The heroic brigade that saved Israel in ’73, and then split it.
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If Israel had a Churchill he would have said of the IDF’s Brigade 55, “Never did so many owe so much to so few.” These “few” (some 2,500 soldiers) liberated Jerusalem and the Old City in 1967. These same men crossed the Suez Canal in 1973, cutting off the Egyptian Third Army in the counter-attack that saved Israel in the Yom Kippur War. Then they led Israel into the great internal wars of recent decades: Some of the soldiers founded Peace Now, others, the settlers’ group, Gush Emunim.
The ’73 War created the geopolitical conditions (and Israel’s sense of itself) that are with us to this day.
Jerome A. Chanes
Special To The Jewish Week
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The retelling of the history of the Yom Kippur War has taken many forms. In fact, that history — which began 40 years ago, on Oct. 6 — has as much to do with the implications of the war geopolitically, and with the ways in which Israelis reacted to the war, as with the narrative of the war itself. Conventional wisdom has it that the Six-Day War in June 1967 was the turning point, not only in modern Israeli affairs, but in the international geopolitical arena as well. But in fact it was the October War that was the turning point for Israel, internally and internationally.
The crowd roared when Michele Bachmann proclaimed that the northern Samarian town of Bet El “must remain and always will remain a part of Israel.”
Most of the 1,000 guests at the American Friends of Bet El Yeshiva Center’s 30th annual dinner, last week at the Marriott Marquis on Broadway, continued to applaud vociferously as the Minnesota congresswoman and wannabe Republican presidential candidate expressed her robust support for Israel’s future.
When it comes to addressing the Israeli/Palestinian relationship, it is time for the American Jewish community to take Hillel’s injunction, a pragmatic progenitor of The Golden Rule, more seriously. By challenging ourselves to examine our words and actions from the perspective of “the Other” we might be better equipped to act with the compassion God demands of us.
In an early election-season speech, in a campaign that finds the presidential incumbent often under attack as – at best – lukewarm to the interests of Israel, Vice President Biden delivered what he considered a knockout punch last week.
President Obama, Biden declared during a speech at New York University marking Israel’s 64th anniversary, is second only to the commander-in-chief widely considered the Jewish State’s best friend ever in the White House.