From our archives [pg.14]

65 YEARS AGO On June 4, 1941, The Palestine Post reported that Britain claimed it had completed the withdrawal of some 12,000 Allied defenders of Crete from the island. Thousands of Allied soldiers remained unaccounted for, including some 2,800 New Zealanders. The British press summed up the previous 12 days of fighting on Crete as the fiercest struggle of the war. The Nazis used thousands of planes to strafe the defenders and lost hundreds in this almost suicidal attack. Some questions were asked in the House of Commons about the British defeat, but it was believed that although the loss of Crete was unpleasant and added to the Allied difficulties, the British navy remained the master of the Mediterranean. A pro-British Cabinet was set up in Iraq. Allied attention was now focused on the Vichy Mandatory Government in Syria and the alleged massive landing of German troops at the Syrian port of Lattakia. This put Palestine in the forefront of the battle. 50 YEARS AGO On June 4, 1956, The Jerusalem Post reported that France stopped all arms sales to the Middle East. Mordechai Glatzer, 22, an only son and a yeshiva student who had volunteered to help to extinguish a brush fire near Jerusalem's no-man's-land, was shot and killed by Jordanian snipers. The Arab Legion officers told UN armistice observers that "an Israeli soldier was shot in an exchange of fire." Another Jewish volunteer, Avraham Frieberg, was lightly wounded. Arab refugees admitted that they were largely helped by the Arab bank accounts unfrozen by Israel. 25 YEARS AGO On June 4, 1981, The Jerusalem Post reported that Golan Druse went on strike to protest against the imprisonment of five of their local leaders. The Begin-Sadat summit at Ofira was expected to concentrate on the mission of US envoy Philip Habib and on the Lebanese-Syrian missile crisis. Prime Minister Menachem Begin told the Lebanese Christian leaders that Israeli assistance was conditional and depended on their own efforts to succeed in their struggle against Syrian occupation. Zim's new container ship, the 24,000-tons MV Zim Keeling, which had just landed at Haifa, was described as the last word in modern shipbuilding technique achievements. -