World roundup: October 25 2023
Stories from Israel-Palestine, China, Sudan, and elsewhere
TODAY IN HISTORY
October 25, 1147: The Siege of Lisbon ends. This siege involved soldiers who had initially set out for the Holy Land to join what we now call the Second Crusade. And speaking of which, this is also the date on which the army of Holy Roman Emperor Conrad III was thoroughly defeated by the Seljuks at the Battle of Dorylaeum, removing it as a potential factor in that crusade. We’ve seen how that eventually turned out.
October 25, 1917: The Bolsheviks begin an uprising in Petrograd that would within a day see them overthrow the provisional Russian government of Alexander Kerensky and, after a lengthy civil war, become the new leaders of Russia. This is the Old Style (Julian calendar) date of the revolution, which according to the Gregorian calendar actually took place on November 7. But since it’s called the “October Revolution” I feel weird commemorating it in November.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday (here’s a Reuters summary if you prefer) that the Israeli government “has agreed, for now” to the US government’s request that it delay its planned ground operation in Gaza so as to give the US military more time to prepare for the likely regional backlash. This is according to “US officials and people familiar with Israel’s war planning,” which sure sounds reliable to me. The Pentagon is moving around a dozen additional air defense units to the Middle East, a task that could be done as soon as the end of this week. The US is also providing additional air defenses to Israel but these units are intended to protect US military personnel in the region. It’s possible they may also be used to bolster Israeli air defenses if necessary but I don’t know.