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Jerusalem Post - - COMMENT & FEATURES -

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

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