September 27, 1982. As Jews all over the world celebrated Yom Kippur, the atmosphere in Israel was anything but celebratory. Reacting to a massacre of Palestinians by Lebanese militiamen in refugee camps in the Beirut area two weeks earlier. A tragedy in which the government of Menachem Begin, in many quarters has been accused of having direct, or at least indirect responsibility. And his position was under heavy and mounting attack. To many Begin seemed badly out of touch with the national mood; all over Israel there was revulsion what happened in Beirut and disgust that Begin requested only a limited inquiry. What thousands of Israelis wanted was a full-scale inquiry and probe to clear the air and clear Israel of any wrongdoing. Instead, Begin remained suspiciously silent and it sparked mass demonstrations demanding a full inquiry. And for the first time, it became clear that most of the Ministers in Begin’s cabinet wanted that inquiry conducted immediately, with three Ministers vowing to step down if it isn’t. Blame had been placed squarely on Defense Minister Ariel Sharon who have called for his resignation. So on this day of atonement, there were some things the Israeli government did which the Israeli people cannot forgive.
And there was other news – In Beirut itself, all the French and Italian troops officially designated to serve as a multi-national peace-keeping force arrived. A contingent of U.S. Marines was offshore, held up pending withdrawal of Israeli units. The French and Italians were being kept in temporary barracks while French mine sweeping teams have gone to the various Palestinian camps south of Beirut for a second day while Italian spokespeople said a unit of Italian sharpshooters had arrived there too. The Israelis promised to removed their troops from West Beirut by the day before. But at last report, Israeli units reported were holding positions at the Port of Beirut and the International Airport south of the city. A revised timetable from Israel said their troops would be gone by the middle of the following week.
And on it went.
And that’s just a small slice of what went on, this September 27, 1982 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup and Hourly news.