December 31

History events
1492 — (11th of Tevet, 5253) One hundred thousand Jews were expelled from Sicily
1539 — (20th of Tevet, 5300) In Poland, King Sigismund I “ordered the Jews of Cracow, Posan and Lemberg (Lvov) to buy 3,350 Jewish books from the Printing house of the apostate Helitz brothers. The Jews bought the books as ordered — and then destroyed them all.
1795 — (19th of Tevet, 5556) As of today, the population of Amsterdam totaled 217,024 of which 20,052 were Jewish
1942 — (23th of Tevet, 5703) At a meeting of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, Churchill asked if would be possible for the RAF to undertake two or three heavy raids on Berlin in January. ….. In addition to dropping bombs on the German capital, the planes would drop leaflets warning them of the fate that awaited them at the end of the war and that the attacks were reprisals for Nazi persecution of Poles and Jews. Sir Charles Portal, the Chief of the Air Staff “warned that any such raids avowedly conducted on account of the Jews would be an asset to enemy propaganda”
1947 — (18th of Tevet, 5708) Following an Arab attack on the refinery at Haifa where they killed 47 Jews, members of the Palmach launched an attack on Balad al-Shaykh, Haifa
1947 — (18th of Tevet, 5708) Because of constant attacks from Arabs and the siege of Jerusalem, Hebrew University was forced to end all courses and close its doors
1948 — (29th of Kislev, 5709) In response to a British ultimatum, Ben-Gurion dispatched the order for Israeli forces to evacuate the Sinai and return to the Negev. A Jewish brigade was on the brink of capturing the Egyptian city of El Arish.
1952 — (13th of Tevet, 5713) The Jerusalem Post reported ….. that the Knesset passed the first reading of the War Invalids Bill, submitted by the Minister of Labor, Mrs. Golda Meyerson (Meir). The bill assured veteran rights, the same as provided to the casualties of the Israel Defense Forces, to the invalids of the World War II Palestinian units of the British Army, and to the invalids of the Haganah. Pensions were also granted to partisans who fought Hitler. The bill was attacked sharply by Herut Knesset members on the grounds that it discriminated against the fighters of the Irgun Zvai Leumi and Fighters for the Freedom of Israel (Lehi)
1963 — (15th of Tevet, 5724) Israel’s first desalination plant opened at the port of Eilat
1969 — (22th of Tevet, 5730) Five unarmed Israeli gunboats arrived in Haifa tonight ending a 3,000-mile journey from Cherbourg, France.
1980 — (24th of Tevet, 5741) A Jewish owned hotel in Nairobi Kenya was bombed killing 18
1989 — (3th of Tevet, 5750) Today, Prime Minister Shamir said he had dismissed Ezer Weizman from the cabinet for violating Israeli law by maintaining contacts with the Palestine Liberation Organization. Mr. Shamir accused Mr. Weizman of giving advice to the P.L.O. on how to respond to Mr. Shamir’s plan for elections in the occupied territories

1829 — (5th of Tevet, 5590) Isaac Artom, Italian senator, born
1881 — (9th of Tevet, 5642) Birthdate of Jacob Israel de Haan, Dutch poet and writer. Israel de Haan was an ultra-Orthodox leader who was working to establish the Orthodox community as a separate entity distinct from the Zionists. He was willing to enlist the support of non-Jews hostile to Zionism in to advance the cause of ultra-Orthodox. de Haan was assassinated in 1924 before he could continue his meetings with British authorities
1888 — (27th of Tevet, 5649) Sampson Raphael Hirsch, Jewish theologian, died
1938 — (9th of Tevet, 5699) Five hundred Jews attended a New Year’s Eve dance at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem
1975 — (27th of Tevet, 5736) Cornell student Sue Fishkoff landed in Leningrad today. ….. Within hours of her arrival, she found herself “in a Jewish apartment within hours” of her arrival, plucked out of the crowd by a young Jewish member of the Komsomol group sent to greet” those arriving at the airport. “The table was spread with a lavish repast — mushrooms in cream sauce, pickled vegetables, carrot salad, all kinds of smoked fish.” She “learned later how long the family had scrimped to put together that holiday meal. People crowded around her, eager to ask questions about America. Was there really so much street crime? What did people think of the pullout from Vietnam? Had she ever been to Israel? Then two young men dragged out a book and thrust it into her lap. It was an English-language edition of the Encyclopedia Judaica they had opened to the page on Chanukah. One of them pointed to a drawing of the nine-branched Chanukiyah and asked her to explain its use.Thinking he was joking, she smiled. These were university educated people. This was the 20th century. He had to be pulling her leg. He wasn’t. And she’ll always remember her shock and sadness as she realized it”