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Confronting the Intelligence Fiasco of the Yom KippurWar

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At the center of Israel’s most traumatic event, the Yom Kippur War of October 1973, stands an intelligence failure. Since the early 1990s, when senior intelligence officers who were involved in this fiasco started writing their memoirs, this event has become a source of major controversy in Israeli historiography. In response to the 2011 publication of the memoirs of the Mossad chief in 1973, Zvi Zamir, this article traces, describes and analyzes three aspects of this controversy: the personal and institutional responsibility for Israel’s lack of preparation at the outbreak of the war as well as the causes of the intelligence failure and the consequences it had on the Israeli Defense Force’s ability to confront the Arab attack.


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