Yom Kippur War

Published: 1973
Play Audio Archive Story - UPI

Ed Karrens: It was the afternoon of October the 6th, the Jewish Holy Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. Jews throughout the world were observing this sacred day of religious commitment; but in Israel, the day was shattered by the news that war between the Jews and Arabs once again had begun. Most heard the news over a radio program, which was interrupted.

Unknown Speaker: "Shalom Cavit, Shalom Cavit, Shalom Cavit."

Ed Karrens: "Shalom Cavit, Shalom Cavit", a Hebrew code phrase which was a signal for troops to prepare for war. Abba Eban, Israeli Foreign Minister, speaking at the United Nations, accused the Arabs of starting the fourth war in the 25 years of Israeli independence.

Minister Abba Eban: "The Governments of Egypt and Syria simultaneously and together have performed two acts so base and vile that it is hard to find words adequate to their infamy. The first act is an act of treacherous aggression; the second, perhaps more heinous, is the crime of mendacity."

Ed Karrens: Israel was determined to hold the territory which it had won in the 1967 Six Day War. The Jewish strategy was to make an all-out effort to regain the positions it had lost at the Suez Canal and at Golan Heights, the two places where the war had started. As in the '67 war, the United Nations and the two world powers, the United States and Russia, immediately responded to the conflict.

Secretary of State Henry Kissinger went to Moscow to confer with Soviet party leader Leonid Brezhnev, and the UN Security Council sponsored a resolution calling for a ceasefire.It was reported the resolution came about as a direct result of the Kissinger-Brezhnev talks. The Arabs and Jews accepted the ceasefire, but the international community was startled when the United States placed its military forces on a worldwide precautionary alert.

President Richard M. Nixon: "We obtained information which let us to believe that the Soviet Union was planning to send a very substantial force into the Mideast, a military force. When I received that information, I ordered shortly after midnight on Thursday morning a alert for all American forces around the world; this is a precautionary alert. The purpose of that was to indicate to the Soviet Union that we could not accept any unilateral move on their part to move military forces into the Mideast."

Ed Karrens: A United Nations peacekeeping force was sent to the trouble spot, and peace talks were scheduled before the year was through. Acts of terror, kidnappings, plane hijackings and bombings were also a part of 1973, and many of them were a direct offshoot of the Mideast tensions.