Monday, 6 September 2010

Remembering the Yom Kippur War

The Yom Kippur War was fought from October 6 to 26, 1973, between Israel and a massive coalition of Arab states backing Egypt and Syria. The war began with a joint surprise attack on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism. The obvious reason for choosing the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur to stage a surprise attack on Israel was that on this specific holiday (unlike any other) the country comes to a complete standstill. Yom Kippur is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar; both religiously observant Jews and most of the secular majority fast, abstain from any use of electricity, engines, communications, etc., and all road traffic ceases. Many soldiers also went home from military facilities for the holiday, and Israel was more vulnerable with much of its military on leave.

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Due to a massive blunder on the part of Israel's intelligence apparatus there was no real prior warning and Israel's strategy of using a preemptive strike was not...

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