A sane country would never entertain a peace proposal that comes with an ultimatum saying: "We will declare war if you fail to fully meet our demands."
Genuine peace is based on mutual consent, with both sides declaring, "No more war." Peace must include an understanding that all outstanding issues are to be ironed out at the negotiating table.
But some are of the belief that Israel's relations with Arab countries should be governed by a different set of rules.
The Yom Kippur War was a result of large-scale aggression perpetrated by Egypt and Syria, which invaded Israel from the north and the south. But, if you were to believe some experts and pundits, the invaders were peace lovers who were left with no other choice but to attack Israel because it had refused to capitulate to all of their demands in advance. In other words, a foreign policy failure, not faulty intelligence, was what resulted in Israel's lack of preparation for the war, because Israel allegedly rejected Egypt's peace proposals.
This is just absurd. When a nation makes a threat against its neighbor and then attacks, this only proves that it was not pursuing peace to begin with. Would Israel ever threaten to launch a military campaign against Egypt if it refused to comply with all of its demands? Would any levelheaded person seriously call this a peace proposal? Unthinkable.
Some historians, and the media outlets that support them, will once again present such theories when the war's anniversary is observed in a few days. They will do this without any second thoughts. Last year, Yigal Kipnis released the book "1973: The Path to War," in which he claimed that the war broke out because Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's pleas for peace were left unanswered by Israel. That is why, according to Kipnis, the Jewish state was to blame for the war.
The media circus surrounding this book gave the impression that it was the unvarnished truth that would disabuse us of what we had been taught to believe. However, it seems that this was only a preview of what was to come: the onslaught of publications in the run-up to the war's 40th anniversary.
In my opinion, assertions such as those made by Kipnis represent a warning: Israel must give in to every single one of its enemies' demands lest it experience another calamity. In other words, the historians are saying: "Bibi [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu], don't be Golda [Prime Minister Golda Meir, Israel's premier during the Yom Kippur War]." The character assassination against Meir in the wake of the war is what made this call possible.
Had Egypt harbored a genuine desire to make peace in the years leading up to the war, it would not have attacked Israel. Sadat ultimately came around to the realization that such warfare was a futile endeavor, but only after Israel emerged victorious (and overcame the terrible disadvantage it faced at its outset). That is why he declared "no more war." This is what got the peace process rolling.
Professor Isaac Ben-Israel, a major-general in the reserves, penned a piece about the war in the latest journal of Ha-Umma, which typically publishes articles on the philosophy of late Revisionist leader Ze'ev Jabotinsky. For the Egyptians, he wrote, the devastating defeat on the battlefield during the Yom Kippur War was yet "another blow in a series of blows that began with the War of Independence and continued through the Suez Crisis, the Six-Day War and the Israeli attacks on the Egyptian mainland during the War of Attrition, culminating with the failure to overpower the IDF even when the settings were optimal during the Yom Kippur War. The combination of all these factors, coupled with the growing perception among the Arabs that Israel had nuclear deterrence capabilities, made Egypt seek a peace treaty with Israel and no longer partake in wars against Israel."
Let's hope that some Israeli outlets stay impartial when the Yom Kippur War media hype begins. Let's hope some will go against the tide and launch a media counteroffensive.