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Last updated on: 5/14/2008 10:51:00 AM PST
What Was the Outcome of the War of 1973?


General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
Benny Morris, PhD, Professor of History at Ben-Gurion University, in his 2001 book Righteous Victims, wrote:

"The war -- as intended by [Egyptian President] Sadat -- had loosened the political logjam that had existed since 1967. For the Arabs it had paved the road to a settlement. Their honor had been restored, enabling their leaders at last to contemplate direct dialogue and peace with Israel, but not from a position of humiliating inferiority. However, Israel's military prowess had once again been demonstrated and had perhaps definitively persuaded the Arab leaders that their foe could not be defeated, let alone destroyed, in battle: The return of their territories could be achieved only through negotiations.

On the other hand, the war had given Israel a stinging slap in the face. The 1948, 1956, and 1967 wars had conditioned them to stunning victories over the Arabs and to Arab military (and political) incompetence; 1973 proved to be something else altogether. Many Israelis were now persuaded that the territories could not be held indefinitely by force and that continued occupation would necessarily lead to further bouts of painful warfare. At last, and for the first time since June 1967, most people were willing to contemplate giving up large chunks of land for peace."

2001 - Benny Morris, PhD 

Ian J. Bickerton, PhD, Professor of Middle Eastern History at the University of New South Wales, and Carla L. Klausner, PhD, Professor of the Modern Middle East at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, in their 2002 book A Concise History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, wrote:

"The October 1973 war destroyed many myths. It proved, for example, that the Arabs could cooperate and that they could keep their intentions a secret. It demonstrated that they were capable of sophisticated intelligence gathering and analysis and of a brilliant operational plan to cross the Suez Canal and demolish the Bar-Lev line [established in the 1967 War]. It showed that Arab soldiers could fight bravely and well when properly trained and motivated and that they could handle the most technologically advanced weapons. It proved that Israel was not invincible."

2002 - Carla L. Klausner, PhD 
Ian J. Bickerton, PhD 

Avi Shlaim, PhD, Professor of International Relations at St. Antony's College, Oxford, in his 2001 book The Iron Wall, wrote:

"The October War was the third Syrian-Israeli war [1948, 1967] and the fifth Egyptian-Israeli war [1948, 1956, 1967, 1970]. In all previous wars political deadlock followed the ending of hostilities. The October War was the first war to be followed by a political settlement. Three reasons help explain how this war laid the foundations for the conclusion of a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel five years later...

[1.] the two armies [Egypt and Syria] demonstrated that Israel was not invincible, and they cured themselves of the trauma of the June [1967] War. They restored Arab pride, honor and self-confidence. After the war they did not face Israel from a position of hopeless inferiority...

[2.] In 1967 the Israeli victory was so decisive and the Arab defeat so crushing that the Arabs were reluctant to face Israel across the negotiating table. In 1973 the outcome was much more balanced, not least at the psychological level...

[3.] The third reason that political negotiations became possible in the immediate aftermath of the war was U.S. engagement. In Henry Kissinger's hands, U.S. policy was largely reduced to support for Israel and for the status quo. Once the status quo had been shaken up, however, Kissinger moved with remarkable speed to develop an Arab dimension to American foreign policy. His aim was to use the fluid situation created by the war in order to move the parties, step by step, toward a political settlement. He himself became personally involved in the process by embarking on the shuttle diplomacy that took him back and forth from Jerusalem to Cairo and Damascus."

2001 - Avi Shlaim, PhD