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Fall of the Third Temple by Steve Payne

Author says: what if Golda Meir was forever haunted by authorizing pre-emptive air strikes? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).


On October 6th, 1973: with eighty-thousand troops of Anwar Sadat's Army set to cross the Suez Canal and strike Israel's unprepared reserve forces on the Bar-Lev Line, Golda Meir sanctioned a repeat of the pre-emptive strike that had destroyed the Egyptian Air Force on the ground during the first day of the Six-Day War.

The Prime Minister's decision to approve the request from IDF Chief of State David Elazar (and disregard the counter advice of Minister of Defence Moyshe Dayan who could not bring himself to believe that Egypt and Syria were about to strike the first blow) was made in the context of an extraordinary set of circumstances.

Whilst Henry Kissinger anticipated a Middle East Peace Settlement during Nixon's Second Term, the initiative had been deprioritized when Anwar Sadat expelled Soviet advisors in July 1972. Unbeknown to the White House, or indeed Israeli Intelligence, the Kremlin had continued to supply Sadat with surface-to-air and anti-tank guided missiles plus fighter bombers.

By now the Nixon White House was mired in the chaos of Watergate and thus in no position to assert any form of authority. And Henry Kissinger, who had only been Secretary of State since September 22nd, was unable to grasp the issue because he was wielding executive power as the defacto President whilst his boss was in the process of going insane.

The strike itself had been planned for the holiest of Jewish festivals, Yom Kippur when Jewish forces were skeletally thin, and hardly expecting an attack from Arab Nations who were themselves celebrating Ramadan. Meir justified Israel's pre-emptive strike by proclaiming that "The Muslims can fight and lose, then come back and fight again. But Israel can only lose once".

It was a catastrophic misjudgement; Kissinger response was that Israel would not even receive "even a nail" from Washington. And within forty-eight hours, Arab Nations would announce a massive retailation including an oil boycott, Meir would order the readiness of thirteen tactical nuclear weapons, Dayan would advise "The Fall of the Third Temple" and America would move to DefCon3.

Author says original content has been repurposed to celebrate the author's genius The Yom Kippur War, October 2008. To view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the Today in Alternate History web site.



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Steve Payne, Editor of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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