On October 24, 1972, Egyptian president Anwar Sadat called together his military leaders and ordered them to prepare a plan to attack Israel.
Less than a year later, on Yom Kippur afternoon, five Egyptian armored divisions, two mechanized divisions, paratroopers, commandos and special forces – backed by 2,000 machine guns and 50 surface-to-air missile batteries – drove north across the cease-fire line, manned by just 268 Israeli tanks and a single reserve armored brigade.
Simultaneously, three Syrian infantry divisions, spearheaded by divisions of Soviet-made tanks, punched through Israeli’s meager defenses and swiftly moved south, recapturing much of the Golan.
While the Israeli Defense Forces reversed the momentum within days, the myth of Israeli invincibility that had cocooned the country since the Six-Day War was shattered, resulting in decades of torment and self-criticism.
As we approach the anniversary of a war in which 2,500 Israeli soldiers lost their lives, we are honored to welcome one of Israel’s most distinguished scholars and political figures, Ambassador Michael Oren, to discuss how the Yom Kippur War changed the country, the ghosts that still linger and the legacy it left in the Middle East and beyond.