This week in Israeli history: Jan. 13-19

Israeli President Chaim Herzog accepts the credentials of Spain’s ambassador to Israel, Pedro Lopez Aguirrebengoa, in Jerusalem on April 14, 1986. Photo: Nati Harnik, Israeli Government Press Office

Center for Israel Education

Jan. 13, 1898 — Zola Accuses French of Antisemitism

L’Aurore publishes a 4,500-word front-page letter from Emile Zola under the headline “J’Accuse” (“I Accuse”), in which the acclaimed writer charges French President Felix Faure and his government with antisemitism in the Dreyfus Affair. Zola points out the many flaws in the treason conviction of army Capt. Alfred Dreyfus in 1894 and mocks the acquittal of the true spy, Maj. Ferdinand Esterhazy, in a recent sham trial.

Jan. 14, 2018 — Netanyahu Visits India

Benjamin Netanyahu pays the first state visit to India by an Israeli prime minister in more than 15 years, reciprocating a trip to Israel by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2017. Netanyahu meets with government, military and business leaders in an effort to continue expanding bilateral trade, which has grown more than 20 times since the two countries normalized relations in 1992. He also visits India’s small Jewish community.

Jan. 15, 2014 — Israel Joins CERN as Full Member

A flag-raising ceremony at the Geneva headquarters of the European Organization for Nuclear Research marks Israel’s new status as the 21st full member of the 60-year-old organization known as CERN. Deputy Prime Minister Avigdor Liberman is given a tour of the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator. Israeli scientists first worked with CERN in 1991, and Israel became an associate member in 2011.

Jan. 16, 1948 — Convoy of 35 Is Slaughtered

All 35 Haganah soldiers in a convoy bringing supplies to the blockaded Gush Etzion settlements are killed in a day of fighting with Arab troops. The Convoy of 35 is trying to bring relief on foot to Gush Etzion after motorized efforts fail, but the mission is foiled when Arab civilians spot the convoy around dawn. Nearby British troops do not intervene in the battle but report that the Arabs mutilate the Jewish bodies.

Jan. 17, 1986 — Israel, Spain Establish Diplomatic Ties

Spain becomes the last Western European nation to open formal diplomatic relations with Israel, which Spain previously did not officially recognize. Establishing ties with Israel is a condition for Spain to gain admission to the European Community, the precursor to the European Union. Spain keeps the Arab League informed of its plans, pledges continuing close ties to the Arab world and denounces Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.

Jan. 18, 1906 — Bezalel Art School Opens

Forty women, chosen from a pool of 400 applicants, begin studying painting, drawing and tapestry as the first class of the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem. The school aims to teach crafts to the people of Jerusalem, develop original Jewish art, and find a visual expression for national and spiritual Jewish independence. The school was the idea of sculptor Boris Schatz and won the Seventh Zionist Congress’ approval in 1905.

Jan. 19, 1990 — Justice Goldberg Dies

Arthur Goldberg, a former labor secretary and U.S. Supreme Court justice, dies at home in Washington at age 81. The Chicago native was a labor lawyer before President John F. Kennedy named him labor secretary in 1961, then appointed him to the Supreme Court the next year. Goldberg became U.N. ambassador in 1965 and helped draft and push through U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 after the June 1967 Middle East war.

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