Today in Israeli History

January

1903: Herzl begins a trip to Elach, Austria, his home town.

1918: During an afternoon session of a Zionist convention that drew delegates from Ten Mid-West States at the Hotel LaSalle, more than $60,000 was pledged.

1940: Hugo Herrmann a Zionist author and publisher, one of the founders of the Jewish student organization Bar Kochba in Prague who worked for the Keren Hayesod and settled in Jerusalem in 1934 where he published descriptions of his extensive travels in Palestine passed away today.

1943: Arthur Ruppin passed away today in Jerusalem at the age of 67.  “Born in Germany, Mr. Ruppin came to Palestine in 1908 to direct the first Palestine office of World Zionist Organization in Jaffa.  He was one of the founders of Tel Aviv.

1946: In Tel Aviv, police found a large arms cache today that contained a both heavy and light automatic weapons, various chemicals of the type used for detonating explosives and a number of military uniforms.

1948: Thousands of “illegal” Jewish refugees who had been trying to reach Palestine disembarked in Cyprus where the British interned them in DP camps.

1949: As promised by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, Israeli troops began withdrawing from the Sinai Peninsula.

1952: In Jerusalem terrorists shot civilians during a home invasion.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel continued to protest against the increased British, French and US arms sales to the belligerent Arab states, at least until they agreed to negotiate peace.

1965: Palestinian al-Fatah terrorist organization forms.

1970: In Jerusalem, five people were injured by a terrorist grenade

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Egyptian negotiators in Cairo demanded that Israel liquidate her settlements on the West Bank and in Gaza as a pre-condition for the Palestine Arabs self-determination.

1979: A car bomb was found opposite Cafe Atara on the pedestrian mall and was neutralized about half an hour before it was to have blown up.

1983: Moshe Levy was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and appointed IDF Chief of General Staff.

2010: The Al -Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility today for firing two Grad-type rockets at the Netivot area from Gaza on last night.

2011: Arab terrorists launched a mortar attack near Sderot this evening. One woman was treated for shock.

2014: Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s condition continues to worsen

2014: A memorial service for the 69 sailors of the INS Dakar was held at Mount Herzl today, marking 46 years since it sank into the Mediterranean.


1927: Asher Ginsberg, whose pen name was Ahad Ha’am passed away this morning inTel Aviv. Born in 1856 near Kiev, Ginsberg lived in England from 1906 until 1921 when he made Aliyah. While living in England, managed a tea shop owned by one his literary admirers and worked with Chaim Weizmann to create the document known as the Balfour Declaration.  In 1889, Ginsberg caused a stir with the publication in the Russian Jewish periodical Ha-Meliz of his first article dealing with the Zionist movement and the future of the Jews.”  Over time he would develop the concept of Cultural Zionism which espouses a belief in the development of Palestine as intellectual and moral homeland for the Jewish people throughout the word, as well as a place of physical refuge.

1928: The municipality of Tel Aviv is scheduled to start paying the principle on a 75,000 pound bond issue that was offered in December of 1922.

1949: In the aftermath of the War of Independence, the last Israeli troops left the Sinai Peninsula completing a withdrawal that had been worked out between Ben Gurion and Britain.

1949: An Egyptian plan flew over Jerusalem injuring seven people when it dropped its bombs.

1955:  Arab militant gunmen attacked and killed 2 hikers in the Judean Desert.

1964: Israeli footballer Mordechai “Motaleh” Spiegler made his international debut for Israel today against Hong Kong.

1970: In Operation Double Bass 10, The Golani Brigade took part in a retaliatory raid on Kfar Kila in response to the kidnapping of an elderly guard from Metula by Fatah two days earlier.

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that during the current Egyptian-Israeli peace negotiations, Mustafa Amin, a well-known Egyptian journalist, described Prime Minister Menachem Begin as a “Shylock,” determined to get his pound of flesh from his people.

1987: During the Intifada,  Israel stopped another Junieh-bound ferry, the Sunny Boat, and turned it back to Larnaca after the Cypriot captain refused an Israeli demand that he hand over Palestinian passengers suspected of being terrorists.

1992: Tonight, Israel announced that it would expel 12 Palestinians who were involved with known terrorists following the murder of an Israeli.

2001: Yasser Arafat was scheduled to meet with President Clinton this afternoon following Arafat’s emergency flight to Washington from Gaza coming in the wake of a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv on New Year’s Day.

2003: Today Israeli soldiers found the charred body of a 73-year-old Israeli man near a West Bank village hours after his family had reported him missing

2013: The IDF Prosecutor today filed an indictment against the alleged “mastermind” of the Tel Aviv bus bombing which injured 24 passengers during Operation Pillar of Defense with the West Bank Military Court of Yehuda.

2017: Friends and family mourn the death of 19 year old Israeli Lian Zahar Hassan who was murdered by a terrorist as she celebrated the New Year in Istanbul.

2018: In Jerusalem, the First Station is scheduled to host a calorie burning Zumba Party.


1895: Herzl personally witnessed Colonel Dreyfus being “drummed out of the army in the courtyard of the Ecole Militaire as huge crowds outside shouted,  ‘Death to the Jews!’

1918: Dr. Stephen S. Wise, Chairman of the Provision Executive Committee for General Zionist Affairs announced” tonight that more than one-fourth of the first million dollars of the Palestine restoration fund to be devoted to the immediate needs for re-establishing a Jewish state in Palestine.

1919: The Faisal-Weizmann Agreement was signed today, by Emir Faisal (son of the King of Hejaz) and Chaim Weizmann as part of the Paris Peace Conference, 1919 settling disputes stemming from World War I. 

1944: Eighty year old Prussian born mining engineer turned Zionist leader Leopold Kessler passed away in New York

1948: The Palmach received orders concerning the attacking on Salama.

1985: The government of Israel confirmed the resettlement of 10,000 Ethiopian Jews.

1988: The Reagan Administration, through an announcement by its State Department, withheld comment today on the Israeli air strikes into southern Lebanon.

1990: Ezer Weizmann is scheduled to leave today for Moscow, a visit that is a further sign of warming relations between the Soviet Union and Israel.

1992: Yasar Arafat demanded that the United States vote for a U.N. resolution that would “strongly deplore” Israel’s decision to deport a dozen Palestinians described as “inciters to violence.”

1993: An agent of the Shin Bet security service was stabbed and bludgeoned to death today, apparently by an Arab assailant, in a rare attack on a member of Israel’s secretive internal intelligence agency

1993: At a building site in Holon, near Tel Aviv, attackers slashed the throat of a Jewish man, seriously wounding him. The police said they were searching for an Arab laborer from the West Bank who had fled the scene.

1999: Israel detains, and later expels, 14 members of Concerned Christians. Concerned Christians is described as apocalyptic Christian cult that believed the Al-Aqsa mosque has to be destroyed to facilitate the Second Coming.

2002: Operation’s Noah’s Ark began this morning when Israeli naval commandos boarded a Palestinian freighter during the second intifada loaded with tons of arms including Katyusha rockets, and anti-tank weapons.

2008: A Katyusha fired from Gaza hits the Israeli city of Ashkelon, ten miles away.  For the first time this major Israeli city has been attacked by a Palestinian rocket.

2009: Israeli ground troops entered Gaza tonight, following a week of aerial strikes aimed at ending rocket fire on Israel’s southern communities

2009: An Israeli film, “Waltz with Bashir,” was named the best picture of 2008 by The National Society of Film Critics at its annual meeting in New York.

2011: Despite last-minute efforts by President Shimon Peres, Russian President Dimitri Medvedev canceled his planned visit to Israel in February

2012: Israel and Palestinian negotiators meeting in Amman today for the first direct talks in 16 months agreed to continuing talking, with another round of talks scheduled in Jordan next week.

2013: Israeli doctors have developed a portable device which they say can detect strokes, the third biggest killer in the western world.

2014: A Wall Street Journal report published today stated that U.S. officials believe Hezbollah are smuggling” “components of the Yahkont advanced guided missiles” into their bases in Lebanon.

2014: Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon addressed the IDF’s successful test flight of the Arrow 3 interceptor missile, which was conducted today in a joint operation by the Israel Missile Defense Organization and the US Missile Defense Agency

2015: Andre Pshenichnikov who was arrested in the Sinai Peninsula in January 2013 after crossing into Egypt with no identification “was released from prison and repatriated” in Israel today.

2016: An Israeli man in his 20’s was wounded tonight in a shooting attack in the Har Hevron region of Judea just two hours after a terrorist stabbed a man waiting for a bus in southeast Jerusalem.

2017: Israeli spelunkers stumbled across a menorah and a cross etched into the limestone walls of an ancient cistern, both of which are believed to date back centuries, the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement today.


1903: Herzl ends a four day visit to Edlach, his home town.

1916: In Vienna, the West Austrian, Galician and Bukowinean Zionist Central Committee adopted resolutions expressing the hope that the Jewish question will be discussed at the Peace Congress.

1918: In Zwolle, the Netherlands Zionist Federation adopted a resolution expressing gratitude to British Government for its sympathetic attitude toward Zionism and for the Balfour Declaration.

1920: French forces stationed at a fort near Metulla retreated northward after being attacked by Bedouins. With the defeat and retreat of the French army, the 120 members of the settlement of Metulla, all of whom were Jewish, fled to Sidon where they boarded a ship to Haifa.

1970: Abba Eban published an appeal for peace between Israel and the Arab states in the London Sunday Times following an Arab summit in the Moroccan city of Rabat.

1978: When PLO official Said Hammami was shot and killed today in London, those suspected of responsibility were Mossad and the Abu Nidal Organization.

1985: As of today, since November 20, 1984, 6,500 Ethiopian Jews have secretly made their way to Israel as part of Operation Moses

1987: An Israeli gunboat stopped a Cypriot ferry bound for Lebanon today. The officials in the Lebanese port of Junieh said the ferry, the Empress, was stopped off the Lebanese coast.

2002: The MV Karine A, a Palestinian ship loaded with 50 tons of arms including rockets and missiles which the Israeli Navy had seized during the intifada was brought to Eilat.

2006: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage at Havat Shimim and collapses into a coma.

2006: Ehud Olmert assumes the duties of the Prime Minister after Prime Minister Sharon suffered his second stroke.

2008: Israeli officials reported that they they had uncovered an arms cache in the West Bank city of Nablus last night that contained explosives, military equipment and materials for manufacturing rockets. 

2009: Sergeant Dvir Emmanueloff, was killed during a firefight in northern Gaza’s densely populated Jabalya refugee camp today. He was the first fatality suffered by Israel since it launched the ground operation on Saturday. 

2010: Three Palestinian men were arrested in Jerusalem for allegedly planning a stabbing attack. The men, from Hebron, were arrested today near the Jaffa Gate with a knife in their possession.

2010: In Israel, the National Insurance Institute reported today that the number of new claims for unemployment benefits dropped four percent in December.

2011: Israeli greenhouses on a farm near Ashkelon sustained damage from a terrorist rocket fired from Gaza today, and the Air Force responded by bombing a Hamas training base.

2014: Israel and the Palestinians are making progress towards reaching a framework peace agreement but they are not there yet, US Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters” today.


1895: Alfred Dreyfus was publicly degraded and sent to Devil’s Island. Later, evidence was produced which proved that Major Esterhazy and Colonel Henry, Dreyfus’ chief accusers, had forged the evidence. Yet, a new trial was not begun until 1899.  The Dreyfus Affair brought on a torrent of anti-Semitism that spawned the modern Zionist movement

1898: Herzl’s “The New Ghetto” was finally produced in the Carl-Theater in Vienna. 

The play was also performed in Berlin and Prague.

1948: As the siege of Jerusalem continues, the Haganah launches an attack against Katamon, a suburb from which Arab gunmen have been firing non-stop into adjacent Jewish neighborhoods.

1949: As the War of Independence winds down, Israeli forces struggle to dislodge the Egyptians from Gaza.

1964: Pope Paul VI and President Zalman Shazar of Israel met today at Megiddo, the scene of ancient battles, and both voiced hope for a moral revival and for peace among men.

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that at Aswan US President Jimmy Carter and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat declared jointly that any Middle East peace settlement required the recognition of the “legitimate rights of the Palestinians and their participation in deciding their own future.”

1985: In response to pressure from Arab countries, Sudan ended the airlift of Jews from Ethiopia after Israeli Shimon Peres held a press conference confirming reports of what would become known as Operation Moses.

1989: Secretary of State George P. Shultz said today that the reported death threat by Mr. Arafat against other Palestinians ran counter to a P.L.O. pledge to refrain from terrorism and had created a ”real problem” for the United States

1993: Israel approved a $380 million grant today to support a major upgrading of the Jerusalem plant of the computer-chip manufacturer Intel Israel.

1996: Yahya Ayyash, chief bomb maker for Hamas, was killed by an Israeli-planted booby-trapped cell phone.

2003: A pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up just seconds apart today in the Neve Sha’anan neighborhood of Tel Aviv, killing 23 other people and injuring over 100.

2008: The Israeli Army wound up a large-scale, three-day operation in the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

2010: Defense Minister Ehud Barak held a phone conversation today with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and asked him to assist in renewing peace talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas

2011: Terrorists from Gaza struck the western Negev with a mortar attack this morning.

2014: Pope Francis today announced long-awaited plans to travel to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan this May.

2015: Border Patrol forces setting up a barricade near their base arrested a knife-carrying terrorist Monday night who intended to stab them.


1898: Herzl travels to Berlin and convenes a conference of Berlin Jews. He also has two conversations with Ahmed Tewfik, the Turkish ambassador.

1903: Herzl begins a trip that would take him to Paris and London.

1946: In Zanzur, Libya Islamic instigators encouraged the local population to attack the Jewish community. Of the 150 local Jews half were murdered. The rioting spread to a number of small towns near Tripoli leaving a death toll of approximately 180 Jews and 9 synagogues destroyed.

1949: During Operation Horev, the Israeli Air Force shot down five RAF Spitfires on patrol in the area, killing two pilots and taking two prisoners.  It is not clear if the Spitfires were being flown by Egyptian or British pilots.

1949: The British moved forces into the Jordanian port of Akaba.

1949: After three days of fighting around Rafah in which its forces failed to defeat the IDF, the Egyptian government announced, that it was willing to enter armistice negotiations.

1953:The Jerusalem Post reported that according to the new and improved rationing schedule each Israeli was now able to purchase four eggs a week.

1954: Moshe Sharett succeeded David Ben-Gurion as Prime Minister of Israel.  Ben Gurion had been Prime Minister since the rebirth of the Jewish state in 1948.

1964: Pope Paul VI completed his first visit to the “Holy Land” where he visited sites in Jordan and Israel and began his return flight to Rome.

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Egypt agreed to reduce by one -third its forces in Sinai, once Israel evacuated the whole area.

1987: Yitzhak Shamir replaced Yitzhak Peretz as Internal Affairs Minister.

2003: Police said tonight that that they suspected the suicide bombers who struck in Tel Aviv on Sunday used backpacks containing more than 20kg of explosives instead of suicide belts.

2006: Ariel Sharon underwent a five-hour operation to halt bleeding in his brain, following which Sharon was returned to the neurological intensive care unit.

2010: Israel inched a step closer to deploying a missile defense system along the border with the Gaza Strip today after the Iron Dome successfully intercepted a number of missile barrages in tests held in southern Israel this week. 

2015: Forty year ol  Hussam Kawasme, “the mastermind behind the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June 2014 was sentenced today to three life terms in prison 


1896: Herzl’s article “Die Lösung der Judenfrage” – “The Solution of the Jewish Question” appears in “The Jewish Chronicle” in London.

1927: A memorial service was held for the late Zionist poet Ahad Ha’Am at New York’s Cooper Union.

1937: “The Eternal Road” a four act opera-oratorio conceived by Zionist activist Meyer Weisgal to alert the then-ignorant public to Hitler’s persecution of the Jews in 1937 Germany opened today at the Manhattan Opera House.

1939: Official founding of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra

1948: With Jerusalem under siege, members of the Irgun planted a bomb at the Jaffa Gate in an attempt to get food supplies into the Jewish quarter. 

1949: During Israel’s War of Independence Operation Horev came to an end.

1949: At two o’clock in the afternoon, Israel accepts a ceasefire on the Egyptian front based on Egypt’s publicly announced willingness to negotiate an armistice.

1953: Israel seized an Egyptian ship with a cargo of 65 tons of arms, bound for Syria. 

1970: In response to cross canal attacks by Egyptian forces, Israeli planes begin an in-depth bombing campaign against Egyptian military bases.

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported from Cairo Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s announcement that after the signing of the peace agreement he would not accept the presence of even a single Israeli soldier or civilian who would like to remain on Egyptian soil.

1993: Showing some flexibility in the crisis over 415 deported Palestinians, Israel agreed today to allow two Red Cross officials, including a doctor, to visit the exiles at their tent camp in southern Lebanon.

2001: Giving its stalled Middle Eastern peace effort one final push, the Clinton administration said today that it would send its top negotiator to the region this week for direct talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

2002: The captain of a ship seized last week by Israel as it smuggled tons of weapons said in jail-house interviews today that he had taken his orders from a weapons agent of Yaser Arafat’s Palestinian Authority and that his deadly cargo was meant to arm Palestinians.

2003: Israeli soldiers killed three Palestinian gunmen today in a raid on a Gaza Strip refugee camp.

2007: The Sunday Times (of London) reported that “Israel has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons.

2009: Israel suspended fighting today for three hours to permit humanitarian relief goods to reach civilians living at Gaza while Hamas declared that the group would not talk about a cease fire so long as Israel continued its “occupation.”

2011: Israel Defense Forces soldier Sgt. Nadav Rotenberg, 20, was killed today and four were wounded in a violent encounter with Palestinian militants near the border between Israel and Gaza. 

2014: The US ambassador to Israel said today that a framework proposal on all issues at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be presented to both sides soon


1949: On the day following RAF intervention in the fighting between Israel and Egypt in which several British planes were shot down “British pilots were issued a directive to regard any Israeli aircraft infiltrating Egyptian or Jordanian airspace as hostile and to shoot them down, but were also ordered to avoid activity close to Israel’s borders.

1953: When Prime Minister Churchill and President Truman dined at the British Embassy, Churchill impressed Truman with his vocal support of Israel and his criticism of Egypt for closing the Suez Canal to ships bound for Israel.

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported from Washington the announcement made by US President Jimmy Carter that he was still opposed to the creation of an independent Palestinian state, as it could be used as a base for subversion against Israel.

1986: Sulayman Khatir, an Egyptian soldier who hadmachine-gunned a group of Israelis, killing three adults and four young children, on the dunes of Ras Burqa in1985, was found dead in his prison hospital room hanging by a strip torn from a sheet of plastic.

1991: Four soldiers were injured when terrorists began throwing grenades at bus crossing from Jordan into Israel.

1992: Israel and China are expected to establish diplomatic relations for the first time during a trip by Foreign Minister David Levy to Beijing toward the end of the month.

2003: Today, Israeli forces killed a gunman in the Golan Heights, Israel Radio reported. 

2008: Lieutenant General Moshe Levy, the 12th Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) passed away.

2009: Two IDF officers and a soldier were killed today as the IDF penetrated deeper into urban centers in the northern Gaza Strip. Maj. Ro’i Rosner of the Kfir Brigade’s Haruv Battalion was killed and another soldier was lightly wounded

2009: Three Katyusha rockets fired from Lebanon struck Nahariya, one of which slammed into a retirement home.

2011: Today four mortar shells fired by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza landed in a kibbutz in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council

2012: IDF soldiers captured close to a dozen pipe bombs at the Salem Crossing near Jenin in the northern West Bank today


1873: Birthdate of Chaim Nachman Bialik.  Born in a Ukrainian village, fatherless at the age of seven, raised by a strict Orthodox grandfather, Bialik became the father of Modern Hebrew poetry.  While Herzl, Ben-Gurion and others were busy creating Zionism in the political sphere, Bialik was one of those giving birth to the Zionist dream in the field of culture.

1917: British forces defeated the Turks at the Battle of Rafa on the border between Egypt and Ottoman Palestine.  

1938: In “Palestine Modernized” published today George Brandt describes Tel Aviv as being the “most spectacular of the modern achievements in Palestine.

1948: As the siege of Jerusalem continues, a British police driver was killed when his armored car hit an Irgun roadblock.

1950: The government of Israel recognizes the People’s Republic of China

1973: Four Arab terrorists were arrested in Cyprus thwarting a planned attack on ships scheduled to arrive in Haifa.

1976: Eight people were injured in a bombing at supermarket in Jerusalem.

1991: Egyptian newspapers reported today that President Hosni Mubarak warned Israel this week to stay out of the Gulf war, saying he would revise his policies on the crisis if Israel became embroiled. 

2009: After a relatively quiet night, Palestinians in Gaza resumed rocket fire on the western Negev this morning.


1845: Birthdate of William Henry Hechler, the Anglican minister who fought against anti-Semitism, promoted Zionism and was a close personal friend and advisor to Theodor Herzl.

1859: Birthdate of Nahum ben Joseph Samuel Sokolow, the native Wyszogród, Poland who gained fame as author, journalist, Zionist and promoter of modern Hebrew, Nahum Sokolow.

1938: Seventy-eight year old Otto Warburg a noted German botanist and leading Zionist  who founded the botanical garden of the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus passed away today in Berlin.

1947: As part of their on-going program to deny Jews the right to enter Eretz Israel, the British took two ships of “illegal” immigrants to Cyprus.

1948: The Arab Liberation Army, based in Syria invaded Israel. This was part of the war waged against the Jews by the Arabs between the partition vote in November, 1947 and the actual date of British departure in May, 1948. 

1961: Today “the Egoz, a Mossad-leased ship carrying Jews attempting to emigrate undercover, sank off the northern coast of Morocco.”

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that austerity was the keynote of the annual budget speech by Finance Minister Simcha Ehrlich. He made it clear that 1978 would not be an easy year ­ neither for the economy, nor for the individual.

1987: Israeli jets rocketed Palestinian targets near Sidon

1991: Israel moved palpably closer to a war footing today as the Defense Ministry and other officials alerted citizens that conflict in the Persian Gulf now appeared likely

1996: Israel freed hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in return for further assurances from Arafat et al that there would be no return to violence.

2000: One hundred thousand Israelis packed Rabin Square tonight to protest a withdrawal from the Golan Heights that would be part of any peace agreement with Syria.

2010: Three Qassam rockets were fired into Israeli territory from Gaza.


1932: Herbert Hoover Administration: Send message to Emanuel Neumann of the Zionist Organization expressing support for the restoration of the Jewish in homeland in the Land of Israel

1935: Hakibbutz Hadati, the religious kibbutz movement was founded.

1948: Maurice Fischer, the Jewish Agency Representative in Paris sent a telegram demanding that the negotiations with the French over allowing them to see secret British documents recently seized by the Haganah be held in Paris and not in Jerusalem.

1961: The Egoz, a small boat leased by the Mossad to smuggle Jews from Morocco to Gibraltar, capsized.  All forty-four of the olim drowned, half were children.  After the Egoz disaster, the Jewish Agency and the Mossad worked with threatened Moroccan communities to rescue the children first.

1971: Israel’s population reached 3,000,000

1977: France set off an international uproar by releasing Abu Daoud, a Palestinian suspected of involvement in the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics

1988: Israeli television reported tonight that a Palestinian was shot dead in the Khan Yunis refugee district in the Gaza Strip as he tried to grab a soldier’s rifle

2000: On his return from West Virginia, Prime Minister Ehud Barak tonight broke the silence that governed the closed-door negotiations with Syria to say that the peace talks had reached a ”decisive stage” in which both sides would have to make difficult decisions.

2009: Israel’s “Waltz with Bashir” won the Golden Globe for best foreign language film.

2011: A senior Islamic Jihad militant was killed today by an Israel Air Force missile while he was driving a motorcycle in the southern Gaza Strip. Israel Defense Forces sources confirmed the attack, and said that Najar had been planning a terrorist attack within Israeli territory and with rocket-launching cells.

2015: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acceded today to the request of the families of the victims of the terrorist attack at the Jewish supermarket in Paris and instructed all relevant government officials to assist in bringing them for burial in Israel.

2016: Police captured a suspected 28 year old female terrorist from the Israeli town of Taibe this evening in Nahariya following a manhunt that put the country’s northern coast on edge.


1903: Herzl arrives in London in his continuing quest to gain governmental support for a Jewish homeland in Eretz Israel.

1919: A general assembly met today to forma women’s Zionist organization in Great Britain.

1921: In a letter to Prime Minister Lloyd George and Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon, Churchill summarized the view of the French government toward the Middle East which was basically pro-Arab and anti-Zionist.

1938: The Palestine Post reported that The Court of Honor of the Zionist Congress found Mr. Meir Grossman of the Jewish State Party guilty of revealing details of the secret conversation between Dr. Chaim Weizmann and the Colonial Secretary, Mr. Ormsby Gore, on the subject of Partition. Grossman was fined to cover the costs of the trial and deprived from participation in the Zionist General Council for two years.

1947: Members of Lehi blew up a police station in Haifa.

1966: The 6th Knesset “started with Levi Eshkol’s Alignment forming the 13th government today.

1966: Golda Meir completed her service as Foreign Minister.  She was the second person to hold that post and the first women to hold it.  It would be forty years before another woman would hold this post.

1966: Abba Eban completed his service as Deputy Prime Minister.

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli-Egyptian negotiations started somewhat inauspiciously after Israel stated that it wished to preserve the Jewish settlements in Sinai.

1994: Moshe Becker of Rishon Le-Zion was stabbed to death by three Palestinian terrorist employees while working in his orchard. The Popular Front claimed responsibility for the murder.

1989: Maccabi Tel-Aviv defeats the CSKA Red Army team 97-92 in a historic basketball game in Moscow.

2000: Israel and Jordan renew bilateral trade agreement

2011: The Knesset approved a preliminary reading of the “Jerusalem Law” proposed by MK Uri Ariel (National Union). The bill, which was supported by the government, determines that Jerusalem will become priority area, and that the grants will be awarded to young couples in the city. In addition the city will receive a special bonus

2012: IDF tanks opened fire on a terror cell operating east of the al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza late tonight

2014: Israel is scheduled to bid farewell to former prime minister and one of the most prominent commanders of all times today. The casket of Israel’s 11th prime minister Ariel Sharon will be placed in the Knesset plaza from 12:00 noon until 18:00 so the public can pay its last respects.


1922: Today, Nahum Sokolow, President of the Executive Committee of the World Zionist organization, who is visiting the United States as the head of a European delegation of Zionist leaders, met with U.S. President Warren G. Harding.

1937: Speaking on behalf of the Arab High Committee, Jerusalem lawyer Auni Bey Abdulhadi told the Peel Commission that “the Arabs will not compromise” and “they will negotiate only with the British government, not the Jews and they will never agree to cantonization.” (Editor’s Note – Cantonization was the pre-war term for Partition, which is the key to the “two state solution”.)

1938: The Palestine Post reported on the opening of the Rockefeller archeological museum in Jerusalem, founded by John Rockefeller and named in his honor. The museum’s permanent exhibition revealed the history of mankind as recorded in local archeological finds.

1938: The Palestine Post reported that Jewish buses were shot at in Haifa and there were various shooting incidents in Jerusalem.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the losses due to drought in the Negev topped $3 million. The heavy rain came too late, and not a drop fell in the Migdal-Ashkelon-Safieh region, where the loss was over IL 10m.

1966: Abba Eban became the third Foreign Affairs Minister of Israel.

1974: One person died and five more were injured when Palestinian terrorists tried and failed to seize a hotel in Maalot.

2012: Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau warned Israeli citizens today to stay away from Thailand’s capital, following the arrest of a Hezbollah militant suspected of planning a terrorist attack in the city


1951: 3 people were killed and 20 more were injured when an army hand grenade is thrown in the crowded Mas’uda Shemtov synagogue in Baghdad” forcing the Israeli government to implement Operation Ezra and Nehemiah which brought 120,000 Iraqi Jew to Israel in the space of a year.

1971: Operation Bardas 20 took place today, to neutralize a guerrilla base in Lebanon, near Sidon, where about two dozen terrorists were training as frogmen. During the course of the raid, the commandos discovered a house with several women in it, and decided not to blow it up

1973: “Mossad discover a plan to assassinate Golda Meir, when a sayan, or local volunteer, informed Mossad that he had handled two telephone calls from a payphone in an apartment block where PLO members sometimes stayed.”

1984:  Paul Ben Haim, prominent Israeli composer, passed away at the age of 86.

1994 Grigory Ivanov was stabbed to death by a terrorist in the industrial zone at the Erez junction, near the Gaza Strip. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

2009: Palestinian terrorists continued to attack Israeli civilian areas today, firing 18 projectiles by late afternoon, including a phosphorous mortar shell that hit the Eshkol region.

2010: A bomb exploded near a small convoy of vehicles belonging to Israel’s embassy in Jordan this afternoon. No one was hurt in the incident, which occurred some 20 kilometers from the border crossing at Allenby Bridge,

2010: Members of the IDF medical teams preparing to spend two weeks in Haiti following a devastating earthquake received vaccinations today to prepare them for the stay in the country which is known for its poor medical infrastructure, Ash said.

2010: The ZAKA delegation arrived in Haiti today after taking part in rescue operations, collection of bodies and identification at another disaster scene – the site of the helicopter crash in Mexico in which Jewish financier and philanthropist Moshe Saba was killed.


1948: A platoon of 35 Jewish volunteers on its way to reinforce those holding the Etzion Bloc, was ambushed and killed by 100s of armed Arabs.

1948: Jewish settlers, using aircraft for the first time, beat off a heavy Arab attack on settlements at Kfar Etzion, near Hebron, today. The fight there, and others in Haifa and near Beersheba, produced one of the heaviest daily casualty lists to date, with twenty-nine killed and seventy-five wounded so far.

1960: When Israel move’s forces to its northern border in response to Syrian shelling from the Golan Heights, the Soviet Union misleadingly telling the Syrians that the Israeli’s are massing for an attack.

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat complained that he got “nothing” from Israeli negotiators and saw no hope for an early Egyptian-Israeli agreement

1988: Start of the first intifada as violence and terror designed to drive the Jews from the land of Israel escalates to a new extreme.

1990: An off-duty Israeli soldier was stabbed as she walked along a narrow street in Jerusalem’s Old City today. The Israeli soldier, identified as Pvt. Halit Avni, 18 years old, of Tel Aviv, was stabbed six times in the back and chest, the police said. She was listed in stable condition at Hadassah Hospital in Ein Karem.

1993: At the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv, a Palestinian from Gaza stabbed four people to death including a Lebanese Arab visiting the city.  Islamic Jihad took credit for the attack

2009: Today, some 25 rockets were fired on southern Israel.

2010: Two planes are scheduled to land in Haiti today carrying the IDF medical teams and their supplies following Wednesday’s earthquake that devastated the poorest nation in the western hemisphere.

2014: It was announced today that “Israeli author/journalist Yossi Klein Halevi won the Everett Family Foundation Jewish Book of the Year Award, “the top prize in the 2013 National Jewish Book Award for Like Dreamers “which tells the history of Israel the personal experiences over decades of a handful of paratroopers who helped capture the Old City of Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War.”


1899: Herzl writes to Bertha von Suttner, famous Austrian peace activist, to request an audience with the Czar.

1903: Herzl ate lunch with Lord Rothschild and had a meeting with Sir Thomas Sanderson, Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs in Downing Street.

1935: Morris Rothenberg, President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), announced today that Sunday, January 20, 1935, has been designated as Palestine Day, with observances planned in more than 400 cities across the United States. 

1948: Thirty five members of the Haganah set out to bring supplies to the besieged four Kibbutzim known as the Etzion Bloc.  Located the Hebron hills, the four Kibbutzim were defended by thirty armed fighters.  They had already fought off one attack by hundreds of Arabs who were so confident of victory that they had brought bags to cart off the loot.  Due to the lack of equipment which was quite common among the Jewish forces, the thirty five set off without a radio.  According to information gathered later, the column was given inaccurate directions by a local Arab who then alerted those who were besieging the Etzion Bloc.  The Arabs fell upon the Haganah column and killed all of them.  Their bodies were found and brought into the Bloc whose defenders now realized that they were completely on their own.

1956: Egyptian President Nassar pledged to re-conquer Palestine.  The immediate result of this boast was the Israeli victory in the Sinai Campaign of 1956.

1958: One of Israel’s fondest dreams was fulfilled today with the opening of a new highway linking Elath and Beersheba.

1968: At midnight, the INS Dakar set sail from Gibraltar.  After submerging, the Israeli submarine was supposed to sail across the Mediterranean to Israel.

1972: Terrorist killed one American and injured 3 others during an attack at Gaza today.

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that the foreign ministers of Israel, Egypt and the US, agreed to hold a “political conference” in Jerusalem.

1984: Prime Minister Yithak Shamir, Defense Minister Moshe Arens and IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Levy are scheduled to attend the funeral of Major Saad Haddad in Lebanon.

1996: President of Israel, Ezer Weizmann, gave a speech to both Houses of Parliament of Germany.

2003: Space Shuttle Columbia took off for what would prove to be its final mission.  The shuttle was carrying Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut.

2007: Following the conclusion of several months of probes into the summer’s Lebanon war, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz announced his resignation.

2008: A stone seal bearing the name of one of the families who acted as servants in the First Temple and then returned to Jerusalem after being exiled to Babylonia has been uncovered in an archeological excavation in Jerusalem’s City of David, a prominent Israeli archeologist said today.

2009: Two Grad rockets fired from Gaza hit Kiryat Gat this afternoon, wounding three people and causing heavy damage.

2010: As part of the effort to aid Haiti following the devastating earthquake that struck the country on January 13, a field hospital operated by IDF medical teams became operational today.

2013: At least five rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip in the direction of Ashkelon, at approximately 2:00 am today.

2018: “The United States sent $60 million to keep the UN relief agency for Palestinians (UNRWA) in operation but withheld a further $65 million while it urged others to pay more, a State Department official said today.”

2018: The IAF announced this evening that “Major T., whose first name is not provided due to security, a 35-year old mother of town has been named the commander of a flight squadron making her the first female pilot to hold such a position


1895: Dreyfus began his “trip” to French Guiana tonight when he “was taken from the prison of La Sante and was transferred by rail to La Rochelle where he was then moved to the military prison on the Island of Re.

1896: The Jewish Chronicle published Herzl’s first article “A Solution to the Jewish Problem,” which appeared a month before Der Judenstaat, and with its editorial, “A Dream of a Jewish State” opened the readers’ columns to a discussion of Herzl’s plan

1898: At Marseilles, France a crowd paraded through the streets crying “Death to the Jews” and “Shame upon Zola.

1904: Herzl leaves for Italy where his travels will take him to Venice, Florence and Rome.

1945: The Nazis began the evacuation of the Auschwitz concentration camp as Soviet forces approached.  Elie Weisel describes this event in his first book Night.

1946: The Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, a joint British and American committee composed of six Americans and six Englishmen that was charged with examining the “political, economic and social conditions in Mandatory Palestine as they bear upon the problem of Jewish immigration and settlement therein and the well-being of the peoples now living therein” completed its deliberations in Washington, DC today which had begun on January 4.

1948: The British brought the mutilated bodies of the 35 Jews to the Etzion bloc where they were to be buried in a common grave.  The dead were the members of a platoon of volunteers that had been sent from Jerusalem to reinforce the beleaguered Etzion fighters.

1952: While serving his second term as Prime Minister, Winston Churchill addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress during which he proudly reminds those in attendance of his long support of the Zionist cause and the creation of a Jewish state.

1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, who arrived in Jerusalem to participate in the deliberations of the Egyptian-Israeli political committee, had brought with him a jointly agreed agenda which included the declaration of principles which would govern the negotiations for a comprehensive peace settlement in the Middle East. 

1991: Israel declared a state of emergency early this morning, minutes after word reached here of the American attack on Iraq. The authorities advised all Israelis to stay in their homes, open their chemical warfare kits and make their gas masks ready for immediate use.

1991: Iraq fired 8 SCUD missiles on Israel.  Israel had agreed that it would not respond and leave the destruction of the SCUD launchers to the Coalition Forces fighting Iraq.  This marked the first time in Israel’s history that it relied on others for its defense

1997: Israel handed over its military headquarters in Hebron to the Palestinians as part of the peace process that began with the Oslo Accords.

2000: Syrian-Israeli negotiations that had been scheduled to resume on Wednesday, January 19, in the United States were canceled today. Apparently the cancellation was the result of conflict between Syrian President Asad and PLO leader Yassar Arafat.

2001: After being “seduced” by a 24 year old Palestinian female who lured him to a remote area, terrorists murdered 16 year old Israeli high school student Ofir Rahum.

2002: A Palestinian gunman burst into a bat mitzvah celebration in a banquet hall in Hadera, opening fire on the 180 guests with an M-16 assault rifle, killing 6 people and injuring 35 people following which the Fatah Al-Aqsa Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack

2003: Two Palestinian gunmen attacked an isolated Jewish settlement near the city of Hebron tonight, killing one Israeli and wounding three others.

2007: Dan Halutz announced his resignation as IDF Chief of Staff.

2008: Today, terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired more than 40 Qassam rockets and two mortar shells at southern Israel, wounding four people.

2012: A nuclear-armed Iran could deter Israel from going to war against Tehran’s guerrilla allies in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, a senior Israeli general said today. 

2016: Thirty-eight year old Dfana Meir “a nurse in the neurosurgery department of Soroka Medical Center in Beesheba and the mother of four was stabbed to death today by a terrorist while she was trying to protect her family when he invaded their home.


1898: As anti-Semitic mobs roam the streets of France during the Drefyus Affair, it was reported that “the events of the past few days are beginning to produce a feeling of panic in Jewish circles. Both the business and private houses of the Rothschilds and other wealthy Jews are guarded by special detectives and gendarmes

1904: Herzl spends the day in Venice before continuing on to Rome via Florence.

1912:  The Jewish Chronicle published a letter from author and Zionist leader Max Nordau in which he condemns President Taft’s role in “the abrogation of the Russo-American Treaty.” Nordau ended his denunciation by writing, “The situation for the Jews in Russia will be worse than before and the anti-Semites will make the American Jews pay heavily for their manful stand—that’s all.”

1914: Bernard A. Rosenblatt, the Honorary Secretary of the Federation of American Zionists, issued a reply to the charges of Dr. Paul Nathan of Berlin that some of the Zionists in Palestine were “stirring up discord.

1919: The Paris Peace Conference opened in Versailles, France. Negotiations at the conference would result in the creation of a mandatory government for Palestine that incorporated the Balfour Declaration and was controlled by the British.

1937: The Royal Commission, popularly known as the Peel Commission, “ended its work in Palestine” today.

1948: After embarking from Marseille, France today, a ship named the Alexandria reached Israel carrying a group of Youth Aliyah children.

1949: In an attempt to improve relations with new Jewish state, the British ordered the immediate release of the remaining Jews who were detained in Cyprus during those years when His Majesty’s government was determined to keep Jews from settling in Palestine.  Within a month all them, many of whom were Holocaust survivors, had reached Haifa.

1974: Israel and Egypt signed an agreement for the disengagement of forces in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur war. Israel agreed to withdraw from the Suez Canal.

1979: Twenty-one people were injured when terrorists set off a bomb in a Jerusalem market.

1985: The government of Menachem Begin announced that elections would be held in six months.

1991: Within 24 hours of the outbreak of the Gulf War, the first Scud missiles landed near Tel Aviv. At least seven Iraqi missiles carrying conventional warheads fell on Israel early this morning in an area running from Tel Aviv to Haifa.

2000: An unsophisticated bomb exploded in a garbage can in the northern Israeli town of Hadera today, and the Israeli police suspect that it was aimed at disrupting peace talks.

2008: As another ten rockets slammed into southern Israel from Gaza, one damaging a day care center in the town of Sderot and another hitting Ashkelon, a town of 120,000 people.

2009: IDF troops are scheduled to begin observing a unilateral truce at 2 A.M. following a vote by the Israeli Cabinet to accept an Egyptian-backed, unilateral 10-day cease-fire, ending Operation Cast Lead three weeks after it began.

2009: The Jerusalem Post reported that a historic natural gas reservoir found offshore from Haifa is poised to meet Israel’s natural gas demand for about 15 years and reduce the country’s dependence on gas imports from Egypt and offshore from Gaza

2014: A rocket hit an open area between two communities in Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council. No injuries were reported.

2013: Ariel mayor and former MK Ron Nachman died on Friday at Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, after a prolonged struggle with cancer. He was 70 years old.

2016: Thirty-eight year old Dafna Meir, nurse in the neurosurgery department of Soroka Medical Center, Beesheba who was stabbed to death by a terrorist in her home as she fought to protect her children is scheduled to “be laid to rest” this morning “at the Harmenuhot Cemetery in Givat Shaul, Jerusalem.

2016: In Tekoa, nineteen year old Othman Muhammad Sha’alan stabbed Michal Froman, the pregnant “daughter-in-law of the late Rabbi Menachem Froman, a former rabbi of the community who was known as a peace activist.”