THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Friday, September 5, 1975 29
Meir, Dayan, Yom Kippur War
(Continued from Page 26)
General Staff, in addition to
his own staff, without ap-
preciating that in a parlia-
mentary democracy the re-
sponsibility for these
matters fell on him too.
Likewise, in all matters
of military preparedness
and intelligence evaluations,
he was responsible to the
prime minister and the Cab-
"The shock of the war
caused something to snap in
Dayan. The initial Arab
Canal should not
onslaught and success
threw him into a fit of pessi- have been any less.
"On many occasions his
mism, which colored his
evaluations right through instincts both about ap-
the war. He spent a consid- pointments and other devel-
erable amount of time in the opments in the armed forces
front line, away from the were correct, but strangely
nerve centre, frequently enough, and contrary to
creating an air of pessimism popular conceptions, he hes-
around him and giving ad- itated to impose his will.
"After the war Dayan
vice which, had it been
out of his way to
taken, could have changed
Mrs. Meir, and jus-
the course of the war and praise
would have left Israel with- tifiably so, because it was
out the trump,cards that to a great degree her
proved to be so valuable in strength of character and
the disengagement negotia- ability to remain composed
in the most difficult cir-
"It is difficult to evaluate cumstances which coun-
the logic behind his think- teracted Dayan's pessim-
ing, issuing a directive in istic nature and his
May to prepare for war in
"Mrs. Meir's method of
late 1973 and then, in the government brought about a
light of all the intelligence system whereby there were
in the first week of October no checks and balances and
and on Yom Kippur morn- no alternative evaluations.
ing, opposing the total mo- Her doctrinaire, inflexible
bilization demanded by the approach to problems and to
chief of staff, thus causing government was to contrib-
the loss of valuable hours of ute to the failings of the gov-
ernment before the war.
"She was very much the
"Dayan was repeatedly
overbearing mother 'who
"Had his suggestion on ruled the roost with an iron
the first day for with- hand. She had little idea of
drawal to the line of the orderly administration and
passes in Sinai been ac- preferred to work closely
cepted, the subsequent Is- with her cronies, creating
raeli crossing of the Canal an ad hoc system of govern-
would have been impossi- ment based on what was
ble. He misread the politi- known as her 'kitchen'.
"But once war had broken
cal developments, main-
taining all through the out these very traits proved
war that there would be no to be an asset. She was
strong and adamant and
"In his favor it should be gave the country the power-
said that he read the inter- ful leadership it required
national situation, with par- both in time of war and in
ticular reference to the So- the involved post-war politi-
viet Union, as the political cal negotiations.
"On many occasions
general he is. But militarily
he moved from the extreme she, a woman who had
of complete confidence that reached 75, found herself
the ratio of forces along the thrust into a position
fronts was adequate to deal where she had to decide
with the Arab attacks to a between differing military
state of complete depression options proposed by pro-
and a lack of confidence in fessionals. She decided,
the same forces a day later. and invariably decided
"His very cautious nature well, drawing on a large
was unable to stand up to measure of common sense
the challenge of bitter real- which had stood her in
ity in time of stress. For- good stead."
With the sharing of re-
mally, he might not be re-
sponsible for the mistake of sponsibility for intelligence
the ratio of forces along the errors, Chief of Staff Gen.
front line and for the prepa- David Elazar is credited
rations along it; but in fact with "stability and strength
he considered himself as a in the most trying circumst-
super-chief of staff, acted as ances, never losing his com-
such, and stated as much on posure."
Gen. Shmuel Gonen is
"When Gen. Hofi was un- described as "an unfortun-
happy about the situation in ate war casualty" because
the north, Dayan flew to he had arrived too late to
inspect the front line with know his command when
the chief of staff and de- the war broke out.
cided to reinforce the area
Herzog maintains that
with units of the 7th Bri- Gonen was unfairly treated
gade; his interest and in- after the war and that the
volvement in the line along degree of criticism leveled at
him was unjustified. He is
described as an able officer.
Gen. Arik Sharon, the
hero of the Sinai war who
led his forces across the
Suez, encircling the Egyp-
tian Third Army, is given
full credit for outstanding
generalship, and his bravery
is highly commended, but
his criticisms and risks
taken are viewed as having
All of the military men
involved in the conflict
undergo scrutiny, thus
providing totality in judg-
ment in the splendid book
in which Gen. Herzog
provides this significant
view of the situation as it
may affect future involve-
ments for Israel.
The sinister role of the
Soviet Union is subjected to
thorough review. The USSR
emerges as the major villain
in a game of war encour-
aged, financed and militar-
ized by the Russians. The
generally known mischief
stemming from the Kremlin
is revealed here in a state-
ment presenting the extent
of Russia's provisions for
the Arabs, especially Syria,
aimed at the severest blows
"Within a year of the 1972
summit meeting, the Soviet
Union was supplying the
Egyptian and Syrian armies
with the weapons they be-
lieved essential in order to
go to war.
"The Soviet decision to
supply Scud missiles to
Egypt—three months be-
fore the 1973 summit meet-
ing—was a conscious act
designed to remove any
Egyptian hesitation about
going to war.
"Sadat had planned to
go to war in May 1973 but
he decided on a postpone-
ment because as he put it
in an interview in Akhbar
El Yom in August 1974:
`the Soviets set the date for
the second summit meet-
ing with Nixon in Wash-
ington for the month of
May, and for political rea-
sons which it is not neces-
sary to reveal at this point
I decided to postpone the
,411 &et ?ice odd. cued eaetaste/t4
23111 Coolidge, Oak Park
North of 9 Mile Rd.
"At the same time Presi-
dent Assad made a secret
visit to Moscow and the re-
sult of his visit was the
stepped-up supply of a com-
plete surface-to-air missile
system which was rushed to
Syria in the months of July
and August 1973."
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