October, 6 2010 The 37th Anniversary of the Yom Kippur War
Today is the 37th anniversary of the start of the Yom kippur War. While the media in Israel often pays the date some note, this year thanks to the release of the minutes of the meetings of the General Staff and the government at the beginning of the war, it became today's dominant story. There were no real relevations in the newly released documents, just more data points detailing the level of disarray and disconnect that existed within leadership of the military, and to a lesser degree within the civilian leadership in the hours before, as well as the hours immediately after the start of the war. The nation may have been saved by the bravery of a very small number of soldiers during the critical hours, especially on the Golan Heights. The facts cited in the newly released documents helped underscore, once again, how dangerous the “conceptia” was-- a world view that was accepted by all of Israel’s political and military elite. One of the major lessons of the war, a lesson that has continuously failed to be learned in Israel, is the need for extensive and open discussions in government to question all assumptions before making key decisions. That is clearly not happening now in the Israeli government in any large forum.
The discussions that do go on are ridiculous, harmful ones, like the legislation passed by the government today to amend the citizenship laws, forcing new citizens to swear allegience to a Jewish and democratic state of Israel. That is going to fly really well in the world of public opinion.
I recommend a few pieces to read from the press in the last few days: The first, is a post by Jeffery Goldberg on the Atlantic web site About the settlements: are-settlements-the-key-to-middle-east-peace-
The second, is an article by Daniel Gordis in the online version of Commentary:
If you were expecting to read an update on the state of the peace talks, I do not have one. I have no idea if any agreement will be reached between Israel, the US and the Palestinians in the coming days.
In memory of those who died 37 years ago, here is a link to my favorite song, entitled The Winter of 73"