May 17

History events
-142 — (28th of Iyar, 3619) “Simon the Hasmonean captured the citadel of Jerusalem and expelled its Syrian garrison ad the Hellenized Jews” who had fought with them. Simon was the last surviving Hasmonean brother. His victories completed the fight begun by the more famous Judah who had taken possession of Jerusalem in 165 BCE but had not been able to take control of the citadel
1784 — (26th of Iyar, 5544) First Jewish school in Hungary opened at Alt-Ofen
1855 — (29th of Iyar, 5615) In New York ceremonies were held today marking the official opening first hospital building in the United States devoted solely to alleviate the suffering of poor Jews
1901 — (28th of Iyar, 5661) Herzl met with the Sultan of Turkey to discuss the establishment of a Jewish state and the obtaining of a charter. He failed in both attempts
1936 — (25th of Iyar, 5696) A curfew order, forbidding residents of Jerusalem to leave their homes at night, was issued today by Sir Arthur Grenfell Wauchope, the High Commissioner of Palestine, following the killing of three Jews last night at a motion-picture theatre; This morning in Jerusalem, more than 30,000 Jews marched in the funeral procession for three Jews murdered the night before at a local move theatre.
1939 — (28th of Iyar, 5699) The British government issues a White Paper (commonly called the MacDonald White Paper) that limits Jewish immigration to 10,000 a year for five years. The White Paper allows 75,000 Jewish immigrants (up to 10,000 per year, plus an additional 25,000 if certain conditions are met) to enter Palestine; Fighting broke out in Jerusalem as police sought to disperse 5,000 demonstrators who had gathered to protest the White Paper
1944 — (24th of Iyar, 5704) Joel Brand was flown in a German courier plane from Budapest to Istanbul where he met with two representatives from the Jewish “agency for Palestine, Wnja Pomeranz and Menahem Bader. Brand was a Hungarian Jew active in Va’adah (Vadat Ezra Vehatzala), the Jewish Rescue Agency in Hungary who was carrying the terms of Eichmann’s offer to trade a million European Jews for 10,000 trucks, 1,000 tons of coffee or tea and 1,000 tons of soap. Eichmann assured Brand that the trucks would only be used on the Eastern Front. At the same time, he told Brand that the Jews could go anywhere except Palestine because Hitler “had promised his friend the Grand Mufti Amin al-Husseini” that he would not permit that.
1947 — (27th of Iyar, 5707) “Hatikvah” which in a former life had been the Coast Guard cutter Tradewinds used as an icebreaker on the St. Lawrence River, was intercepted by the British today and taken to Haifa after which its cargo of 1,414 Jewish refugees whom the English labeled as “illegals” were interned in Cyprus
1948 — (8th of Iyar 5708) Twenty-year old Private Meir Ben Bassat was killed today as the third battalion of the Yiftach Brigade finished taking Metzudat Koach, a Tegart fort built by Solel Boneh during the British Mandate” that “was a key observation point on the Naftali heights, overlooking the Hula Valley” which had been seized by the Arabs thus threatening the existence of kibbutzim in the Upper Galilee
1948 — (8th of Iyar 5708) During the Battles of the Kanarot Valley, as the Syrians attempted to wipe out Ein Giv, a company attacked the Israeli-held water station with heavy weapons killing all but one of the workers.
1948 — (8th of Iyar 5708) At dawn, the Syrians renewed their attack on Tzemah as they attempted to take control of the Jordon River Valley. In an attempt to limit damage to their tanks, the Syrian infantry without armor to lead them, attacked the village’s northern positions. Despite a shortage of ammunition and suffering heavy casualties, the Israelis halted the Syrian advance.
1948 — (8th of Iyar 5708) In Tel Aviv, as Battles of the Kinarot Valley rage into their third day. David Ben Gurion orders Moshe Dayan, the Haganah commander in the area, to ‘Hold the Jordan Valley’ no matter the cost; Russia recognized Israel
1948 — (8th of Iyar 5708) During the War for Independence, Israeli forces liberated Acre, Nebi Yusha, and Tel el-Kadi, Yes; this is the same Acre where Maimonides and his family landed when they first arrived in Eretz Israel.
1948 — (8th of Iyar 5708) A convoy consisting of 12 trucks filled with military supplies arrived in Jerusalem. It would be the last convoy to reach the city. «The siege of Jerusalem was now complete.»
1950 — (1th of Sivan 5710) Israeli fighter planes forced down a four-engine Royal Air Force Sunderland that was flying outside ‘the prescribed air corridor.”
1959 — (9th of Iyar 5719) The Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School was opened in the western section Jerusalem. The original facility had been on Mt. Scopus. When the Jordanian Army illegally captured the eastern section of Jerusalem, the facility on Mt. Scopus became untenable.
1967 — (7th of Iyar 5727) In what would be a prelude to the Six Day War, President Abdul Nasser of Egypt demands dismantling of the peace-keeping UN Emergency Force in Egypt. The UN force had been established as part of the peace agreement following the Suez War of 1956. Much to Nasser’s surprise, U Thant, the UN Secretary General immediately gave into Nasser’s demand an removed the peace keeping force. Israelis viewed the UN as the umbrella that closes when it starts to rain. The departure of the UN force gave the Arabs carte blanche to move large forces into the Sinai threatening the survival of Israel.
1984 — (15th of Iyar 5744) Lia van Leer inaugurated the first Jerusalem Film Festival

1617 — (12th of Iyar, 5377) Rabbi Judah Löb Saraval passed away He translated Saadia’s commentary on “Canitcles” into Hebrew
1786 — (19th of Iyar, 5546) Moses Zarah Eilitz, who taught Talmud without accepting compensation even though he was impoverished himself, passed away today
1786 — (19th of Iyar) Moses Eidlitz, author of “Melehet Mah-shevet” passed away.
1836 — (1th of Sivan 5596) William Steinitz, chess-player, born
1876 — (23rd of Iyar) Aaron Zevi Friedman, the author of “Tuv Ta’am” passed away
1936 — (25th of Iyar) Seventy-seven year old Zionist leader Nachum Sokolow passed away
1941 — (20th of Iyar, 5701): In cooperation with British Army intelligence, David Raziel, the commander of the I.Z.L. (Irgun Zva-i Leumi) led a group to sabotage the oil depots on the outskirts of Baghdad. Raziels car was bombed and both he and the liaison British officer were killed
1994 — (7th of Sivan, 5754: Rafael Yairi (Klumfenbert), age 36, of Kiryat Arba and Margalit Ruth Shohat, age 48, of Ma’ale Levona were killed when their car was fired upon by by terrorists in a passing car near Beit Haggai, south of Hebron
2003 — (15th of Iyar 5763) Eighty-one-year-old Irene Gut Opdyke a Polish nurse who gained international recognition for aiding Polish Jews persecuted by Nazi Germany during World War II for which she was honored as a Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem for risking her life to save twelve Jews from certain death passed away today