the yom kippur war - 1973
It was Saturday, October 6th, 1973 in Israel. It was the Day of Atonement (e.g., Yom Kippur), the holiest day in Judaism. While many of the Israeli soldiers were fasting and exercising repentance, Egypt and Syria simultaneously attacked Israel on two fronts. Less than 500 Israeli soldiers faced an overwhelming 600,000 Egyptians in the South. In the North, 180 Israeli tanks were faced with defending the country against 1,400 Syrian tanks. The US government did not help at all. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (a Jew) was noted as saying, "Let the Jews bleed."
It was said that Prime Minister Golda Meier was considering suicide. Instead, in desperation, she phoned President Richard Nixon in the middle of the night and pleaded, "If you don't help us, it's all over." President Nixon later stated that he heard his own mother's voice. As a young boy, his mother had said to him, "Richard, one day you will have the opportunity to help the Jewish people. Do whatever you can to help them." He said, at that very moment, he knew why he was president. He gave orders to send military aid to Israel immediately.
Against all odds, Israel shocked the world again with another miraculous victory! Eighteen days after Egypt and Syria first attacked, the Arab leaders agreed to a cease-fire rather than suffer further losses. Israel paid an agonizing price again, however, with over 2,500 Israeli soldiers having sacrificed their lives to protect their Jewish homeland.
Two other noteworthy events occurred in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War. Angered and stunned by yet another miraculous Israeli victory, the Arabs changed their strategy from conventional warfare to that of isolating Israel from sympathetic foreign governments. They declared an oil embargo against the West, and it lasted for six months. Nations began altering their policies toward Israel, and the United Nations General Assembly labeled the Israeli government as the "racist occupier and oppressor" of the Palestinian people. The other noteworthy event after Yom Kipper was that Egypt approached Israel in 1978 to make peace. Egypt had invited the Palestinians to the peace agreement meetings, but they refused. Israel and Egypt reached a settlement in which Israel gave back the entire Sinai Peninsula to Egypt.