Stop comparing COVID to the Yom-Kippur War, it's disrespectful - opinion

The ongoing comparison to 1973 also serves as an insult to the fallen and their loved ones. A correct comparison to 1967 provides respect to those lost during the pandemic and to their memory.

GETTING VACCINATED in Jerusalem. It is still too early to say COVID-19 is behind us and yet it is necessary to give due where it has been rightfully earned. (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
GETTING VACCINATED in Jerusalem. It is still too early to say COVID-19 is behind us and yet it is necessary to give due where it has been rightfully earned.
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
Israeli media tend to compare every mishap, catastrophe or failure to the 1973 Yom Kippur War. COVID-19 was not exempt from this comparison. The narrative even received an unexpected boost from the KAN national broadcasting channel when it aired an action-packed and historically flawed series reenacting some of the gut-wrenching battles of the conflict.
To this day, the Yom Kippur War still affects the families of the fallen and the nation as a whole. It presented a failure to read reality as it was while dealing with a troubled and convoluted White House in the midst of the Watergate scandal and its attempt to tiptoe around the Soviet Union. Israel was blindsided in a manner that could have been less disastrous were the government less obsessed with a false intelligence conception and its persistence in not involving all its branches in its understanding of the events as they unfolded.
During the first COVID lockdown, politicians and media critics accused the government of similar wrongdoing as it made decisions in a nontransparent fashion. One MK in particular made a name for himself while continuously comparing 1973 to 2020. Even if convenient, the comparison is flawed to say the least.
As with the 1973 war, the COVID-19 outbreak caught the entire world by surprise. The only modern event to compare it to is the 1918 influenza pandemic. Seeing as that took place long before major leaps in medicine, the interface points were rather limited. Those who attempted to embarrass the acting government were not bothered by any of this, and they made their political capital without hurdles.
Although history tends to repeat itself and despite my personal discomfort to comparisons reaching outside identical eras, the more appropriate war to compare COVID-19 to in Israel is the Six-Day War of 1967. At the time, the US was not considered to be a pillar of steadiness as it was led by a back-up president following the Kennedy assassination, and by a State Department in disarray. In the month leading up to the eventual attack that dismantled the Egyptian Air Force, a slow stalemate was at its peak, with continuous and separate talks held between the US government, Israel and Egypt. To top it off, the Israeli military command shifted, with Moshe Dayan assuming the position of defense minister a mere three days before the war began.
The surprise attack is thought to be one of the most impressive strategic attacks in military history. It came out of the blue, and was brought forward at a point where it was unclear how the standoff between Israel and Egypt would erupt or end. It set the tone to hold off three powerful Arab nations and served as an absolute shock.
If we really must compare the flash vaccine mission in which millions are being vaccinated in Israel while other nations are struggling still to contain the coronavirus, the 1967 war is the way to go. The mission has been deemed so successful and groundbreaking that leaders have made their way to Israel and have contacted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in order to receive guidance and import the methods used. The mission came to reality as numbers were growing and an end to the pandemic was nowhere in sight.
It is still too early to say COVID-19 is behind us and yet it is necessary to give due where it has been rightfully earned. The ongoing comparison to 1973 also serves as an insult to the fallen and their loved ones. A correct comparison to 1967 provides respect to those lost during the pandemic and to their memory.

The writer is an independent media consultant for nonprofit organizations and social initiatives.