There are still many secrets regarding military matters, armament, combat tactics and operational performance during the war that have not been revealed yet. Egypt released some documents related to this in 1998, on its 25th anniversary, but they were of little importance and did not reveal a dangerous secret. Most of the books published about the October War were memoirs by military leaders who participated in the war, highlighting their personal experiences and heroics, and did not contain any historical, political, or military reports.
In my last article, we talked about the Deversoir loophole, and there are conflicting statements about it, but we must admit that it led to two disengagement agreements between the Egyptian and Zionist forces, and the beginning of indirect negotiations between the two sides. The second agreement, which was signed in Geneva on 1 September 1975, stipulated in its first article that “the conflict between them and in the Middle East shall not be resolved by military force but by peaceful means.” It stressed the need to reach a final and just peace settlement by means of negotiations within the framework of the Geneva Peace Conference, in accordance with the provisions of Security Council Resolution 338 issued on 22 October 1973.
This formed the basis for the negotiations between Egypt and Israel, which then led to the Camp David negotiations in 1978, and then culminated in the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel on 26 March 1979. In doing so, the Arab-Israeli conflict took another direction and a new form different to armed struggle to liberate the land from the occupier. Instead, the liberation of the land took on the form of ink in agreements referred to as “peace agreements”, as the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo Accords in 1993. This was followed by the King of Jordan, Hussein Bin Abdullah, signing the Wadi Araba Agreement on 26 October 1994, and Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad beginning negotiations with the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, along with the Arab rulers rushing to get closer to Israel.
I must point out here that President Anwar Sadat invited the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Jordan to attend the MENA House conference in Cairo in December 1977 to discuss and solve the problems of the final settlement for Jerusalem and the Palestinian refugee issue, but they did not attend. The Palestinian flag was raised, although the Palestinian seat was empty.
President Sadat went to Syria and met with Hafez Al-Assad. He asked for Syria to join the peace conference in Geneva to regain the occupied Golan Heights, but he refused and attacked him and the rest of the Arab rulers. They launched a brutal campaign against Sadat and accused him of treason after his visit to Israel and his speech in the Knesset. The Arab countries suspended Egypt’s membership to the Arab League and moved its headquarters to Tunisia, but 15 years later, they followed the same path that they refused to follow with Sadat and formed a strong front in the negotiations against Israel instead of going to it separately and allowed Israel to corner each of them on their own. They preferred to be at the front of “steadfastness and confrontation” and to attack President Sadat, but we did not see any indicators of them liberating the land.
Now, half a century later, the Arab rulers are still rushing to Israel and normalising their relations with it, as well as opening Israeli embassies in their countries, signing commercial and military deals with it, and reaching peace agreements with it, known as the Abraham Accords. This is even though they were not at war with it, forcing them to accept the crumbs of what was lost amid the world events and changes in the balances of power in the world. Jerusalem was annexed by the Israeli state and declared its capital, while the Syrian Golan was also annexed to the Israeli territories.
After the peace treaties, Israel continued to say that the Egyptian armed forces were not able to liberate all of Sinai, but rather liberated only a few kilometres, and were forced to engage in negotiations and sign peace agreements to recover the rest of Sinai. The Israelis arrogantly brag that the Arabs learned their lesson well, that Israel is good at fighting and that they cannot obtain anything from it other than through negotiations.
Unfortunately, the Arab Zionists agree with these words. The October War against the Zionist enemy makes them dizzy, lose balance and have severe headaches. When they talk about it, they do not call Israel the enemy, but rather they call it the other side. Perhaps what is more regrettable is that the official and media discourse avoids mentioning Israel when marking the victory in the October War, the enemy that occupied our land and against which we fought a war and defeated it, as if we had defeated an imaginary enemy or an unidentified army that was occupying our land. This is, of course, to redirect the compass, erase the Zionist enemy from the Arab conscience, and form a new Arab conscience that makes Israel a friend and not an enemy, in line with the normalisation pursued by Arab governments!
This is a major crime against the nation, its people, its history of struggle, its military heroism, its national security, and its highest interests. It also breaks the people, weakens their self-confidence, and deals a blow to their morale that exaggerates the power of the Zionist enemy.
Israel will remain the historical enemy of the nation, no matter how much the Arab rulers rush to normalise relations with it, and the Arab nations will continue to refuse normalisation with the Zionist enemy.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.