Thirty seven years have passed since the “Yom Kippur” war, but it is much in the news again. Last weeks some declassified details were published, telling of some of the mistakes made then which cost us so many lives. The main mistakes were made by politicians who were afraid of what the world would say if we made preparations or even attacked first, although
it could be seen that both Syria and Egypt were arming and preparing for a war. The difference of opinion between Moshe Dayan, who was then Minister of Defence and influenced Prime Minister Golda Meir, and our Commander-in-Chief David Elazar, was at the root of this difference. Elazar said,” The army should call up some of its reserve soldiers. The Israel Defence Forces power is 25 percent regular and 75 reserves. Therefore we need to increase our power immediately. We need at least 24 hours to call up reserves – those that are called up now, can be put into action tomorrow”.
But Dayan objected. “Calling up reservists before even one bullet was shot – everyone will say we were the attackers,”he explained, ” It’s important that the world doesn’t say we started.” And Golda Meir agreed with him, and that is the reason we were not ready for the Arab attack. This failure to call up reserves is often cited as one of the IDF’s major mistakes in the
Yom Kippur war. I don’t think things are different these days concerning world opinion. When we defend ourselves, we are called the aggressors.