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Yom Kippur War, 1973

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

On This Day in Jewish History: October 6th, 1973

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#onthisday, 5734, multiple Arab armies invade Israel and land a surprise attack on the holiest day of the year: Yom Kippur, unleashing the Yom Kippur War (1973)

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Most of Israel’s soldiers were away from their posts observing Yom Kippur while the Arab armies made impressive advances with their up-to-date Soviet weaponry.

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Egypt invaded across the Suez, Iraqi forces soon joined the war, and Syria received support from Jordan in the Golan Heights

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After several days, Israel was fully mobilized and the IDF began repelling the Arab gains at a heavy cost of soldiers and equipment.

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A U.S. airlift of arms aided Israel’s cause, but President Nixon delayed the emergency military aid for a week as a tacit signal of U.S. sympathy for Egypt.

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Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement and the most important day on the Hebrew calendar. Yom Kippur is the day where according to Jewish belief, God decides each person’s fate, so Jews are encouraged to make amends and ask forgiveness for sins committed during the past year. The holiday is observed with a 25-hour fast and special service in synagogue that normally lasts all day.

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Well aware of this, Arab armies struck on this particular day as most Israeli soldiers were away in synagogues fasting and praying.

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At the same time, the Israeli intelligence community and cabinet of Golda Meir failed to act on clear indications that an attack was imminent.

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A ceasefire went into effect on October 25, 1973. For Israel, The Yom Kippur War was a victory in terms of land not lost, but it came at the cost of heavy casualties. The war led to a wave of Israelis criticizing the government’s lack of preparedness while breaking the myth of Israeli invincibility in the shadow of 1967 (6 Day War).

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In April 1974, the nation’s prime minister, Golda Meir stepped down with Defense Minister, Moshe Dayan following suit. A bevy of intelligence officers were essentially forced to resign as well.

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For Syria, the Yom Kippur War was a disaster. The Egyptian-Israeli cease-fire exposed Syria to military defeat, and Israel seized even more territory in the Golan Heights.

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✍: @_tikvah

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#jewish#israel#jewishhistory#yomkippur

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Text Source:

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/background-and-overview-yom-kippur-war

Image Source:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/316377942543443226/

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