Remembering (and Understanding) the Yom Kippur War

To commemorate the 41st anniversary of the October 1973 war, Israel State Archives has made public a series of recently declassified telegrams exchanged between Prime Minister Golda Meir’s office and the Israel embassy in Washington just before and during the outbreak of what would prove a decisive and traumatic conflict. Awakened at 3:50 a.m. on the morning of October 6, Meir received intelligence of a planned Egyptian and Syrian attack that evening. From the timeline provided by the Archives:

At 10:15 a.m. Golda Meir met with the American ambassador in Israel, Kenneth Keating, and updated him on the situation. In reply to a direct question, Golda promised that Israel would not initiate a pre-emptive strike, “although it would make the situation much easier for us”; but Egypt and Syria should be aware that Israel knew of their plans and would repel the attacks and hit back hard. She expressed confidence in Israeli victory, and suggested that the US should still try to talk to the Egyptians and the Soviets in order to prevent the outbreak of war, as reported in a telegram to the embassy in Washington.

Read more at Israel's Documented Story

More about: Golda Meir, Israeli history, Moshe Dayan, Yom Kippur War


The Diplomatic Goals of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Visit to the U.S.

Yesterday, the Israeli prime minister arrived in the U.S., and he plans to address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, but it remains uncertain whether he will meet with President Biden. Nonetheless, Amit Yagur urges Benjamin Netanyahu to use the trip for ordinary as well as public diplomacy—“assuming,” Yagur writes, “there is someone to talk to in the politically turbulent U.S.” He argues that the first priority should be discussing how to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons. But there are other issues to tackle as well:

From the American perspective, as long as Hamas is not the official ruler in the Gaza Strip, any solution agreed upon is good. For Israel, however, it is quite clear that if Hamas remains a legitimate power factor, even if it does not head the leadership in Gaza, sooner or later, Gaza will reach the Hizballah model in Lebanon. To clarify, this means that Hamas is the actual ruler of the Strip, and sooner or later, we will see a [return] of its military capabilities as well as its actual control over the population. . . .

The UN aid organization UNRWA . . . served as a platform for Hamas terrorist elements to establish, disguise, and use UN infrastructure for terrorism. This is beside the fact that UNRWA essentially perpetuates the conflict rather than helps resolve it. How do we remove the UN and UNRWA from the “day after” equation? Can the American aid organization USAID step into UNRWA’s shoes, and what assistance can the U.S. provide to Israel in re-freezing donor-country contributions to UNRWA?

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Gaza War 2023, U.S.-Israel relationship