Eitan Haber
Photo: Shalom Bar Tal

The lessons of war

Op-ed: Latest 1973 war documents reminder that our leaders are human, make mistakes

The documents released for publication the other day by the national archive will be understood first and foremost by the soldiers at the front and civilians at the home front who were here - lived here, and fought here - 37 years ago, in the Yom Kippur War.


Although the documents present nothing new essentially, there is no doubt that at this point they are the most depressing, despairing, and grim documents to have ever been released here.


The documents attest to, first and foremost, the atmosphere that prevailed at State of Israel’s helm among our so-called captains – the military leaders and government ministers – who only 24 hours earlier were admired by an entire country, which bowed its head in the face of their caprices and turned them into Gods.


This was especially true in respect to Moshe Dayan, a global, living and breathing legend with an eye patch.


Flesh and blood

This document, from beginning to end, is an indictment against Moshe Dayan and fully confirms all the reports that followed the war and charged that he was overcome by despair and depression.


He may have not uttered the term “the Third Temple’s destruction,” as his fans claimed, yet all the other terms he used are very similar to this tone. It might have been a good thing that the brave IDF soldiers were unaware of the mental state of their leaders during these difficult hours; these soldiers were the ones who pushed back the horror of extermination.


Dayan, as it appears in the documents, erred in his assessments time after time, and each error was more critical than the previous one. That’s terrible. Based on the published documents we can see that Dayan’s claims following the war, as if he merely provided “ministerial advice” rather than commanded and issued orders, were baseless.


And what is the lesson for this day and age? The most important lesson is that the government at the time, just like today and always, was not manned by heavenly angels or superstars, but rather, by real people, flesh and blood; people who make mistakes and take the wrong paths.


Our problem is that their errors affect our life, and death.



פרסום ראשון: 10.06.10, 00:18
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