Why we should celebrate our oldies
When was Israel nearly annihilated?
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We move on to 1973. So you want miracles? Then read on. The following extracts have been taken from the book, Battle for Israel, by Lance Lambert, an English Jew who was living in Israel at the time of this war.
‘The Yom Kippur War should have been the annihilation of the State of Israel. People think of the 1967 Six Day War as a miracle, but it was nothing compared with the Yom Kippur War and in the years that lie ahead, when the whole truth comes out, we shall see that it was beyond all reason that Israel was not annihilated.’
He goes on to remark that at one point in the war only ninety battered Israeli tanks stood between the powerful Egyptian army and Tel Aviv and that both Egypt and Syria could have beaten Israel but were inexplicably prevented. Two episodes stand out. The first Egyptian tank division that crossed over the Canal had nothing to prevent it, and the ones that followed behind, from advancing into central Israel. Yet it stopped ... inexplicably. To the north of Israel the Syrians poured out of the Golan Heights, yet when they got within sight of the Israeli HQ and the Sea of Galilee they also mysteriously halted. What made this story incredible was that the HQ was manned by just ten men and two tanks!
Another story concerns an Israeli captain, a man without any religious beliefs. As he was fighting in the Golan he looked up into the sky and saw a great grey hand pressing downwards as if it were holding something back. Lance Lambert's conclusion as to what was behind all of these incredible events was that ‘without the intervention of God, Israel would have been doomed’.
The Yom Kippur war was an all-out attack on Israel by Egypt and Syria that took the country completely by surprise, not only because it happened on the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, but because, for the first time, the military and the defence establishment were totally unprepared. Unlike the Six Day war, this time Israel started out at a complete and utter disadvantage, with the element of surprise (helped by Soviet spy satellites) used against them. Yet, just like the other war, and all other preceding conflicts, the outcome was totally in her favour.
At the start of the war, the World looked on, seemingly indifferent, preparing their best suits and mourning dresses for Israel's funeral. The United Nations held back for reasons that were all about politics, rather than intervening out of compassion for a fledgling country barely 25 years old.
But, wait, another miracle! Israel didn't read the script because very soon, against all the odds, she began to throw back the invading forces. She was near to the gates of Damascus, the capital of Syria and had surrounded the Egyptian third army in the south, with Cairo in her sights. The United Nations was unprepared for this; it had already prepared the eulogy for the death of a brave nation and it wasn't expecting such territorial aggression by the Zionist imperialists! It was incensed and immediately voted for a cease-fire before Israel completely re-wrote the map of the Middle East!
It was a great victory but a costly one for Israelis - $7 billion in money and 2,552 in lives, with over 3,000 wounded. Although the Arab losses were far greater in numbers, proportionally to the size of the nation, these figures were a disaster for Israel. Very few families survived the war without having to mourn a personal loss.