“My interest in Orientalism began for two 

reasons, one it was an immediate thing, that 

is to say, the Arab-Israeli War of 1973…”

–Edward Said

On this day in 1973, Egypt and Syria launched a coordinated attack on Israel. The reason behind attacking Israel was to win back the territories that Israel was illegally occupying after the 1967 Arab Israel war. On Saturday, Yom Kippur, the Egyptian forces crossed Suez Canal. While they captured a fortified sand wall, Bar-Lev Line, the Syrian infantry took control of a key Israeli post. But the Israeli forces counterattacked.

The Iraqi, Jordanian and Saudi efforts to stop the Israeli penetration in Syrian territories failed. However, both sides honoured the ceasefire that the US Security Council’s Resolution 338 called for. It was this war that changed the US foreign policy towards the region, according to some experts.

However, James Baldwin, the black American writer opines otherwise. He thinks, “It [Israel] is a state like other states. It has come into existence in a peculiar way. But it does not … become a state because … anyone in Europe, or in the Western world, really cared what happened to the Jews. [I]t came into existence as a means of protecting Western interest at the gate of the Middle East.”