July 7, 1969 — U Thant: ‘Open Warfare’ Along Canal

U.N. Secretary-General U Thant, shown with Jordan’s King Hussein in 1969, considered the Israeli-Egyptian War of Attrition the worst disregard ever for a U.N. cease-fire accepted by the warring parties. Jordanian Mission to the United Nations.

U.N. Secretary-General U Thant says he is considering withdrawing the 96 U.N. observers from the Suez Canal zone because “open warfare” exists there. Egypt and Israel have shot across the canal daily for three months, and U.N. soldiers were fired on 26 times in June. Thant says the situation, which becomes known as the War of Attrition, represents the worst disregard ever for a U.N. cease-fire accepted by the warring parties.




July 8, 1989 — Judo Champ Yarden Gerbi is Born

Yarden Gerbi is Israel’s first judo world champion and won one of a half-dozen Israeli Olympic medals in the sport.

Judo champion Yarden Gerbi is born in Kfar Saba. Gerbi wins eight national championships in her career and rises to the top of the world rankings in May 2013. She defeats European champion Clarisse Agbegnenou of France on the way to gold at the World Judo Championships in August 2013, making her the first Israeli to win a world judo title. She wins a bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, then retires.

July 9, 1967 — Bernstein Concert Celebrates War Victory

“Hatikvah on Mount Scopus,” the CBS recording of the Jerusalem unification concert July 9, 1967, became a best-selling album worldwide.

Leonard Bernstein conducts the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra on Mount Scopus to celebrate the cultural unification of Jerusalem after the June 1967 war. The audience in the packed amphitheater includes Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, President Zalman Shazar, former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and wounded veterans of the war. Mezzo-soprano Jennie Tourel participates in the show, which features Mahler’s “Second Symphony.”

July 10, 1957 — Yiddish Writer Sholem Asch Dies

Sholem Asch initially wrote in Hebrew but was persuaded by a fellow writer to switch to Yiddish. U.S. Library of Congress.

Yiddish novelist and playwright Sholem Asch dies at age 76 in London. Born in Russian-controlled Poland in 1880, Asch wrote in Hebrew until I.L. Peretz persuaded him to write in Yiddish. He first visited Palestine in 1908 and wrote about the Jewish connection to the land. He moved between the United States and Europe for most of his life. He lived in Bat Yam for his final two years, and his house there is a museum in his memory.

July 11, 1920 — WIZO is Founded in London

Rebecca Sieff speaks at the opening session of the eighth WIZO conference in Tel Aviv in 1934.

Rebecca Sieff, Vera Weizmann and Edith Eder found the Women’s International Zionist Organization at a London conference attended by representatives from England, Palestine, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, Russia and South Africa. They are inspired to help improve the lives of pioneering Jewish women after a tour of Palestine in 1919. WIZO aims to provide child care, housing, schooling, home economics education and other services.

July 12, 2006 — Second Lebanon War Begins

Hezbollah started the Second Lebanon War on July 12, 2006, and stopped shooting Aug. 15, a day after a cease-fire went into effect. Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Second Lebanon War begins when Hezbollah launches Katyusha rockets and mortars as a diversion for a cross-border raid to ambush an Israeli military patrol. Hezbollah kills three Israeli soldiers and abducts two others, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser. Five Israelis are killed in a failed rescue. The fighting continues until a cease-fire goes into effect Aug. 14. The war kills 19 Israeli civilians and 121 soldiers.

July 13, 1978 — Peace Deal is Urgent, Sadat Says

Anwar Sadat (left) and Ezer Weizman, who had a crucial meeting about peace in July 1978, embrace in Haifa in April 1979.

Seven months after his historic visit to Jerusalem, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat invites Israeli Foreign Minister Ezer Weizman to a meeting in Austria to press the importance of reaching a bilateral peace agreement. Sadat emphasizes the need for Israel to withdraw from Sinai, Gaza and the West Bank, and Weizman urges the Egyptian leader to negotiate directly with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education (israeled.org), where you can find more details.