Hagee’s guest was author and filmmaker Bill McKay, creator and producer of the docudrama TV series “Against All Odds: In Search of a Miracle”. The film is described on Sid Roth’s Messianic Vision website this way: “Those who think they know the story of Israel will be surprised by this collection of unknown soul-stirring stories of miraculous events that turned the course of the nation’s history.” Up for discussion this day was the Yom Kippur War, which occurred in 1973, and of which I knew nothing. By show’s end, I knew little more than nothing about the war itself, but what I had learned far surpassed military facts.
Included in this docudrama are two accounts of events that took place during this intense twenty-day battle between Israel and the armies of Egypt and Syria primarily, in their attempt to recover lands lost to Israel in the Six Day War (in 1967). The Yom Kippur War was fought in the Golan Heights, the Syrian peninsula and its surrounding regions. The first account has to do with an actual happening on the battlefield. I was so engaged by the footage and the narration that it never even entered my mind to take notes. So, among other details, I don’t have the then-soldier’s name whose story this is, or how many were with him, or exactly where they were. But I will never forget what happened to him and his fellow soldiers on that desert battleground.
It was dark. The Israelis were rolling across the sands in tanks, perhaps other vehicles as well. According to McKay’s narration, these troops were surrounded by the Syrian army. I don’t remember how it became known that the men had entered a mine field, but one way or another, too late, they found out. All vehicles pulled to a halt. Each man was instructed to get out. Crawling, inch by inch, along the ground, each soldier used the bayonet part of his weapon to scrape away the sands in the desperate hope of uncovering mines. If the mines were revealed, then a clear path could be determined. Perhaps. The problem was, progess was minute, and the Syrians were getting closer.
The number 600 is in my mind, and I don’t know if McKay mentioned 600 Syrian tanks, 600 mines eventually uncovered, or if I’m thinking about Pharoah of old and his 600 chariots bearing down upon the Hebrew children, led by Moses, making their escape through the desert. When God moved mightily upon the waters of the Red Sea, parted them and provided a way of escape for His people. In this scenario, it looks like He moved just as mightily.
The men knew they were running out of time. Then, something unusual happened. Not just a wind but a very strong wind came out of nowhere. At this point McKay informed us that in that part of the world, such a thing doesn’t happen. This powerful movement of air continued for, he said, 37 seconds and blew away the top thirty inches of sand, ACROSS THAT WHOLE AREA, so that EVERY SINGLE MINE WAS MADE VISIBLE…
No mines exploded that night, in that ‘field’.
When Hillary Clinton was campaigning for the Democratic presidential candidate nomination, attention was drawn to her receiving that 3 AM phone call, and her ability to handle it calmly, decisively, and effectively. I did not know then that Golda Meir, conversely, had needed to make such a call during her five-year term as Prime Minister of Israel. And that historic call was made to then President of the United States Richard M. Nixon. In “Against All Odds: In search of a Miracle”, Bill McKay tells us about this 3 AM call and its impact on the outcome of the Yom Kippur War.
This war began with the launching of “an overwhelming surprise attack” on Yom Kippur, Israel’s holiest of holy days, when the entire nation comes to a virtual standstill. Even non-observants Jews honor this holyday by fasting, staying home or going to synagogue, and refraining from the use of fire, electricity, and communications systems. Israel could not have been more vulnerable. Until shortly before it began, “Israeli intelligence was not able to determine conclusively that an attack was imminent.” (Wikipedia, Golda Meir – Yom Kippur War). Though Meir had been informed that enemy forces were gathering on the Golan Heights, she was counseled by advisors not to be overly concerned, that there was sufficient time to prepare for any military encounter. A mere six hours before hostilities actually began, it was decided not to precipitate events by launching a pre-emptive strike. This decision (later proved to have been a wise one) however, along with the erroneous interpretations of enemy movements by Israeli intelligence and leaders, left Israel basically a ‘sitting duck’. The country was “brought almost to its knees, and feared another holocaust” (link).
By the second day of fighting, the slaughtering of Israeli troops and destruction of their equipment was so crushing that Israel’s minister of Defense and legendary Six Day War hero Moshe Dayan began talking pullback and possible surrender. Meir resisted his mood, but nonetheless had an aide secure lethal pills from her doctor; should her Arab enemies prevail, she would take her own life. (link)
Golda Meir was known for her stalwartness, her iron will and inflexible nature, and these were in fact what pevailed. Israel did not surrender. As the reserve troops approached the front lines and the tide slowly began to turn in Israel’s favor, however, arms and ammunition supplies were dangerously low. The Arab threat of an oil embargo and trade boycott had effectively halted European munitions re-supply, so Meir now turned her attention to the Nixon administration. At this point, the United States was Israel’s only hope.
Meir’s relationship with U.S. Secreatry of State Henry Kissinger seems to have been a bit rocky, and when assistance was requested from him, according to McKay’s docudrama, Kissinger’s response was to let Israel ‘bleed’ a little. (Yes, you’re reading it right. That’s what McKay reported Kissinger to have said. I heard it myself.) So Golda Meir picked up the phone and called Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States of America, at 3:00 AM and asked for help. And here is where it gets interesting.
I’ve done some background research for this post, and in fairness I must admit the evidence supports both sides of the coin, but it has been known that Nixon was considered strongly anti-Semitic. Yet by the time she hung up the phone, Golda Meir had all the weapons help her country needed to ramp up the swinging of the pendulum in its favor, and end the Yom Kippur War. “…the American resupply included 815 total sorties, bringing Israel 56 combat aircraft and 27,900 tons of munitions and supplies.” (Col. Trevor N. Dupuy, US Army (ret.), Elusive Victory: the Arab Israeli Wars, 1947-1974). And what makes this even more interesting is that, according to McKay’s “Against All Odds”, as Nixon sat on the side of his bed, listening to Golda Meir’s request over the phone, instead of hearing the Prime Minister’s voice, he heard the voice of his mother….as a young boy growing up, his mother had told him that one day he would be in a powerful position, and a situation would arise where Israel and the Jews needed his help. When it did, he was to help them.
“Against All Odds: In Search of a Miracle”, a TV series docudrama, in available on DVD and in book form through John Hagee Ministries