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Looking Back: August 3, 2012

100 Years Ago

1912 — Joseph Sidernscher, better known as Whitey Lewis, was arrested as an accomplice in the murder of Herman “Beansie” Rosenthal. Initially it appeared that Lewis had a watertight alibi, but after a few hours in police custody, he appeared distressed, as the police were able to link him to the two other suspects: Harry “Gyp the Blood” Horowitz and Louis “Lefty Louie” Rosenberg. The trio is alleged to have iced Rosenthal as he walked out of a Midtown Manhattan restaurant. Rosenthal, as most know by now, had provided both the police and the press with information about how Charles Becker, vice squad chief of the New York City Police Department, was on the take from casino and brothel owners all over the city.

75 Years Ago

1937 — According to a statement made by Chaim Weizmann, it was decided at a closed-door meeting of the World Zionist Organization in Zurich, Switzerland, that the British plan to divide the Land of Israel into Arab and Jewish sections is acceptable, particularly if 2 million European Jewish refugees would be permitted to settle there. It was added that to refuse the offer would deny the Jewish people a historic opportunity to have their own state on at least a part of their ancient land. Moreover, it is anticipated that the Arabs will make it much more difficult for such a state to come into existence. Also of note was a dissenting group within the Zionist organization, which holds that the Land of Israel should not be divided under any circumstances.

50 Years Ago

1962 — According to a report in the French newspaper Le Monde, King Saud of Saudi Arabia has accused Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser of making a secret deal with President Eisenhower to protect the State of Israel. In what was apparently King Saud’s first-ever press conference, the Saudi king said that Nasser was cooperating with the United States with the express purpose to aid Israel. “In spite of that,” King Saud said, “we all know that Palestine is our main issue. Our brothers, the Arabs of Palestine, were driven out of their land and are the victims of injustice. They must, at all costs, be resettled on their land.”

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