Only a few months prior to the 1973 Yom Kippur war, Western experts confidently predicted the Arab oil producers would never act multilaterally to use their oil as a political weapon against supporters of Israel. Leading magazines with such reassuring statements were still in fairly current circulation when the Arab oil producers did just that. Suddenly, it seemed that virtually unknown Arab sheikdoms, some of them barely entering the 20th century in development, were holding a scimitar directly over the jugular of much of the developed world. Western Europe, almost totally dependent on oil imports, and Japan, wholly so, were quick to get the message. Diplomats scrambled to convince the Arabs of their governments sincerest intentions to moderate their positions toward Arab countries, while stiffening their policies toward Israel.
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