Yom Kippur War The Long-Term Thesis

Length: 12 pages Sources: 6 Subject: History - Israel Type: Thesis Paper: #4051183 Related Topics: Israeli Palestinian Conflict, Hezbollah, Syria, Conflict In Syria
Excerpt from Thesis :

This unity generally took the form of diplomatic and military opposition to the state of Israel. Egypt's leading role in the acceleration of Arab political unification would have a long-term effect of philosophically influencing such movements as the liberation front of Yasser Arafat in the Palestinean territory, and the host of other terror organizations which have waged guerilla campaigns in search of political recognition.

These examples will be relevant in discussion hereafter on the long-term effects of the conflict. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, it would become clear that these political implications were not accidental. Quite to the contrary, the Arabs understood quite well that they could not anticipate a military victory. Still, "in October 1973, Arab nations led by Egypt and Syria chose war as their instrument of policy -- their primary policy objective in waging war: to recover Arab lands occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six Days' War. Arab leaders translated their policy objective to recover the occupied territories into a grand strategy designed to achieve that objective. The Arab grand strategy contemplated limited military action followed by political pressure to compel recovery of the occupied territories in total." (Jordan, 1)

This strategy would ultimately prove an effective one, insofar is it would provoke a series of world conditions which would in many ways tip the diplomatic scales in favor of the Arabs. Essentially, Egypt and Syria had collectively resolved that with military victory unlikely to impossible, it would be necessary to at least provoke Israel into recognizing its always precarious position in the region. At the time leading up to the ruthless surprise attack on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, the sense of security which the Israeli's enjoyed was on the basis of the understanding that the Arabs were left without motive for an attack. Unable to win in military confrontation, the Israelis had come to view the Arab states as not possessing any bargaining power, according to the source provided by Jordan (1997).

This impression would contribute, the article argues, to a general unwillingness on the part of Israel to cede its position on Resolution 242. Lacking the capacity to enforce Israel's withdrawal from the disputed territories and simultaneously refusing to recognize Israeli statehood, Nasser's leadership of the Arab states coalesced into another strategy altogether as a means to forcing Israel's hand in attending the conditions of Resolution 242.

It was Nasser's determination that American involvement in diplomatic affairs hat especially interceded in the prospect of achieving a meaningful compromise. To the point, "following three years of political efforts, Arab leaders concluded that diplomatic resolution of their problems was at a political impasse. The Arabs believed Israel would never negotiate concessions so long as Israelis felt militarily secure inside their borders and the United States was unwilling to apply pressure to force a settlement. Arab leaders determined that war was the only viable alternative to achieve their political goals." (Jordan, 2)

Therefore, with force and finance support from other Arab states, Egypt and Syria attacked Israel on October 6th, 1973, while its citizens observed a ritual day long repentance through fasting. (ADL, 1) in the immediate shock which revealed Israel's vulnerability, the Arabs made fast gains on the ground. For the first day and a half, the Israelis were besieged by the attack as expected. And also as expect, their response was swift and ultimately decisive. While not as total or concise as the 1967 conflict, the 1973 engagement would nonetheless restore Israel to the same borders which it has established six years prior. In this respect, the Egyptians and Syrians had made no initial progress in brokering a return of occupied lands However, as we have noted, the intent of this strike was to provoke eventual gains in the enforcement of the 1967 United Nations Security Resolution.

In this they would be successful, returning the United Nations to the floor to discuss the brokering of piece. Thus, "on October 22, 1973, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 338, calling on all parties to begin "implementation of Security Council Resolution 242 in all its parts" through negotiations." (ADL, 1) Once again, however, the process of establishing peace by carrying out the implications of Resolution 242 would be hampered, this time, by a failure of Syria even to show up to engage in negotiation on a peace treaty. Syria argued that unless Israel immediately and unconditionally relinquished its control of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, followed by an immediate withdrawal of all troops there, it would refuse to appear in a discussion...


Thus, the doctrine would hang in suspended animation once again, this time disrupted by the inconsistent approach taken by Syria, which had thus essentially removed itself from the political and diplomatic proceedings which had ultimately been intended by the invasion. It may perhaps be credibly argued that in attempting to compel Israeli withdrawal without conceding recognition of Israel's right to exist, Syria over-estimated the power which the Arab states had gained within the world community.

Egypt, by contrast, would seize the intended opportunity and being a new era for Arab efforts at again political momentum against the historically better organization Zionist movement. The Yom Kippur invasion had simply been a way to regain both Israel's respect for the threat laying in wait at its borders and the world community's undivided attention. There is, in reflection, a set of provocations for this approach that would become clearer in Egypt's behavior in the war's aftermath. Accordingly, we find that "in 1973, the Middle East question no longer held center-stage internationally. The superpowers, focused on detente, sought to avoid Middle East tensions that could disrupt Soviet-American diplomatic accords. American Middle East mediation efforts progressively declined, finally ceasing entirely in mid-1973.[10] the environment in the Middle East, albeit tense, was not war, and the superpowers, immersed in rapidly evolving global politics,[11] tolerated this no peace-no war situation." (Jordan, 2) Thus, to the Arabs, this meant that the world community had tacitly come to accept Israel's military dominance over the Arabs, its occupation of the Palestinian territories and, thus, its resistance to the conditions of U.N. Resolution 242.

The conflict was inherently designed to remind the global powers that this status quo was not acceptable to the Arab states. Still, when Syria balked at negotiating, immediate moves toward political progress would be couched in the general ethnic and ideological rancor which had inclined constant military friction. The diplomatic process would enter a new point in history, where the empathy of some members of the global community for the anti-Semitism represented in the Arab states, and where the political motives of aligning against a U.S. ally for others, would create a political alliance aimed at attacking Israel's general right to existence.

Thus, perhaps one of the most dubious accomplishments to be yielded by the conflict would be that established by an overwhelming majority of member states in 1975. The political ascendancy of the Arab states, notably supported by their Soviet sponsorship, would gain the Arab coalition a seat at the world table. It would use this to condemn Israel and to de-legitimize its claim to its state. Empowered by the political gains made in its entrance into a peace process, the Arab community succeeded in introducing and passing Resolution 3379, which would ultimately define the Zionist movement toward the founding of the state of Israel as an inherently racist political movement and ideology. The Resolution identifies other movements such as Apartheid as a way of creating an association between Zionism and a distinctly racist form of political exclusion. The resolution explicitly states, "taking note also of the Political Declaration and Strategy to Strengthen International Peace and Security and to Intensify Solidarity and Mutual Assistance among Non-Aligned Countries adopted at the Conference of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Non-Aligned Countries held at Lima from 25 to 30 August 1975, which most severely condemned zionism as a threat to world peace and security and called upon all countries to oppose this racism and imperialist ideology." (UNGA, 1)

That an Arab coalition of states had introduced such language was hardly surprising or novel. Quite as a point of their political identity, the Arab states had established as a primary political and military objective the destruction of the state of Israel.

And in the wake of the 1967 and 1973 conflicts, the anti-Semitism which has long persisted within the world community would find a galvanizing point of contention concerning the absence in legitimacy of Zionism. The global community's condemnation, though repealed in 1991, would touch off a longstanding official world policy of hostility toward Israeli existence, highlight by rejection of Israel's right to occupy the territories gained in 1967. Nonetheless, the United States remained in firm support of its strategic and philosophical ally, ensuring that a strong voice in world affairs…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Anti-Defamation League (ADL). (2005). The 1973 Yom Kippur War. ADL.org.

Ehrenfeld, R. (2002). IRA + PLO = Terror. National Review Online. Online at http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/commentehrenfeld082102.asp

Horovitz, D. (2005). The Iran-Hezbollah Nexus. Chicago Jewish Community Online. Online at

Israel 1967-1991. (2004). Israel-Egypt Peace. Palestine Facts.

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