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Forward Looking Back

1916 100 Years Ago

Everything has its time, and we can say here and now that the time has come for wearing beards, even in treyf America. When future historians write the history of Jewish facial hair in America, they will have to look at our time and call it “the bearded period in America.” It is currently in fashion to wear a beard. It used to be that one left Lithuania or Galicia with a beard. A few months after arriving in America, one would send back a photograph with a bare chin, with no beard. After all, America is a civilized place; you can’t go walking around with a long beard like in Butshatsh, Rakov, Kaydanov or Grayevo. America is a land of heretics. But gradually, the Jewish world got used to a clean-shaven face, and it ceased to be a style only for heretics. But now, beards have come back from the dead. They’re in style. Everyone is wearing one, even the heretics.

1941 75 Years Ago

Riots broke out in a number of locations in the Netherlands this week after groups of university students held raucous protests against the recent enactment of anti-Semitic laws in the country. Students in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and other cities took to the streets, carrying signs condemning the Nazis and their anti-Semitic laws. In a number of towns, Christian students wore the same yellow armbands that the Nazis have forced the Jews to wear. Some students said that they would wear the armbands as long as the Jews have to do so. In addition to the students, a large number of common citizens are boycotting city authorities for having acceded to the anti-Semitic legislation.

1966 50 Years Ago

King Hussein of Jordan has said that all Palestinian Arab refugee camps from the 1948–1949 conflict between Israel and the surrounding Arab states should be dismantled and that the refugees should be assimilated into the countries in which they currently live. The integration of these refugees into the countries in which they currently reside is something the Israelis have requested for a number of years; they have even offered financial compensation for this. Hussein also announced that he was officially breaking ties with the Palestine Liberation Organization and its extremist leader, Ahmad Shukeiri. The Israelis suspect that Hussein made this decision after it became evident that the Palestine Liberation Army targets not only Israel, but also stable Arab regimes.

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