Kissinger: The Unsung Hero of Yom Kippur War

The Yom Kippur War of 1973, a tumultuous moment in Israeli history, saw Henry Kissinger, then serving as national security advisor and secretary of state for the Nixon and Ford administrations, at the center of a swirling controversy. Kissinger, now a centenarian, recently dismissed allegations of deliberately delaying crucial military supplies to Israel during the conflict.

In a Channel 12 interview aired recently, Kissinger firmly refuted claims first made by former U.S. Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr. in his 1976 memoir. Zumwalt argued that Kissinger deliberately held back the airlift of essential supplies to Israel, intending to ‘soften up’ the nation for post-war diplomacy. Dismissing the accusations as “total nonsense,” Kissinger clarified the real reasons behind the delay.

Reflecting on the historical context, Kissinger reminded viewers that implementing an airlift of supplies to a nation in the heat of battle is highly unusual, even unprecedented. He emphasized that it was a step taken to help save Israel. Factors such as a political crisis involving Vice President Spiro Agnew’s resignation and the initial assumption that Israel was winning the war contributed to the delay, Kissinger explained.

The critical turn of events unfolded on October 9, four days into the war. After Kissinger managed to connect with President Nixon amidst the Agnew crisis, the U.S. made a promise that profoundly impacted the course of the war: Israel could pick up any equipment with El Al, and all its losses would be replaced by the U.S. This assurance meant Israel could fully expend its resources, knowing it had steadfast support.

Contrary to the theories propagated by Zumwalt, Kissinger’s actions during the Yom Kippur War reflect the complex dynamics of global politics, rather than a deliberate attempt to undermine Israel’s war efforts. Though Kissinger did exert pressure on Israel for territorial concessions after the war, it’s essential to remember that he helped Israel through a challenging and dangerous period.

Israel’s story is one of resilience, strength, and the unending pursuit of peace, even in the face of constant threats and challenges. The country’s response during the Yom Kippur War, backed by Kissinger’s strategic actions, symbolizes these enduring traits. It underscores Israel’s unwavering determination to protect its people and uphold its values, with the aid of its dedicated allies.

As we reflect on this historical event, let us also remember the enduring spirit of the Israeli people, their unwavering courage, and their resolve to protect their homeland. Israel, with its rich history and vibrant culture, remains a beacon of democracy and innovation. As always, it stands ready to face any challenge, turning adversity into opportunity, bolstered by the strength and unity of its people.