Eigh­teen Days in Octo­ber: The Yom Kip­pur War and How It Cre­at­ed the Mod­ern Mid­dle East

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2021

Octo­ber 2023 marks the 50th anniver­sary of the Yom Kip­pur War, a con­flict that shaped the mod­ern Mid­dle East. The War was a trau­ma for Israel and fol­low­ing the oil embar­go, a piv­otal reorder­ing of the glob­al eco­nom­ic order. The Jew­ish State came shock­ing­ly close to defeat. A pan­icky cab­i­net meet­ing debat­ed the use of nuclear weapons. After the war, Prime Min­is­ter Gol­da Meir resigned in dis­grace, and a 9/11-style com­mis­sion inves­ti­gat­ed the deba­cle.”

But, argues Uri Kauf­man, from the per­spec­tive of a half cen­tu­ry, the War can be seen as a piv­otal vic­to­ry for Israel. After near­ly being rout­ed, the Israel Defense Forces clawed its way back to threat­en Cairo and Dam­as­cus. In the War’s after­math, both sides had to accept unwel­come truths: Israel could no longer take mil­i­tary supe­ri­or­i­ty for grant­ed — but the Arabs could no longer hope to wipe Israel off the map. A straight line leads from the bat­tle­fields of 1973 to the Camp David Accords of 1978 and all the treaties since.

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