FROM OUR ARCHIVES
65 YEARS AGO
On June 7, 1951, The Jerusalem Post reported that UN chief of staff Maj.-Gen William Riley reported in an interim report to the UN Security Council that the work on the drainage project in the Hula demilitarized area had been postponed. The Israeli government spokesman announced that a stoppage had been ordered for a few days, at Riley’s request, to enable the chairman of the UN Mixed Israeli-Syrian Armistice Commission to investigate the status of certain lands on which the drainage work had been in progress and about whose ownership status doubts had arisen.
The Knesset Committee investigating complaints by Zealot suspects of maltreatment by police opened its hearings in Jerusalem. Police had investigated these complaints, and no evidence was found to support the Zealots’ charges.
The way was cleared for the Knesset elections to be held on July 30, 1951. The Knesset empowered the chairman of the Central Election Committee to deal with the voters’ register compiled on alphabetical instead of the prescribed geographical basis in areas where streets were without names or numbers.
After a whirlwind five-week tour of the US, on behalf of Israel Bonds, prime minister David Ben-Gurion was due to return home in a special El Al plane.
The US Supreme Court denied a last-moment plea to stay the execution of seven Nazi war criminals in Germany, clearing the last obstacle from the path leading to their hanging at the US prison in Landsberg, Germany.
50 YEARS AGO
On June 7, 1966, The Jerusalem Post reported that prime minister Levi Eshkol met Congolese president Joseph Mobutu in Leopoldville for a series of talks. Mobutu welcomed Eshkol to the presidential mansion, and said: “I am face to face with a leader who has African interest in view because his country suffered as has ours.” During his welcoming remarks, Mobutu recalled that he had enjoyed parachute training in Israel in 1963.
The dispute on whether to raise the cost-of-living allowance the following month erupted in the Knesset as Victor Shemtov of Mapam had warned finance minister Pinhas Sapir that if the allowance was not raised Mapam would provoke a political crisis.
Syrian troops again fired shots into Israeli territory at Ashmora, setting fire to 300 dunams [30 hectares]. The loss was estimated at IL 50,000. Another complaint was lodged with the UN Mixed Israeli-Syrian Armistice Commission.
Ahmed Shukeiry announced in Damascus that Syrian units of his Palestine Liberation Army would come under the orders of the Syrian army “in view of information received on Israeli concentrations on the Syrian borders.”
25 YEARS AGO
On June 7, 1991, The Jerusalem Post reported that there were signs that Syria had indeed softened its terms for the convening of a Middle East peace conference, foreign minister David Levy said upon his return from Europe. If Damascus would put this in writing, there was likelihood that US secretary of state James Baker would return to the region, Levy explained.
The Bush administration had welcomed Levy’s recent signals from Europe on progress in peace process, and was displaying eagerness to move forward with a Middle East peace conference.
The Labor Party demanded a state inquiry into the alleged irregularities and failures of the Housing Ministry, which were contained in the recent Comptroller’s Report. MK Rafi Edri charged that housing minister Ariel Sharon had instructed contractors to sell apartments, built for new immigrants and young couples at the ministry’s directions, at 10 percent more than the official price set by the ministry. This was a “public scandal” that at many building sites, like Gilo and Givat Ze’ev, the ministry sold land to contractors at 50 percent of its value.
– Alexander Zvielli