The heady days (and weeks and months) following the Six Day War were amazing. There was a bounce to the step of every Israeli. They were lords off all they surveyed.
Unfortunately, the above was the perfect breeding ground for hubris.*
Self-confidence and a positive attitude are powerful and can beÂ better motivators than even desperation. The problem is that these attitudes can weaken your grip on reality and leave you vulnerable to your enemies. Israel began to believe in herself, but she forgot to believe in the Arabs.
Six years later, that hubris was shattered by the wailing sirens of the Yom Kippur War. Within hours, the Egyptian and Syrian armies breached Israel’s defenses. The Bar Lev line was over-run. Within the first couple days, the Israeli Air Force sacrificed a quarter of its pilots attempting to slow the invasion. Israeli tanks in the Golan mounted attacks unsupported by infantry – and paid the price.
The shock and horror of the warÂ were unimaginable. Many of the men who fought cannot, even to this day, speak of what they went through.
In a real sense, the Yom Kippur War of 1973 is as much a part of the Six Day War as the unification of Jerusalem.
The fear was back.
*Hubris is often defined as overbearing pride, arrogance. However, I add the adjective ‘destructive’, or ‘self-destructive’ – as in: self-destructive pride. Hubris is usually only a step away from ruin.