‘We Don’t Have Enough People to Defend the State’

Stand for Israel  |  October 7, 2019

IDF wounded evacuated during Yom Kippur War
IDF wounded evacuated during Yom Kippur War

In 1973, Israel was attacked by her enemies from both the north and the south. These attacks came on Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, and were meant to catch the nation off-guard. Can Israel defend itself? Looking back, Ynet News’ Yaron Druckman explains that this did catch Israel’s leaders by surprise, and that they worried the war might mean the end of the Jewish state:

The war began on October 6, 1973, when a coalition of Arab forces launched a surprise strike on Israel on Yom Kippur – the holiest day of the Jewish year. Both Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Syrian President Hafez Assad believed that striking the Jewish state on its most sacred day would be detrimental to IDF morale.

The strike caught Israel by complete surprise. The military strongholds in the Suez Canal (Egyptian front) and the Golan Heights (Syrian front) were sparsely manned, as were the rear posts.

Then-IDF Chief of Staff David Elazar ordered a mobilization of the entire reserve force, but the emergency warehouses, meant among other things to supply reserve forces, were nearly empty; and the regular forces were in near disarray…

Can Israel defend itself? Defense Minister Moshe Dayan also expressed fear for the fate of the State of Israel.

“What am I most afraid of in my heart? That the State of Israel will eventually be left with insufficient weapons to defend itself,” he said. “It doesn’t matter where the line is.”

Israel “will not have enough tanks and no planes and no people and no trained people to simply defend the Land of Israel …. And in the end no one will wage this war for us … and the Arabs will pounce on us from all sides … so I want to say that to Golda,” Dayn said, referring to then-Prime Minister Golda Meir…