FROM OUR ARCHIVES
65 YEARS AGO
On June 6, 1951, The Jerusalem Post reported that Arabs on the eastern bank of the Jordan had started working on the land along the river. In some places they had irrigated the land and were apparently preparing to sow a summer crop in the area. No such peaceful sign had been observed in this area before and this could be a positive development.
Israeli earth-removing machines continued their work along the Jordan River bank south of Lake Hula. Small herds of Syrian cattle appeared on the eastern bank, just a short distance away, but everything was quiet.
Amendments to the Military Service Act, widening the scope of the Army’s powers of conscription, were introduced in the Knesset by acting defense minister Moshe Sharett. (1) Draftees for the regular army were to be called for medical examination at the age of 17 instead of 18. (2) Draftees were to be given psycho-technical as well as medical examination. (3) Doctors and bacteriologists were to be drafted for the regular army and reserves under special conditions. (4) The new conditions were announced for service in the reserves.
UN observers visited Arabs transferred from the demilitarized zone on the Israeli-Syrian border. The Labor Ministry had allocated a special sum for public works to give employment to these Arabs.
New voters’ lists were exhibited throughout the country and the Knesset was about to decide whether to postpone elections, scheduled for July 30, 1951.
Sweden had lodged a second protest against Egypt’s restrictions on foreign shipping through the Suez Canal, introduced to control and stop exports to Israel.
50 YEARS AGO
On June 6, 1966, The Jerusalem Post reported that prime minister Levi Eshkol arrived in Leopoldville from Liberia on the third leg of his visit to seven African states. It was the first official visit by the head of the government since the Congo army coup the previous month.
Syrian positions opened fire from automatic weapons at a group of Israeli workers in the Ashmora sector. The fire was returned and lasted several hours. Israel lodged a complaint with the UN Mixed Israel-Syrian Armistice Commission.
The cabinet decided that if Haifa port dockers failed to resume normal work during that week, the government would take “further measures as demanded by its powers and responsibility.” It also decided that “the government was doing and would continue to do its utmost for the maximum operation of Mediterranean ports” – namely Tel Aviv and Ashdod ports – to minimize damage to the economy caused by the dockers’ go slow strike. The cabinet issued a call to the stevedores to resume full work without delay, and to display a sense of responsibility for the needs of the state and economy.
25 YEARS AGO
On June 6, 1991, The Jerusalem Post reported that Foreign Ministry officials were upset by foreign minister David Levy’s decision to order the ministry to reject some of the state comptroller’s findings about the troubled embassy in Paris, headed by ambassador Ovadia Sofer.
Israeli officials told the Post that Israel would soon be lifting key elements of its sanctions policy against South Africa and that South African president F.W. de Klerk would visit Israel within six months.
– Alexander Zvielli