Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

After assaults by the terrorist group Hamas that began Oct. 7 drew Israel to warfare within the Gaza strip, Meron Medzini, 91, is feeling a way of deja vu in Jerusalem. The present warfare began at some point after the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of the Yom Kippur warfare, and Medzini has been having flashbacks.

As press secretary to the Prime Minister Golda Meir throughout the warfare that Israel fought in opposition to Egypt and Syria in 1973, Medzini attended warfare cupboard conferences in Tel Aviv, which he says Meir carried out with two packs of Chesterfield cigarettes and innumerable cups of espresso. Medzini traveled with overseas correspondents to the frontlines, and to at the present time, he says he can nonetheless see the lifeless our bodies and burning tanks vividly.

Medzini says one distinction between then and now’s a way of “rage” that Israelis really feel at how excessive the casualty rely is already and the widespread social media protection of civilian hostages and the deaths of girls and infants. Thus far, there have been greater than 1,200 Israeli casualties in about 4 days—a quantity that would surpass the two,600 casualties within the Yom Kippur warfare, which lasted 19 days. Fifty years in the past, Medzini says, “We had been extra offended at the truth that we had been caught unprepared. This time we really feel that there is a completely totally different enemy.”

TIME talked to specialists on the historical past of the Yom Kippur warfare, the teachings that got here out of it, and the way it reshaped Israel and the area. Abraham Rabinovich, writer of The Yom Kippur Conflict: The Epic Encounter That Remodeled the Center East, describes the Yom Kippur Conflict as each “the best navy victory Israel has ever had” and “probably the most traumatic occasion in Israel’s historical past.”

Learn Extra: Why Hamas Tried to Sabotage Arab-Israeli Peace Prospects With a Large Unprovoked Assault

One similarity between the 1973 warfare and the 2023 warfare is the concept Israel was caught off guard. The 2023 warfare began on a Saturday, when many Israelis keep dwelling to look at the Sabbath, whereas the 1973 warfare began on Yom Kippur, a holy day when many Israeli companies are closed to allow them to go to synagogue and quick. As TIME described the outbreak of the Yom Kippur warfare within the Oct. 15, 1973, concern of the journal:

The preventing erupted when Egyptian troops surged throughout the Suez Canal and Syrian troopers struck within the north on the Golan Heights. Each forces swept by means of Israel’s entrance traces and punched their means into Israeli-held territory below the glare of a day solar. Backed by heavy artillery and strafing jets, they maneuvered with tanks and armored autos. Helicopters carried some Arab troops into battle. United Nations observers reported seeing Egyptians crossing into the Sinai Desert at 5 factors alongside the 103-mile canal entrance; Syrian troops had been noticed shifting into Israel over the central part of the Golan Heights cease-fire line by different U.N. groups. The Syrians had been quickly stopped, however the Egyptians claimed that inside hours they occupied practically all the east financial institution of the canal—a declare shortly denied by the Israelis. Although each Egypt and Syria insisted that invading Israeli troops had began the warfare, the proof clearly indicated that the fourth Arab-Israeli warfare in 25 years had been launched by a large Arab invasion. Inside 24 hours, Israeli troops had stemmed the Arab thrust and had been delivering a brutal counterattack.

Information of the invasion despatched Israeli civilians cleansing out their bomb shelters, filling their bathtubs with water and taping their home windows for blackouts.
At a number of synagogues, providers had been interrupted because the sextons stood up and known as out the names of younger males who had been being summoned to responsibility; different worshipers, on listening to the information, shortly folded their prayer shawls and departed; some returned later, in uniform, to bid their households goodbye. That day, Israeli warplanes buzzed Israel’s principal cities, maybe as a sign for air power call-ups; but it surely was a curious incidence, as a result of planes had by no means flown over Israel throughout Yom Kippur earlier than.

Israel would find yourself successful the roughly three-week warfare, empowered by weapons and navy help from america. Israeli forces marched throughout the Suez canal into Egypt and pushed again the Syrians from Golan Heights, launching an offensive in Syria. For now, any chance of help for Israel is caught because the U.S. Home of Representatives stays with out a Speaker.

In 1973, Egypt’s objective in crossing the Suez Canal was to power Israel to the negotiation desk to make a peace deal and get again management of the Sinai peninsula. Based on Avi Shilon, a historian who teaches at Tel-Hai Faculty in Israel, “The Egyptian and the Syrians did not plan to beat Israel. They deliberate to hit Israel and to power Israel to enter negotiations. For them, it was sufficient to hit Israel to point out that they will beat Israel within the first days, they usually most popular to cease, so it was simpler for Israel to launch a retaliation assault.”

After the Yom Kippur warfare, Prime Minister Meir of the Labor occasion resigned, and a rightwing authorities was elected for the primary time, dominated by Likud (the occasion that the present Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has led). As a part of a everlasting peace treaty signed in 1979, mediated by the U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Israel returned the Sinai peninsula to Egypt. 

That peace settlement would go on to type “the premise for future peace agreements between different Arab States and Israel,” says Alexander Burns, an knowledgeable on the historical past of the Yom Kippur warfare and professor of historical past on the Franciscan College of Steubenville. 

The legacy of the Yom Kippur warfare lingers in different methods. After the Yom Kippur warfare, Israel misplaced a way of safety that it has by no means been in a position to totally regain. “It broke Israel’s picture of invincibility and made Israel extra humble,” says Boaz Atzili, a political scientist at American College’s College of Worldwide Service.

As Rabinovich describes the enduring trauma for Israelis, revived in latest days: “You marvel, ‘Okay, we received the warfare. However can it occur once more?’”

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