On the Jewish religious holiday of Yom Kippur in 1973while the Israelis were distracted by their traditional celebrations, Israeli forces within the occupied territories were attacked by Egypt, Jordan and Syria in an attempt to regain these territories seized from them by Israel's 1967 aggression which had violated the UN Charter but had not been enforced by international sanctions. The UN Charter prohibition of land acquisition by force was reinforced by UN Resolution 242 directing Israel to withdraw, but these lands had nevertheless remained occupied for six years in defiance of the UN despite Israel's obligations as a UN member state.
At an initial disadvantage, Israel was assisted by daily U.S. arms deliveries in an airlift known as "Operation Nickelgrass" and by providing Israeli forces with U.S. satellite intelligence monitoring of missile launcher positions and Arab troop movements. The Nixon/Kissinger administration originally intended to allow some Arab land re-acquisition to encourage Israel into serious negotiations, but Kissinger quickly arranged a massive airlift of supplies in response to indications that Israel might use nuclear warheads it had been building since 1968. This was known as the Samson Option, described by journalist Seymour Hersch in his 1991 book by that title as "nuclear blackmail."
Contrary to Israeli claims, Israel was not attacked in this war. Cautioned by their Soviet allies who wished to avoid escalation into a wider war, Arab forces never crossed the internationally recognized pre-1967 borders of Israel, but only attempted to regain those territories under illegal Israeli occupation.
With American support Israel prevailed within a month, and the Arab world was outraged with the U.S. Arab anger precipitated an OPEC oil embargo, which led to negotiation of our current relationships with the autocratic rulers of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. The Yom Kippur War represented a watershed event further sealing the symbiotic bonds between the U.S., Israel, and corrupt Arab rulers leading to the Egypt/Israel peace treaty six years later.
This war also clearly established the U.S. as a biased party in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, unsuitable as an "honest broker" but willing to corrupt Arab leaders for the benefit of Israel at U.S. taxpayers expense. Following its peace treaty with Israel in 1979 Egypt became our 2nd largest foreign aid recipient behind Israel at about $2 billion/year.
In addition, the war reinforced the enduring Israeli claim that "The Arabs want to throw us into the sea," which has been used continuously to justify Israeli oppression, violence and contempt toward the Palestinians.
The Palestinian resistance movement has launched attacks from refugee camps in neighboring Arab countries in efforts to regain land from which they were expelled in 1948 and 1967, but no Arab countries have ever attacked Israel.
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