Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez
The Soviet-Israeli War, 1967-1973
The USSR's Intervention in the Egyptian-Israeli Conflict
Oxford University Press/Hurst 2017
New Books in HistoryNew Books in Israel StudiesNew Books in Middle Eastern StudiesNew Books in Military HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Russian and Eurasian StudiesNew Books Network July 19, 2017 Jay Lockenour
The title of Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez‘s The Soviet-Israeli War, 1967-1973: The USSR’s Intervention in the Egyptian-Israeli Conflict (Oxford University Press/Hurst, 2017), tells you that this is a revisionist history, which argues that the Six Day War (1967) and the Yom Kippur War (1973) were not merely brief explosions of Arab-Israeli violence but part of longer sustained conflict between Israel and the Soviet Union. The role of Soviet “advisors” in Egypt in the period is well known. Using memoirs and testimony of Soviet veterans, Ginor and Remez show that the Soviet involvement was much more direct and provocative than previously understood. In addition, the authors significantly change our understanding of the eventual rapprochement between Egypt and the United States. The usual story relies heavily on the memoirs of Henry Kissinger, who naturally takes much of the credit for the supposed “expulsion” of Soviet advisors and the decision by Sadat after the war to move closer to the American camp. The problem is, as Ginor and Remez show, the advisors (and other military personnel) never left. Rather, they were shuffled around for the benefit of news people and foreign agents, then returned to their units. Crucially, these Soviet units advanced the air defense network to cover the Suez Canal– itself the prerequisite for any Egyptian attack.
For these reasons and more, this book is well worth your attention. Enjoy the interview. Because this is an ongoing project, the authors are eager to collect more information. If there are veterans, diplomats, or others with some involvement in these conflicts who would be willing to share their stories, please contact Ginor and Remez at the Truman Institute: firstname.lastname@example.org.