From the US through the Middle East and back to the US again, here is the story of a combat vehicle and what it signifies.
An Israeli M48 tank, a combat vehicle of the Yom Kippur War, was dedicated at the Museum of American Armor in Long Island on the eve of the Jewish High Holidays and just days before the the anniversary of the war, which began on October 6, 1973.
Among those participating in the dedication program were Congressman Steve Israel; Ambassador Ido Aharoni, Consul General of Israel in New York; and combat veterans of the Israel Defense Forces.
Vehicle’s Dynamic History
The tank has a remarkable history that spans several armies and countries.
Built by the U.S. in the 1950s and transferred to Jordan a decade later, it was captured by the Israelis during the 1967 Six Day War, pressed into IDF military service and deployed during the Yom Kippur War, defending Israel’s southern border as Egyptian forces attacked along the Suez Canal.
This particular armored vehicle, which is still operative, crossed the Canal and succeeded in attacking Arab forces from the rear before it was knocked out and left in Egypt. It was eventually purchased by a collector who brought it to the US. before being acquired by a philanthropist and taken for display at the Museum of American Armor – “to remind visitors of the sacrifices often demanded in the defense of democracy,” as the museum explained.
Testimony to Close US-Israel Ties
“Specifically now, when the Middle East is going up in flames, we are entering an Israeli tank into an American museum,” Ambassador Aharoni was quoted by Ynet as saying at the dedication ceremony. “This is further testimony to the close ties shared by the two countries.” He further elaborated on the shared values and goals of the IDF and American milirary.
Museum president and founder Lawrence Kadish told the Long Island Exchange: “This historic tank will become an important destination for anyone who needs to understand the strategic threat faced by Israel and all democracies as a result of this ongoing war by terrorists.”
Author: Aryeh Savir
Staff Writer, United with Israel