Palestine.”

Here we have superpowers occupying a central position in the theater of war.

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Second similarity

  • It is contained in the Israeli name for the war itself – Yom Kippur.
  • Yom Kippur is the day of atonement in Judaism.which is a 25-hour holiday of fasting, prayer and reflection.
  • Celebrated on the 10th day of Tishrei, it is a time to seek forgiveness, make peace with God, and reflect on your actions.
  • After the holidays that year, many military personnel were on leave, and this also affected the relations of the Israeli Defense Forces.
  • Drawing parallels with Saturday’s attack, many Jews in Israel were preparing for a terrorist attack. Simchat Torah is a Jewish holiday. celebrating the completion of the annual Torah reading cycle.
  • This is an occasion when Torah scrolls (the five books of the Hebrew Bible) are displayed and danced with.

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Third similarity

  • This is partly due to the second factor, namely the lack of military readiness issues on Israel’s part.
  • Moreover, there were reports of Israeli intelligence failures and initial territorial losses due to the Arab surprise attack.
  • The Israelis, buoyed by victories in past wars against their Arab neighbors, are said to have underestimated the threat.
  • Israel reportedly scrambled its fighter jets about an hour after the attack began.
  • Saturday’s attack was also unexpected, with more than 5,000 rockets fired at Israeli cities and several locations infiltrated by Hamas, which plundered the Jewish population and killed, tortured and kidnapped scores of women.
  • Today, Israel is considered a security state, more advanced than other neighboring countries, equipped with all modern surveillance channels.
  • Thus, a sudden attack certainly indicates a serious mistake that is being overlooked.
  • The famous Iron Dome surveillance and missile defense system also failed on various occasions in response to a barrage of incoming missile attacks, which reportedly numbered more than 5,000.
  • Another thing that has come to light recently is meetings between Iranian officials and Hamas counterparts that were not followed up on time.

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Fourth similarity

  • To summarize, if you look at the scale of the attacks in both cases, you can find another similarity – the mortality rate of the attacks.
  • Although the exact number of casualties varies depending on the source, it is estimated that between 2,500 and 2,800 Israeli soldiers and civilians were killed, while the Arab coalition, led mainly by Egypt and Syria, suffered an estimated 8,000 to 18,000 casualties.
  • More than 1,100 people have been killed on both sides since the attack began on Saturday, and it is likely that those still missing may be dead, with some exceptions in which some may have survived.
  • A United Nations report found that the attack left more than 120,000 people homeless in the Gaza Strip.

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