July in Jewish History
118: Hadrian, Rome’s new emperor, made his entry into the Imperial City. Regardless of how history remembers him, for Jews, Hadrian is the Emperor who helped to start the Third Rebellion against Rome. In this case it was the lead by Bar Kochba and supported by Rabbi Akiva. It lasted from 132 until 135. It was the last uprising against Rome and really marked the beginning of the end of a vital Jewish community in Palestine.
1555: Paul IV issued “Cum nimis absurdum”, a Papal Bull that “placed religious and economic restrictions on Jews in the Papal States. The bull renewed anti-Jewish decrees. It forced Jews to wear special clothing, to live in a ghetto in Rome and forbade them to own real estate or practice medicine among Christians. Jews were forbidden to practice any trade except rag picking, and were restricted to one synagogue per city. Since all property had to be sold, and was inevitably sold at below market value, the Bull, like most such ordinances was theft as well.”
1816: Argentina declares independence from Spain. The first Jews probably came to Argentina as “conversos” following the Spanish Inquisition. Bernardino Rivadavia, Argentina’s first president gave support to policies that promoted freedom of immigration and respect for human rights, including the abolishing of the Inquisition. These changes in the social and political climate paved the way for a new wave of Jewish immigration.
1891: It was officially announced today that the Porte (the government of the Ottoman Empire) will only allow Jews to enter Jerusalem as pilgrims and will not allow them to emigrate there as settlers.
1902: Theodor Herzl visits Lord James in his quest to gain great power support for a Jewish home in Palestine.
1906: Colonel Alfred Dreyfus was finally pardoned, restored to his rank and returned to his regiment. The effects of the Dreyfus Affair did not end with the return of Dreyfus to active duty. The Dreyfus Affair produced the modern Zionist political movement which in turn gave birth to the state of Israel. The Dreyfus Affair also provided another dividing between the Left and the Right in both the French political and social scene and put another arrow in the quiver of right wing anti-Semites. This would find full flower in the government at Vichy during World War II.
1933: In Germany, all political parties were outlawed except for the Nazi Party.
1938: President Roosevelt called for an international conference to consider the “displaced persons” problem. The negligible results highlight the passive role the Western world in the face of the Nazis. Roosevelt’s aims, some say, are to deflect American Jewish appeals to help the German Jews. Aside from Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, which want enormous sums of money to allow a small number of Jews to immigrate, the 32 nations attending the conference decide that they will not permit large numbers of Jews to enter their countries.
1941: Hungary invaded the eastern Ukraine. Hungary was an ally of Nazi Germany during the war. Hungary’s Jews suffered at the hand of homegrown anti-Semites. Later on, Eichmann arrived and the full weight of the Final Solution fell, first in the countryside in places like Sighet and later in the big cities, most notably Budapest.
1942: Anne Frank’s family went into hiding in an attic above her father’s office in an Amsterdam warehouse.
1942: Bendin (Poland) ghetto uprising, 1942. “The warning cry issued from Jews in Vilna spurred initial thoughts of ghetto revolts for thousands of young Jews, particularly members of the clandestine Zionist-pioneer youth movements. In ghettos such as Bialystok, Krakow, Bendin, Czestochowa, and Tarnow, rebellions and confrontations broke out during the final deportations. These desperate acts of resistance testified to the triumph of the Jewish and human spirit and constituted both a cry for life and a banner of hope for future generations.”
1944: Raoul Wallenberg arrived in Budapest where he presented visas for 630 Hungarian Jews. Raoul Wallenberg was a great human being – He was a Swedish national who risked his life over and over again to save the Jews of Hungary. With only courage and a fair stash of cash, this man faced down the Nazi murder machine and made it give up some of its Jews. He is a living proof that one person can make a difference. In the end, the Soviets entered Budapest and took him away to a fate that is still unknown.
1948: Israeli forces launched Operation Danny, an offensive designed “to capture territory east of Tel Aviv” and then open the road to Jerusalem in a bid to break the Arab stranglehold on the city. The offensive was named after Danny Mass, the commander of “Convoy 35” and was under the command of Yigal Allon and Yitzhak Rabin. The undertrained and poorly armed Jewish forces were up against the Arab Legion, the elite British trained army of Jordan. The ultimate key to victory would in the need to capture the seemingly impregnable Arab position at Latrun. “Convoy 35” refers to an attempt made by a detachment of Haganah troopers to bring supplies to the Gush Etzion kibbutzim – Thirty-five died in the attempt and many of their bodies were mutilated beyond recognition.
1967: A young Kibbutznik got out of his jeep at Aalleiqa, an abandoned Syrian Army base on the Golan Heights, and became the first settler in the Golan. He would be joined by other secular Jews inthe next few days and they would form the kibbutz now known as Merom Golan.
1976: In Israel, the President, Prime Minister, and most of the cabinet ministers were among the thousands of mourners who attending the funeral of Lt. Col. Yoni Netanyahu (brother of current Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu), the 30 year old military officer who gave his life to insure the successful rescue at Entebbe.
1997: The opening of the 15th Maccabiah Games in Tel Aviv was marred by disaster – as the Australian team walked across a bridge, the bridge collapsed plunging the team into the Yarkon River. Greg Small Elizabeth Sawicki, Yetty Bennett and Warren Zines lost their lives and 60 others were injured.
2008: The chief Nazi hunter of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, headed to South America in a final public campaign to locate the most wanted Nazi in, the world and bring him to justice. The search for Dr. Aribert Heim, 94, the former Austrian doctor also known as “Dr. Death” who tops the Wiesenthal Center’s list of “most wanted Nazis,” has spanned nearly half a century since his 1962 disappearance in Germany ahead of a planned prosecution for his war crimes.
2011: A senior Hamas official hinted today that captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit is still alive, Channel 10 reported.
2013: Omri Casspi, the only Israeli hoopster to ever play in the NBA, will sign a two-year, $2 million (NIS 7.3 million) deal with the Houston Rockets.
BY INBAR BAR NER