Aug. 9, 1982 — Terrorists Attack Jewish Deli in Paris

Two Palestinian terrorists, believed to be part of the Abu Nidal Organization, attack a Jewish deli in Paris, Chez Jo Goldenberg, with grenades and machine guns. Six people are killed, and 22 others are wounded. The attack is one of dozens carried out by the group in the 1980s and 1990s, killing some 300 people. An Abu Nidal attempt to assassinate Israel’s ambassador to London is one of the causes of the First Lebanon War, which is ongoing during the Paris attack.

Aug. 10, 1920 — Treaty Dissolves Ottoman Empire

World War I’s victorious nations and the Ottoman Empire sign the Treaty of Sevres (a French town) to enact a plan for the breakup of the empire. The treaty incorporates the Balfour Declaration’s language calling for “a national home for the Jewish people” to be established in Palestine. The Ottoman sultan, Mehmed VI, endorses the treaty, but the Turkish National Assembly, set up by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, rejects the pact. It is replaced by the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923. 

Aug. 11, 1929 — Jewish Agency Globalizes Representation

The 16th Zionist Congress ratifies the creation of a broadly representative Jewish Agency for Palestine on a vote of 231-4 with four abstentions. The League of Nations’ Articles of Mandate in 1922 called for such an agency to represent Jewish interests in Palestine, and the World Zionist Organization filled that role. But WZO President Chaim Weizmann wanted an agency reflecting the views of all world Jewry, including non-Zionists, and it took seven years to complete the negotiations to achieve that goal.

Aug. 12, 1944 — Berl Katznelson Dies

Labor Zionist leader Berl Katznelson dies of a hemorrhage in Jerusalem at age 57. A native of Belorussia, Katznelson made aliyah in 1909 as a foundry worker but became disillusioned with the poverty of Jewish workers. He developed the idea of a cooperative group of small landholders that led to the moshav movement. His 1919 program for labor unity became the basis for the Mapai party, created in 1930. He also helped start the Histadrut Labor Federation and the newspaper Davar.

Aug. 13, 1995 — Aharon Barak Named Head of High Court

Aharon Barak, a Supreme Court justice since 1978, is appointed to serve as the court’s president, a position he holds until 2006. He uses his time as Israel’s chief justice to expand the court’s power, especially in reviewing government and military actions and in protecting civil liberties. A landmark decision in 1995 states that in the absence of a constitution, Israel’s Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty and Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation are preeminent.

Aug. 14, 1944 — U.S. Rejects Bombing Death Camps

U.S. Assistant War Secretary John J. McCloy writes a letter to Leon Kubowitzki, the head of the rescue department of the World Jewish Congress, to notify him that the U.S. military will not bomb Nazi death camps and their infrastructure. McCloy is explicit that the United States could conduct such missions but believes that air operations elsewhere are a more effective use of resources to defeat Germany.

Aug. 15, 2005 — Gaza Evacuation Begins

Soldiers and police begin carrying out Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s plan for Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip, as approved by the Knesset in February. After the Aug. 14 deadline for settlers to leave, evacuation orders are handed out in settlements, giving residents 48 hours to leave. “Believe me,” Sharon says in a speech, “the extent of pain that I feel at this act is equal only to the measure of resolved recognition that it was something that had to be done.”

Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education.


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