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Looking Back: October 21

100 Years Ago in the Forward

In a heartbreaking meeting of relatives of the 145 victims of the Triangle Waist Company fire, hundreds protested the fact that no one has been brought to justice for the crimes of negligence that caused the fire and the deaths of all the shop workers. As sobs were heard in the hall, the protesters, most of whom were clad in black to mourn their dead relatives, announced that it has been seven months since Triangle owners Max Blanck and Isaac Harris were indicted and that it is time that they be brought to justice. They also warned that there are hundreds of other sweatshops in the same situation as Triangle and that they want to prevent similar disasters.

75 Years Ago in the Forward

Despite the fact that the Arab general strike has been called off, tensions in Palestine between Jews and Arabs are running extremely high. A good deal of this tension is being fomented by the Arabic press, which frequently prints articles attacking the Jews and also accusing the British Mandate authorities of siding with the yishuv, Palestine’s Jewish community. The attacks on Jews in the Arabic press have led outside commentators to note that if the Arab press didn’t agitate against the Jews, there would probably be much fewer problems in Palestine. Many of these Arabic articles are translated and reprinted in the Hebrew press and are the cause for much discussion in the yishuv.

50 Years Ago in the Forward

Speaking before the United Nations General Assembly, Israeli Foreign Minister Golda Meir addressed the recent verbal attacks Israel has received from the Saudi Arabian delegate, AhmAd ShukeIri, who likened the Israelis to Nazis. Meir responded that anyone who compares Israelis to Nazis knows nothing about Nazis. She also accused ShukeIri of working closely with the mufti of Jerusalem, who was Hitler’s guest and ally. Moreover, in response to ShukeIri’s demand that the U.N. investigate the way Arabs live in Israel, Meir suggested that the U.N. look into the role of slavery in Saudi Arabia, one of the only countries not to have signed a U.N. pact banning it. With that, she read a paragraph of a Saudi law concerning the issue: “It is forbidden to buy or sell slaves or to serve as a broker in the slave trade, unless one receives an official license from the appropriate authorities.”

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