21.05.2011 17.Ijar, 5771 Bechukotai; Tag 32 des Omer
Frenchman’s plans for conquer are foiled by stone walls and British war ships, despite a vain attempt to win over local Jews with an early iteration of Zionism.
On May 21, 1799, following an arrogant two-month effort to conquer the ancient walled city of Acre, Napoleon Bonaparte’s forces succumbed to the plague, the Royal Navy, stone walls and the city’s defender, Jezzar Pasha. Conquering Acre had been a vital step in the 30-year-old first consul of France’s plans to spread his empire’s influence from Egypt to Syria and eventually through the Ottoman Empire’s heart, Constantinople. The notoriously small French general had faced little trouble in his conquests of Egypt was moving quickly northward until he reached the fortified port city of Acre, which would eventually repel him back to France.
In 1798, Napoleon had successfully conquered Egypt’s major cities. Intent on expanding his reach through to Syria, he began marching his armies northward. After a battle in el-Arish and an unchallenged short stopover in Gaza, the French forces took the port city of Jaffa where thousands were slaughtered on the fortress city’s shores. Some historians point to the savage killings there as a major motivating factor for the impenetrable resistance he later faced in Acre, where tales of the atrocity quickly spread….