Yesterday was the 6th of October which is a national holiday here to commemorate the day, 6th October 1973, that Egyptian military forces made a brilliant tactical attack across from the West bank of the Suez Canal against the Israeli forces holding the East. (For anybody interested there is comprehensive information on Wikipedia.) It was Yom Kippur for the Jewish people and Ramadan for Muslims so the Israelis were probably somewhat complacent about any possibilty of attack from the Egyptian forces. The Egyptians planned and executed their attack audaciously with rubber dingies, smoke screens, water cannons to blast sand defences and artilliary supplied from Russia that destroyed many Israeli tanks. Syria was also attacking across the Golan Heights to the north at the same time and initially the Israelis were routed.
However after some days, the Israeli army mobilsed their civilian based troops to mount a counter attack on both fronts. Despite general El Shazly’s advice Sadat had also ordered most of the Egyptian force to cross the canal to the east leaving no rear guard. In the Sinai desert there was a massive tank battle and after the intense battle of the Chinese Farm, the Israelis were able to break through the centre of the Egyptian troops and crossed the canal into Africa. With little or defence from the Egyptians who were all on the east bank, the Israelis advanced to within a about 100km of the Egyptian capital Cairo. Both sides aquitted themelves with valour and determination but like most wars, the outcome termed success is dubious.
At this point politics and diplomacy took over and the Israelis retreated to the east bank of Suez and set up lines 16 kilometres into the Sinai with a UN buffer zone. The Suez canal again came under Egyptian administration with its significant revenue. The remainder of Sinai did not return to Egyptian rule until after the Camp David Accords in 1978: I think it was not until 1982, that the last Israeli settlers were forced to return behind the Gaza-Taba border.
While the Egyptian people do celebrate a distinctive and brilliant battle on the 6th of October it appears they are not encouraged to learn about the following days, the descision of Anwar Sadat against his generals nor about Israel crossing to within 100km of Cairo and the subsequent diplomatic action. They are also not told about the 1967 debacle that was planned by Egypt, Syria and Jordan mobilising troups to menace fronts with Israel, the blockading the Gulf of Aqaba at the Straits ot Tiran to all Israeli ships despite being told this would be considered an act of war in international waters. Israel decided the best form of offence was attack and anihilated the Egyptian aircraft before they could get off the ground then pushed into Sinai as far as the Suez and took over the West Bank of the Jordan river, thereby extending the misfortune of the already beleaguered Palestinian people.
I personally don’t want to take sides because I live on planet earth and last I time I saw a picture taken from space, earth was round – it doesn’t have sides. I don’t profess to be an expert but I am interested in shades of truth, one reason being Egypt is the country in which I currently reside. (Might have to leave after publishing this blog) However yesterday I commented on a photo . It was on a closed facebook group for local news and discussion. The previous comments made by Egyptians implied that Egypt were great and total victors of the short war by their grand martyrs and military efforts whereas Israel is a country that doesn’t exist. I have to admit I am tired of what I percieve to be this misguided patriotsim and commented “RIP all those who died on both sides”….
…well I could have started 6th October Battle II. Words rained down in irrelevant accusing fashion. I appreciate the fact that they attempted English as I don’t read Arabic so overlook and spelling, grammar, etc
“Sorry L, RIP 4 the martyrs of Egypt only …. The other side was an occupiar Enemy & without The historic victory of the War Sinai wouldn’t return back to the homeland”
“L the other side will rest in hell ,and any body think to stole our land will rest in hell this is only what we can offer ”
And when I asked if they knew what happened in 1967 as alead up to 6 October.
“i know very well , My history , the problem is with who create a fake History , only the homeless who do that ”
“. i say it again it is my history , no need for research , especially when i can here pull shitt says for example isreal won in 1973 , if you want research i can post a decoumentry done by israli themselves telling you what happened , im still young dont yet suffering from Alzheimer”
“by the way what was in 1967 was not a war ,war mean 2 army against each other ,what happened in 1967 was occupation that why we call it ‘naksah'”
From there the debate, if it could be called that declined into a diatribe that I must be suffering ahlzeimers, a coma, deafness, shame, embarrassment, comments concerning my reproductive capabilities, my age… even trying to justify their attacks…
“Thx J 4 being neutral …. but if u notice in the whole post she insist to bother us ….. we are peacful people All wars fought imposed on us …..We did not start the war never ……Who should be blamed …. when u always have right so u are stronger”
My reply “mmmm well here’s my peace offering … how about I agree with everything M and K say? You are absolutely correct in all your postings. You are peaceful people who have never started a war, only those imposed on you, you are never to blame. You never try to turn a debate into a personal attack on anyone who debates with you, that they are suffering a coma, ahlzeimers, deafness, shame and so long and thanks for all the fish. I’m off to the galaxy of my dreams.” I’ll never make diplomat and I do admit I did make some sarcastic comments… I know, I know. Lowest form of wit…
This is part of a problem for Egypt and maybe other societies. Generally they don’t have the skills to debate, the will to be introspective, to question history so it doesn’t repeat. They have never been taught to question the world around them, they believe all the propaganda.
What is also notable is that all these were Egyptian men who tried to comment in this manner (no pun intended). They tried to turn debate on historical events into hysterical events by trying to attack me personnally. Egyptian men regularly try to do this to women, bully and criticise. I am not being an over sensitive feminist here, I couldn’t give rat’s what they think of me. But their lack of respect for womens’ intellect among other things, is palpable.
I despair even more that this country can pull itself up by its shoestrings, especialy not sometime soon. I fervently hope God does bless Egypt because that is where they put their faith as well as in their masculine military might.