By Dr Salim Nazzal
07 October, 2013
Prior to the 1973 October War, many in Israel, and even outside made fun of Sadat. He will never do it, the Israeli joked. In the morning of the sixth of October, their soldiers were having sunbath on the west bank of the Suez Canal, not knowing that a change in the air is taking place in the Region. They have believed their propaganda, that they are undefeated army.
At 2pm 6th Of October, the orders were given to the Egyptian and Syrian armed forces to attack on two fronts. The air force, the pride of the Israel, began to fail and the Egyptian and Syrians began to advance. The Israelis knew for the first time, since their entity was transplanted in the region, the taste of Defeat.
An Arab historian observed a long time ago, that most of the history of Arabs is a history of divisions. And this is what Israel fed from, Plays on, and benefits of .But in October 1973, Arabs needed to change history. But they could not change history without first working out some of the divisions. This time they did something about it.
The backbone of this work was the cooperation between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
The Saudis have long feared and opposed Nasser pan Arabism, and fought him militarily in Yemen. But Sadat was different. He was no revolutionary man. The Saudis saw in him a friend rather than a threat. Their best Contribution in the war was to impose oil embargo on the west which supports Israel.
Sadat naturally has no problem to get support from other pan Arab leaders, Such as Qaddafi of Libya, and Haware Bomidian of Algeria. Bomidian rushed to Moscow with cash to speed up the sending of arms to Egypt.
The historical Egyptian Syrian alliance which is the major Arab forces Worked very well.
This is not equal to say that Assad the father, and Anwar Al Sadat were on excellent terms. But both were in a difficult position at home. The masses In both countries feel the defeat of 1967, and want their leaders react, to Liberate the occupied Sinai and Golan heights.
Saddam Hussein, who has the worst relation with Assad, due to the inter quarrel of the Baath party, the ruling power then in both countries, moved troops to support Syria.
The victory was not complete for reasons beyond the purpose of the Article. But Israel knew very well, that it will be defeated each time Arabs unite.
The picture of the Arabs today, is much darker than at any time in Recent history. The Arab spring failed, and the divisions have become too sharp, that it threats the integral unity of several Arab countries.
Syria And Iraq is drowned in bitter civil wars, and Egypt is witnessing Severe conflicts .The pan Arab and left wing forces have become greatly weakened, and the Islamic fundamentalism, in its various variations is taking over. And the conflict between the secular Arabs ,and the Islamists is becoming the Major conflict.
The Arab spring which Israel was worried from, turns to be a victory for Israel.
Indeed the Arab picture of today is dim, and many think that the Palestinian cause is the major loser .Even this year's celebration of the October victory, has come as a sad occasion.
Dr. Salim Nazzal, a Palestinian-Norwegian historian on the Middle East, He has written extensively on social and political issues in the region.