On September 18, 1953, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Abba Eban, announced that "today I have forwarded to the State Department a request to arrange a meeting with Secretary of State John Foster Dulles."
The appeal was made following a vote held the day before at the UN General Assembly on the country to serve as vice presidency, during which the United States ignored Israel, which presented its candidacy – and instead unexpectedly chose to support Pakistan's representative.
"Our relations with America are normal but cool," Ambassador Eban told Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett, who arrived in New York at the time for the important UN vote.
Indeed, two months earlier, when the state treasury was on the edge of an abyss, not only did America refuse to comply with an urgent request from Israel for a $70 million loan, but US Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey also refused to respond to a request from Finance Minister Levi Eshkol, who wanted to clarify the reason for the refusal.
In addition, a few days after the UN vote, the first international exhibition (see separate article) was supposed to open in Jerusalem with the participation of dozens of countries, but the United States announced that it would "boycott the opening ceremony, since Jerusalem's international status has not yet been determined."
Secretary Dulles was appointed to office in January 1953 by Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was elected President of the United States and took office at the same time. President Eisenhower, like Secretary Dulles, was not a supporter of Israel, and with the beginning of his term there was a turn for the worse in America's attitude toward the Hebrew state, with the tone of the administration set by a group of State Department officials called the "Arabists," including Henry Byrod, a close friend of the ruler of Egypt at the time, Gamal Abdel Nasser.
Byrod frequently attacked Israel on almost every issue and vigorously pushed for the sale of American arms to Egypt, while the United States completely refrained, until the mid-60s, from selling Israel any military equipment – not even laces for military shoes.
Exciting: Archaeological discoveries in the "Negev wilderness"
Archaeologist Nelson Glick in the Negev, 50s, photo: Moshe Friedan GPO
Nelson Glick was an American Jew who was born in 1900 in Ohio, and at the age of 26 received his PhD in archaeology. In the 40s, when he was already a veteran archaeologist, Glick received an offer from the American Intelligence and Intelligence Organization to serve as its representative in Palestine and combine espionage work with archaeology.
The Negev at that time was an almost completely desolate area. Between 1953 and 1952, Glick organized two large survey expeditions of researchers and archaeologists who came from the United States to Israel with the aim of locating and mapping archaeological sites in the heart of the Negev. The delegations examined about 110 points each year, and on September 19, 1953, at the end of the second year of the survey, Glick and his team held a press conference "in which," as the invitation noted, "sensational data" would be provided.
At the event, held at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, it turned out that the delegations had located many potsherds in dozens of locations in the Negev desert regions that were dated to the third millennium BCE. Until then, potsherds from this period had been discovered in the Land of Israel only in areas where there was dense settlement in antiquity, between Beersheba and the coastal plain, as well as in the Jezreel Valley and the Jordan Valley.
"These are amazing discoveries, since archaeology science knows so far only about Nabatean settlements that were established in the Negev as part of the Perfume Route, during the Nabatean kingdom, which lasted about 275 years – from 170 BCE to 105 CE," Glick explained at the event. He added that "finding conclusive evidence of settlements in forgettable places in the Negev some 2,700 years earlier requires us to reevaluate the history of the Negev desert."
Indeed, further studies carried out in the Negev, both by Glick's team and by others, solved the mystery when the miraculous agricultural ability of the ancient settlers in the area was discovered - thousands of years before the Biblical period. They were wise enough to develop methods for collecting and storing stormwater in streams, in rainy areas, and transporting it through terraces and a network of canals to the agricultural areas, which yielded thriving crops.
Jerusalem International Exhibition
Exhibition poster in Jerusalem, 1953 // Design: James Avraham, courtesy of the Zionist Archives,
On Tuesday, September 22, 1953, the "Expo Jerusalem 1953" exhibition opened at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem, under the theme of "Conquest of the Wilderness."
This was the first time that the State of Israel had the privilege of hosting an international exhibition, after many debates between the institutions. One claimed that "organizing such a big exhibition is bigger than us," while the other insisted that "we are not a widower of Israel and we have done great things before." Indeed, the exhibition was a success, attracting more than 600,<> visitors.
No less than 300 companies, businesses and manufacturers from 13 countries signed up for the exhibition, and hundreds of shipments of equipment and display devices arrived in Israel, assembled and placed in the many pavilions built in the exhibition plaza, which covered an area of more than 10,000 square meters.
The largest pavilion at the exhibition, covering an area of 2,200 square meters, belonged to Israel, and hosted 175 different local businesses, which were located in pavilions according to themes: settlement, Jerusalem, industry, development institutions, Histadrut, Made in Israel and more. Alongside these stood pavilions representing the government, the Jewish Agency and the JNF, presenting "the achievements of the Israeli wilderness occupation enterprise."
The selection of pavilions and displays was large: the American Pavilion had a dam that demonstrated electricity generation by utilizing height differences; A large printing press produced sheets of the Bible, which were immediately snatched up by visitors as souvenirs; The English-Dutch company Shell presented the oil route, from drilling to filling the fuel tank in the car; Sweden introduced its large timber industry; And many companies from abroad introduced a lot of equipment, from hydraulic elevators to pumps, large compressors, diesel cars and even light aircraft.
"Television will disappear and will not affect cinema"
Tel Aviv Cinema Hall, 1957, photo: according to section 27A of the Copyright Law
On September 16, 1953, two days before Yom Kippur, a cocktail party was held in Tel Aviv in honor of two of the senior executives of 20th Century Fox, at the time one of America's largest film production and distribution companies. The two, company president Leonard Duff and his deputy Abe Reckmill (a Jew who changed his name from Yerachmiel), came to Israel as part of a world tour they held in several countries where Fox had representative offices.
One of the reasons for their global travel had to do with the accelerated development of television in America, which had been recorded since the early 50s, and the concerns raised by the company's representatives around the world, according to which television would take over the film industry and reduce the attractiveness of visiting cinemas around the world.
President Duff, who told those in attendance that he began his career at Fox as an office cleaner, reassured those present by saying, "We recently completed extensive research with some of the largest film production and distribution companies in America, and I am pleased to announce that according to the results, the American public's interest in television is declining, and it now stands at one-third of the American public alone who are still interested in television, up from 44 percent the previous year."
Duff concluded: "We would not be surprised if in the near future television disappears completely from our lives, since most of the public would prefer to watch a color movie instead of black-and-white television, when the cost of a color TV tuner, which RCA claims will begin marketing next year, will be $1,000 (equivalent to $11,500 today, D.S.), and television will weigh at least 60 kilograms."
Fox had interests in Israel beyond the distribution of its films, since at that time, during the austerity period, the Ministry of Finance refused to extract profits in foreign currency from Israel, and offered Fox to use the accumulated profits of the company to establish businesses it owned in Israel. The company did so and invested in the construction of the large and magnificent Tel Aviv cinema, which was inaugurated in 1957.
The Vanished / Items that Were
Photo: Courtesy of Ms. Dina Lesser,
The calendar served as an advertising tool; At the top was a colorful ad for the company or business, and at the bottom, 52 pages were grouped together, one for each week, or 12 pages, one for each month. The mehadrin would equip themselves with a small personal yearbook that fit in the shirt pocket (pictured), which combined information about the coming year with data and a great deal of varied information about the life of the community that was in the Diaspora. Such yearbooks were printed for the communities of immigrants from Libya, Poland, Hungary and more.
Consumer / Sweets & Dessert
Photo: Nostalgia Online Archive,
A chocolate spread that tried at the time to compete in a market that was quite crowded, and in which C.D. competed with a chocolate spread called "Man", Elite with the chocolate for its spread, and the "Rising Dawn" company with the chocolate spread that was the public's favorite. "Epiphone" (from the Hebrew word for waffle) was a spreadable chocolate that was nicknamed "military" due to its unrefined taste, but its advantage was its lower price. The factory tried different packaging to attract customers' eyes, but it didn't help and closed in the early 80s.
Impolite: opera and stage before explosion
In 1949, the Habima Theater actors embarked on a tour of the United States, and while there the Israeli Opera performed in their hall. On the return of the stage, it became clear that the opera was refusing to vacate – an undignified struggle that lasted four years and reached hand-wringing. In mid-September 1953, the stage gave the opera an ultimatum: "Vacate the building by the 22nd, or our crew will evacuate you by force." The frontal confrontation was averted at the last minute, after the Tel Aviv municipality undertook to provide opera with the "Kesem Building", home to the first Knesset on Tel Aviv's seashore. Photo: The Barber of Seville, 1954
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