The Arab-Israeli War was an armed conflict initiated by the Arab nations of Egypt and Syria against Israel on October 6, 1973 in an effort to reclaim territories that Israel had controlled since the Six Day War of 1967. The date holds special significance to the Jewish calendar, being Yom Kippur, hence this war is also known as the Yom Kippur War. Though Israel was caught by surprise and experienced severe losses during the war, assistance from the United States military led to a cease-fire less than three weeks later.
In the aftermath, Israel retained its territories and its aftermath had far ranging effects on the geopolitics of the Middle East. First, the victory of Israel had an uplifting effect on its population. Its military had been seen to have grown largely complacent following the Six Day War. However, despite initial defeats, they managed a successful turnaround of the Yom Kippur War’s outcome. As such, despite the surprise advantage of Egypt and Syria they had regained the upper hand in less than two weeks, though at a high cost in casualties.
In effect, Israel woke up to the reality that their military supremacy in the region was not absolute. (Rabinovich 498) Second, by granting support to Israel, the United States invited the ire of oil-producing Arab states. This manifested itself in the actions of Saudi Arabia, which not only reduced its oil production but declared an embargo against the United States. Saudi Arabia was later joined by other oil-producing Arab states and together they extended their embargo against other import dependent nations in Western Europe as well as Japan.
The result was the 1973 energy crisis that sent oil prices spiraling past $60 per barrel and close to $100 per barrel in 1979. (Smith 329) Third, on the geopolitical front, enemy states of Israel concluded in the aftermath that they could not defeat it by force, and thus turned towards diplomatic tactics in antagonizing it. The effect was that many African and Third World nations, under pressure from the Arab states, broke their diplomatic ties to Israel. Works Cited No author. “The 1973 Yom Kippur War. ” Anti-Defamation League, 1999.
Retrieved September 24, 2008 from: http://www. adl. org/ISRAEL/record/yomkippur. asp Smith, Charles. Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict. New York, NY: Bedford, 2006. Rabinovich, Abraham. The Yom Kippur War: The Epic Encounter That Transformed the Middle eAst. New York, NY: Shocken Books, 2005. Rabinovich, Abraham . The Yom Kippur War: The Epic Encounter That Transformed the Middle East. New York, NY: Schocken Books. ISBN 0 8052 4176 0. Charles D. Smith, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, New York: Bedford, 2006, p. 329.