The Yom Kippur War
The next strand in the unravelling was the co-ordinated Arab attack on Israel on 10 Tishrei, 5734 - the Yom Kippur War. That the "empire would strike back" was inevitable. But many other things were not.
Israel's leaders, now dependent on U.S. arms, quailed before American bullying - something that they did not do in 1967 - and waited for an Arab attack when they could have struck pre-emptively. They relied on America to fulfill promises of arms replenishment - which the Americans did not keep until the Secretary of Defense informed Richard Nixon, then president, of the duplicity of his Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, in holding up arms resupply.
More important was the cold enmity towards Israelis around the world. In 1967, for example, blacks would drive through New York with huge flags of Israel on their cars to show their sympathy. Six years later, blacks in New York, now influenced by Arab propaganda, were cool at best and often openly hostile. I remember one black man telling me that "Israel was not a natural country". The Arab campaign of disinformation and lies - backed by the United States State Department - was succeeding.
Nation after nation broke ties with this country, even nations that had received aid from it. The breaking of ties by foreign nations, the American duplicity, the hostility of the world reflected at the United Nations, ought to have been a signal to the nation's leadership that it was time to assert the true character of the people of Israel, and act as and view itself as a nation reckoned alone. Indeed in 1973, it was. But the desire of the Zionists to be just like all the other nations overruled this impulse, and like a girl desperate for a lover, Israel began to chase for friends. This meant that her leaders caved in to foreign demands when they should have told the foreigners to go to hell.
History will not be kind to Golda Meir, z"l, in spite of all that she did to build this country. But it will be even less kind to Moshe Dayan. During the war, the one Israeli tactic that succeeded - the audacious attack on Egyptian tank lines that broke them by General Ariel Sharon - was fought tooth and nail by Security Minister Moshe Dayan, his superior.
If the enmity of the world, contempt of much of the world's press, and American duplicity weren't enough to signal that something was very wrong, the cease fire agreement reached at Tent 101 should have.
The IDF drove the Syrians off the Heights of Golan entirely and were advancing east northeast towards Damascus. It had invaded Egypt proper (in Africa) and had surrounded its vaunted 3rd Army while forces advanced on Cairo. The IDF, at the cost of over 2,500 dead in about three weeks (the equivalent of 135,000 American dead in a similar type of battle for survival), had repulsed a co-ordinated attack that could have destroyed the country, and had routed its enemies entirely.