Today, September 18/19 2018, is Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement)—the Jewish Fast Day when there is no work, no traffic, no TV, no radio, etc.,. On Yom Kippur 1973, Saturday, October 6, my family and the family of Jim Monson were walking below the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, when we saw a few cars racing up and down the street.
We wondered what was going on, in light of the fact that driving, especially in Jerusalem, was/is forbidden on the day. Soon the air raid sirens went off!! In a coördinated surprise attack, both Egypt and Syria had attacked Israel on its most sacred day (BTW it was also Ramadan!).
The Monson’s headed back to their house, and we headed back to our apartment. When we arrived at our apartment we found our neighbors cleaning out old mattresses, bicycles, etc., from the bomb shelter. The husband of one of our friends was stationed in one of the Israeli forts on the east side of the Suez Canal—the ones that the Egyptians overran. But his fort was the only one not to be overrun!
How much of a surprise was the attack? A telegram (pre-internet age) from the head of Mossad, Zvi Zamir, to Prime Minister Golda Meir, warned, in the morning of Yom Kippur, that Egypt would attack that afternoon.
See Ynet for the telegram and English summary and commentary please see the interesting article:
We all know what happened!