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Real Lesson of Yom Kippur War: Israel's Survival

Israeli tank during Yom Kippur War, 1973 (Photo: CIA)

On October 6, 1973, Israel was forced into the conflict now known as the Yom Kippur War. Today we bring you a piece by CNN's David Frum, written for the war's fortieth anniversary, which makes a point that is just as relevant today - that of Israel's survival, then and now:

Altogether, many analysts drew a grim conclusion from 1973 about the future of the Jewish state: Israeli military supremacy had come to an end. The world would have to adjust to the new power of Israel's oil-rich enemies.

How wrong they were.

In 1973, Israel's enemies scored their first battlefield successes since the foundation of the Jewish state. They also scored their last battlefield successes. In 1982, Israel and Syria battled once more, this time in the air over Lebanon.

Syria lost 82 planes, a quarter of its air force; Israel lost not a single one. In the decades since 1973, Israel has suffered repeated terrorist atrocities. Iraq, Syria and now Iran have all sought to develop nuclear weapons. But none of Israel's enemies would ever again dare wage a conventional military campaign against the country that had looked so weak on the morning of October 6, 1973.

The war waged against Israel has come to look downright puny compared with the savage wars that have ripped apart the Middle East beyond Israel's borders...

Tags: History

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