FROM OUR ARCHIVES
65 YEARS AGO
September 17, 1952
About 100 residents of Ma’abara Alef immigrant transit camp near Migdal Ashkelon were invited by the representatives of the Finance Ministry to sign contracts for government-built houses. No contracts were signed as not a single prospective tenant could raise the IL 200 deposit necessary.
Twelve members of the Jerusalem Institute for the Blind agreed to move out of the building into houses offered them in the Talbiyeh quarter. The group had staged several demonstrations outside the Knesset three weeks earlier, when the House passed a law granting institutions the right to eject members.
Israel’s most serious shortage was not of meat or fish, but of scientific personnel, according to Dr. Joseph Gillis, academic secretary of the Weizmann Institute. There was one scientist for every 2,500 people in Israel, as compared to one in 1,800 in England and an even higher proportion in the US. Gillis stated that the Weizmann Institute would have to “import” someone to be director of their new physics department.
50 YEARS AGO
September 17, 1967 “Operation Refugee,” the program to let West Bank refugees in Jordan return to their homes, which was to have resumed again after having ended on August 31, was postponed following a request by Jordanian authorities. No reasons were given for the request. The postponement was seen in Jerusalem as further confirmation that the refugees – whose return Israel had already approved – did not wish to return. Seven thousand refugees were already in possession of approvals from Israel to return.
President Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt admitted to fellow Arab leaders in a closed-door session that he was wrong when he accused the US of participating in the Six Day War, according to diplomatic reports. Nasser explained that King Hussein of Jordan had told him that his radar had spotted planes coming towards Jordan from the direction of the Mediterranean. Nasser concluded that they must be American planes, since he did not expect Israel to attack from that direction.
Profiteering by Jerusalem burial societies and tombstone contractors at the Mount of Olives Jewish cemetery led to a decision by the Jerusalem Jewish Cemeteries Council to ban direct payments to societies or contractors for work at graves. Prices had risen sharply after work began on repairing desecration and damage on the Mount of Olives that occurred during the Jordanian occupation.
25 YEARS AGO
September 17, 1992
A plane carrying 120 children from the Chernobyl region arrived in Israel, bringing to 750 the number of “Chernobyl Children” the Chabad movement had brought to the country in two years. The program was designed to bring children living in high radiation levels near the site of the 1986 nuclear plant disaster here for medical care designed for their needs. They would live and study at Kfar Chabad near Tel Aviv.
Justice minister David Liba’i reassured religious party representatives that the Bill of Rights being drafted in the Knesset would not override religious legislation pertaining to marriage and divorce. Liba’i said the religious parties were becoming convinced that a constitutional law guaranteeing human rights would be to their advantage because they constituted a minority of the population. The fact they had political strength then did not mean that they wouldn’t require human rights protection in the future, Liba’i said.
– Daniel Kra