This article is from the B’nai B’rith Messenger in 1954 printed in Los Angeles. The article reports rising tensions in Jerusalem, at the time a divided city. The prime minister of the time, Moshe Sharett, is quoted as saying: “we are faced with a new and deliberate violation and repudiation by the Jordanian Government of its obligations under the armistice agreement.” Sharett claimed that, “the absence of any international reaction to the flouting by Jordan of the armistice agreement in the past has served as encouragement to that government to commit this outrage.”
Much of the fighting in the 1948 War of Independence was in and around Jerusalem. The outcome of the war was the division of Jerusalem: West Jerusalem was part of the new State of Israel; East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was controlled by Jordan.
From 1949, when the Armistice Line was fixed, tensions simmered across the East-West divide. This article from 1954 shows that the issue had caught the attention of the Jewish press outside of Israel and that there was concern for the perilous situation facing the residents of Jerusalem. Parts of the city were a no man’s-land, and there was barbed wire and concrete barriers all over. Military clashes threatened the fragile ceasefire and endangered those living close to the border who were often targeted by snipers. To this day, it is possible to tour the former Armistice Line and see bullet holes in buildings dating back to this time. This situation came to an end in 1967 with the unification of Jerusalem after the Six-Day War.
The B’nai B’rith Messenger, named for Los Angeles’ foremost nineteenth-century congregation, chronicled Jewish life in Los Angeles for almost one hundred years (1897-1995).