http://users.ox.ac.uk/~ssfc0005/The%...li%20Wars.htmlInternational initiatives for the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict failed largely as a result of Israeli intransigence. After Anwar Sadat succeeded Gamal Abdel Nasser as President in September 1970, there was a distinct shift in Egyptian policy away from military activity towards the quest for a political solution. Sadat's public declaration in February 1971 of his readiness for a peaceful agreement with Israel was a significant turning-point in the generation-old conflict. But the deadlock over the implementation of UN Resolution 242 could not be broken because Israel flatly refused to return to the lines of 4 June 1967. On 4 February 1971, Sadat put forward his own plan for an interim settlement, based on a limited Israeli pull-back from the Suez Canal and the reopening of the canal for international shipping, but this plan, too, was rejected by Israel. Continued Israeli stone-walling persuaded Sadat, by November 1972, that a resort to force was essential in order to break the pattern of standstill diplomacy. From that point he started planning the military offensive which was code-named `Operation Spark'.
Under the leadership of Golda Meir, Israel kept raising her price for a political settlement just when Egypt became convinced of the need for a historic compromise. Immobilism was the hallmark of Mrs. Meir's foreign policy. Holding on to the territories acquired in 1967 gradually replaced the quest for a settlement as Israel's top priority. Mrs Meir continued to proclaim Israel's desire for peace but this was a pious hope rather than a plan of action. Her actual strategy was to let Sadat sweat it out, with his range of options constantly narrowing, until he was left with no choice but to accept Israel's terms for a settlement. The consequences of this strategy were to miss the opportunities for a peaceful settlement of the dispute and drive Israel's opponents to launch another round of fighting.
It was the prevalent status quo that led the Arabs to war. Sadat wanted to break the political stalemate (and maybe even regain the territory that Israel had conquered); to do this, Israel had to be made vulnerable (he knew the Arabs wouldn't be able to 'destroy' Israel). This is why the '73 war is seen as a victory for the Arabs. One, it broke the myth of Israeli invincibility; and two, it brought Israel to the negotiation table.
For more info:
[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Decade-Decision-American-Arab-Israeli-Conflict/dp/0520034694"]Amazon.com: Decade of Decision: American Policy Toward the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1967-76 (9780520034693): William B. Quandt: Books[/ame]