Russian version

Who won the Arab-Israeli conflict?

The vast majority of the inhabitants believe that Israel won.

And if you look at the situation purely from a geographical point of view, then on the map Israel really increased somewhat due to the mountains and the desert.


But if you look at the results of the conflict from an economic point of view, the results will be completely different.

It was the loss of the Arabs in the war, and, according to some historians, a deliberate loss, that allowed the Arab countries to unite in the Organization of Petroleum Producing Countries OPEC, and on October 17, 1973, to declare an embargo on oil supplies to Great Britain, Canada, the Netherlands, the USA and Japan, that is, countries who supported Israel during the Yom Kippur War in its conflict with Syria and Egypt.

As a result of this embargo, oil has risen in price from about 3 to 12 dollars per barrel.


Who and how much earned on this boycott?


US oil producers

They produced about 9 million barrels (1)  about 3.3 billion barrels per year. After the embargo, their production remained almost unchanged, but revenue increased 4 times, to about $40 billion. Thus, the additional income of the «seven sisters» miraculously increased by $30 billion a year, which in the horizon until 1980 gave them more than $200 billion.

In this case, it is not necessary to identify US oil producers with the entire country, since the industry of this country and its inhabitants basically paid this money.


Soviet Union

The Soviet Union announced that it would not join the embargo and began to increase oil supplies to Europe, earning quite decent money on this.

If in 1970 the USSR’s revenue from oil exports was 1.05 billion dollars, then in 1975 it was already 3.72 billion dollars, and by 1980 it had increased to 15.74 billion dollars. (2)

Approximating the data, we can calculate that Russia’s additional income in the horizon up to 1980, taking into account the growth in supplies in quantitative terms from 111 million tons of oil and oil products in 1970 to 186 million tons of oil and oil products in 1980, amounted to about $ 70 billion , not counting the political benefits from rapprochement with the industrialists of Europe.


OPEC countries (mostly Arabs)

Together they provided almost half of the world’s production, producing approximately 1,300 million tons per year. (3) In barrels, this was about 9.5 billion, almost three times more than the production of the US oilmen.

Accordingly, before the embargo, their oil revenues of the OPEC countries amounted to about $30 billion a year.

Even if we assume that after the embargo they actually reduced production to 9 billion barrels, which is highly doubtful, their oil revenue still rose to $110 billion a year, an increase of $80 billion a year.

ÂIn the horizon up to 1980, this additional income amounted to about $550 billion.



In addition to highly dubious territorial gains, Israel received «massive» American support, mostly in arms. It was about $2.5 billion per year (4), which in the horizon from 1973 to 1980 gives about $17 billion.

This is less than 10% of the amount that the American oilmen earned! And this is not money, but weapons, on the sale of which other American industrialists have decently profited!



The income of the US oil industry is about $200 billion.

Soviet Union’s revenues are about $70 billion.

The OPEC oil industry earns about $550 billion.

Israel’s income (if weapons are generally considered income) is about $17 billion.


For clarity, picture

Distribution of oil revenues from the Soviet Union, the United States, OPEC countries and Israel in the period from 1973 to 1980


Draw your own conclusions about who actually won the war.


PS. According to the same methodology, over time, it will be possible to shortchange the Ukrainian war. Yes, probably, and even now it is possible to calculate for the past six months. And give perspective.


(1) Vikipedia. Oil crisis 1973.




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