Friday, February 23, 2007

A Zvika Force of One

Centurion tank1

On Yom Kippur, Israel’s most holy Shabbat (1973), the forces of 13 Arab nations, and Cuban and Palestinian troops converged on Israel to destroy her.
On that fateful Day of Atonement, the Israelis were outnumbered and outgunned by staggering margins. In Sinai, for example, exactly 450 Israeli troops faced an invading force of 100,000 Egyptians, who enjoyed a superiority in artillery of 40-1 and a force of 1,350 tanks against Israel’s 91. On the Golan, the Syrians had eight tanks for every Israeli tank, and even higher ratios of troops, guns and planes; later the Syrians would be bolstered by contingents of Iraqis, Jordanians, Palestinians, Saudi Arabians, Kuwaitis and Moroccans. In addition, the Arabs were equipped with the latest in Soviet rocketry, against which Israel had virtually no defense (Matt Nesvisky, The Lessons We Learned in 1973, The Jewish Journal, 2004-09-24).
Of those young men who stood between Israel and death, Golda Meir later recalls, ‘They fought and fell like lions’ (Peter Colon, The Yom Kippur War, Israel My Glory Oct/Nov 1997 p.15, emphasis added).
After the first day, the enemy in the Golan with tactical, logistical, and numerical superiority, the element of surprise, and Soviet supplied night-vision virtually destroyed Israeli resistance and was headed toward a strategic crossroads and Israel’s divisional headquarters. During the night, Lieutenant Zvika Greengold, a young blond son of Holocaust survivors, unattached to any unit, hitchhiked to the conflagration. Removing the dead from a Centurion tank, he took command.
For the next 20 hours, Zvika Force [koach Tzvika], as he came to be known on the radio net, fought running battles with Syrian tanks—sometimes alone, sometimes as part of a larger unit, changing tanks half a dozen times as they were knocked out. He was wounded and burned but stayed in action and repeatedly showed up at critical moments from an unexpected direction to change the course of a skirmish (Abraham Rabinovich, Shattered Heights, The Jerusalem Post, September 25, 1998).
His and a few remaining Israeli tanks succeeded in stalling the enemy who apparently thought they were confronting a superior force. Concurrently Prime Minister Golda Meir, conceding the Golan, began implementing the Samson Option (Judges 16:30):
During the 1973 Yom Kippur war, Israel came close to making a nuclear preemptive strike when it seemed to be facing defeat at the hands of Syrian armor, according to a half dozen former U.S. diplomats and intelligence officials familiar with the still-classified incident…. According to a former senior U.S. diplomat, by Oct. 8, Israel's northern front commander, Maj. Gen. Yitzak Hoffi, had informed Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan that he couldn't hold out much longer against the 14,000 Syrian tanks rolling through Israeli defenses on the Golan Heights. The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Dayan was ‘attacked by acute panic’ and declared to advisers: ‘This is the end of the Third Temple.’ But if Israel was to perish, it would take Damascus and Cairo with it. According to a former senior CIA official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, Dayan sought an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Golda Meir and secured her authorization to arm 13 intermediate-range Jericho missiles with nuclear warheads. Eight F-4 Phantom fighter aircraft were also to be given nuclear arms, former senior U.S. officials said (Richard Sale (UPI Terrorism Correspondent), Yom Kippur: Israel's 1973 nuclear alert, United Press International, 9/16/2002, emphasis added).
Unlike the Army of One recruiting ploy, the day is coming when every Jew of Israel will literally be a Zvika Force of One:
In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first,that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah. In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them (Zechariah 12:6-8, emphasis added).
1"Destroyed Centurion in Sinai" by Military Battles on the Egyptian Front by Gammal Hammad. Published by Dār al-Shurūq, Egypt.. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons


Stefanie said...

Thanks for writing this.

Anonymous said...

So inspiring! Thank you for the wonderful article. Wow!