Describe the Effects of the Yom Kippur War on Arab Israeli relations. (12 marks) The Yom Kippur War happened in October 1973, which involved the Arabs and the Israelis, as well as two superpowers, the USA and the USSR. At the end of the war, the Israelis had won. However, the Israeli government and people were shocked by how the Arabs did. The Yom Kippur War has led to a number of effects on the Arab-Israeli relations, which can be classified as two aspects, short term and long term. There are some immediate consequences caused by the Yom Kippur War.
The Arabs used oil as a political weapon, which led to a huge economic problem and oil shortage in the world. On 17 October 1973, the price of oil was cut by 70 per cent by the OAPEC, a mostly Arab group. At the same time it cut production by 35 per cent and banned all sale of its products to the US and the Netherlands. Because of this oil incident, plenty of people lost their jobs and the prices raised sharply. Therefore, many countries’ economies collapsed, which took years to recover. The other short term effect was that the war resulted in even more refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, particularly in Lebanon.
People were then realized that they could no longer rely on the government but to gain hope from the Palestinian organizations, especially the PLO: they need to fight for peace their own way. This indicates a greater unsteadiness and also a rising support for the PLO. The attacks on Israel and the Israeli peace with Egypt led to many invasions: the PLO attacks on Israel from refugees’ camp in Lebanon, as well as the Israel peace with Egypt caused the Israeli invasions of Lebanon in 1978 and 1982. The Camp David Accords isolated Egypt from the rest of Arab world.
After the war, Egypt signed two agreements with the Israeli president with the help of the American Secretary. Many Arab countries were very sad and disappointed. Egyptian relations with rest of the Arab world declined. As a result, Sadat was assassinated by extremists. Seeing how Sadat was killed by making peace with Israel, other Arab leaders didn’t have the courage to do what Sadat has done, to make peace. Consequently, the Arab world was lacking a clear leader. Syria attempted to take this position, but didn’t success. Also, after the war, Egypt moved towards USA away from USSR, which means Egypt was no longer close to USSR.
Instead, they improved the relationship with USA as the USSR did not support them much during the war. Trust was lost between USSR and Egypt. The long term effects brought by the war can be divided into a few points. The world opinion changed after the Yom Kippur War. Militarily, the Israelis won. They had shown their weapons, their training and their strategies were the better ones. But politically, it was a victory for the Arabs. They had completely surprised the Israelis and the rest of the world in the war. They now let the world know that Arab soldiers could fight with courage.
Because of the war, Egyptians became more confident in themselves. They thought that Israel had only been saved by the United States. The thought that Israel is so strong that might not be defeated had been destroyed. After the war, the world was not on the side of Israel anymore. In contrast, there was much more sympathy for the Arab position. Above all, they had done everything together, especially in the use of the oil weapon. As a result, the rest of the world showed much more respect for the Arabs. This is the first war in which the Israel suffered serious losses. There were a great Human loss and a feeling of uncertainty among Israelis.
An estimated 3,000 Israeli and 8,500 Egyptian and Syrian soldiers were killed, and 8,000 Israelis and almost 20,000 Syrians wounded. It was the first Arab-Israeli war in which Israel suffered a high casualty rate. These effects led to the emergence of an Israeli peace movement. This and the later experience of the wars in Lebanon led to the growth of ‘Israeli peace movement’ in Israel. To conclude, the Yom Kippur War has a negative impact on the Arab-Israeli relations. The PLO and other Palestinian terrorists groups, the oil crisis and the other incidents happened in the Yom Kippur War have worsened the relationship between the two states.
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