August 14 : The 23rd Zionist Congress is held in Jerusalem and is the first after the creation of the State of Israel. Israeli and American Zionists clash over the definition of Zionism. The Israelis equate Zionism with personal immigration to Israel, a concept opposed by the majority of American Zionists. The congress adopts the Jerusalem Program defining the task of Zionism as "the consolidation of the State of Israel, the ingathering of the exiles in Israel, and fostering the unity of the Jewish people."
October: Operation Ezra and Nehemia is completed.
December: In London, Nahum Goldmann, chairman of the Jewish Agency, secretly meets with German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer to discuss German reparations to Israel and to the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany, a group of 22 Jewish organizations.
Between 15 May 1948 and 31 December 1951 a total of 684,201 Jews have arrived in Israel.
The Jewish communities in a number of countries are transferred to Israel almost in their entirety.
In the second half of 1951 a new policy of selective immigration is adopted , favoring young and employable immigrants over older, ill or unskilled newcomers. This policy cuts down the number of immigrants.
The Absorption Department of the Jewish Agency accompanies the new immigrants from their first steps. Together with the state, the people responsible for absorption work to find a solution to the spreading of the population, the fruition of the wastelands and fortifications of the borders, the expansion of the productive sector of the state.
Immigrants continue to be settled in abandoned villages. Most Yemenite immigrants are brought to Rosh HaAyin. Immigrants from Kurdistan in northern Iraq are housed near the deserted village of Castel. Their settlement is called Maoz Zion. Another town which is built in 1951 is Or Akiva to house new immigrants who are living in a vast immigrant camp in Caesarea. New immigrants mostly form Romania, Iraq and North Africa are settled in Yeruham in the northern Negev.
Chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive: Berl Locker.
Chairman of the Executive of the World Zionist Organization - Jewish Agency, American Section: Nahum Goldmann .
Treasurer of the Jewish Agency: Levi Eshkol and Giora Josephtal.
Chairman Youth Aliyah Department: Moshe Kol.
Chairman Settlement Department: Levi Eshkol.
Chairman of the Immigration Department: Yitzhak Rafael and Shlomo Zalman Shragai.
Chairman Absorption Department: Yehuda Braginski and Zvi Herman and Giora Josephtal.
Already in 1950 a political discussion about the state education in the immigrant camps and Ma'abarot occurs. It will influence the political situation in 1951.
January 4: Minister of Religious Affairs Yehuda Leib Fishman-Maimon resigns over the education crisis.
January 20: Israel begins drainage of the Huleh marshes to reclaim 12.500 acres of futile soil for cultivation.
February 6: The State Property Law is issued.
February 14: The education crisis worsens and the Knesset rejects the proposals of Education Minister David Remez. Prime Minister David Ben Gurion resigns.
March 5: President Dr. Chaim Weizmann announces the necessity of new elections.
March 12 : Israel presents a claim for 1,5 billion Dollar as compensation from Germany to the four occupying powers, U. S., Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union.
April 4: Syria attacks an Israeli patrol in al-Hamma.
April 12: The Knesset passes a law for new elections. Electoral eligibility encompasses every resident of Israel as of 1 March 1951.
The Knesset declares 27 Nissan as Holocaust and Ghetto Uprising Remembrance Day.
April: Poland stops all emigration to Israel.
April: Shortages in food occur in Israel during the month. The population receives rationed food supplies and must line up for food, etc. Aid parcels are received from abroad, mainly form the United States. As refrigerators are rare, people rely on ice boxes to preserve their food. They have to line up for ice too.
May: El Al begins direct flights to New York.
May 2: Prime Minister David Ben Gurion leaves for a private visit in the United States, accompanied by Chaim Herzog. He meets with president Truman, as well as with young leaders from both political parties. One of them is Congressman John F. Kennedy. Ben Gurion visits Israeli air force students in California and a company manufacturing aircraft parts. The plant belongs to Al Schwimmer, a former American volunteer in the War of Independence.
May 2-6: Israeli-Syrian clashes in Tal al-Mutilla.
May 19: The UN Security Council instructs Israel to cease work on the diversion of Jordan River waters in the northern demilitarized zone.
May 30: Friction grows within Hakibbutz Hameuchad between Mapam and Mapai. Mapai members grow disillusioned with Soviet Communism and are distressed by the growing anti-Jewish policies pursued by Stalin. Mapam still retains a faith in the Soviet system. A union of Mapai kibbutzim is established. The decision leads to a actual physical splitting of many settlements between Mapai and Mapam members.
June 14: A plant for the assembly of Kaiser-Frazer cars is opened in Haifa.
June 25: The Knesset passes the Law of Immunity for Knesset Members.
June 29: Chief UN observer William E. Riley demands that Israel allow the evicted Arab residents of the demilitarized zone on the Syrian border to return.
July 11: Israel complains to the Security Council of the Suez Canal Blockade.
July 12: Israel raises the issue of Egypt's embargo of Israeli ships at the Suez Canal before the UN Security Council.
July 17: The Knesset passes the Law on Equal Rights for Women.
July 20 : King Abdullah ibn Hussein of Jordan is assassinated as he approaches the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. His murder is attributed to his willingness to negotiate with Israel. The killer also fires a shot at the young Prince Hussein. (In the 1950s the stability in the Middle East is under constant threat. In March 1951 the Prime Minister of Iran is shot and killed. In July 1951 the Lebanese Prime Minister is assassinated. In July 1952 King Faruk of Egypt is deposed by a group of army officers headed by General Muhammad Naguib and Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser. One of the participating officers is Anwar el-Sadat.)
July 25: Nahal Oz, the first Nahal (IDF corps, that combines military service with the founding of border agricultural settlements) outpost settlement is established near the border, opposite Gaza. Today the former outpost is Kibbutz Nahal Oz.
July: After an announcement by the U. S., Great Britain and France of the termination of the state of war with Germany, the Israel Foreign Office comments that as long as the German people made "no expiation or reparation for the crimes committed by the Nazis ... Germany's war against the Jewish people cannot be regarded as having come to an end."
July 30: Israel holds elections for the Second Knesset. Mapai wins 45 seats; Liberals 23 seats; Mapam 15 seats; the National Religious Party 10 seats. The government is installed with David Ben Gurion as prime minister and minister of defense and Moshe Sharett as minister of foreign affairs.
August 11: The UN Conciliation Commission calls upon Israel and the Arab states to participate in a conference in Paris.
August: Statements of the Maritime Powers on the Suez Canal Blockade.
September 1: The UN Security Council adopts Resolution S/2322, with the Soviet Union, India and Nationalist China abstaining, calling on Egypt to lift the blockade of Israeli-bound shipping through the Suez Canal. Egypt indicates it will disregard the resolution.
September 13: The talks between Israeli and Arab representatives begin in Paris.
September 24: The UN Conciliation Commission proposes the return of the Arab refugees to Israel, changes in the armistice agreements, and the establishment of economic relations between Israel and its neighbors.
October 4: Representatives of the Arab states attending the conference in Paris announce that they do not recognize the existence of the State of Israel.
October 7: The new government is presented.
October 16: Mifal Hapayis, the state lottery is established.
October 21 : The U. S. gives Israel a 65 million dollar grant in aid, with 50 million to be used in immigrant absorption and the remainder for economic development.
October 21 :The United Groups and Kibbutzim movement (Ihud Hakvuzot Vehakibbutzim) is established, consisting of Collective Settlements and the Mapai-oriented kibbutzim in Hakibbutz Hameuhad.
October: Annual report of the UNRWA.
November 1: The United Egged Cooperative and the Productivity Institute are founded.
November 4: Statement to the Knesset by Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett.
November 19: President Dr. Chaim Weizmann is reelected.
November: Report of the Palestine Conciliation Commission.
December 12: The UN Conciliation Commission announces the failure of the Paris talks. Both Israel and the Arab states presented too rigid positions.
In 1951 a marked deterioration occurs along the country's borders, from past incidents of Arab infiltration to armed attacks. The Syrians repeatedly fire on the Israeli drainage works in the Huleh Valley, and in spring they begin invading Israeli territory. In April, an Israeli police patrol is ambushed in the al-Hamma area by Syrian forces, who kill seven policemen and take control over the area. A reprisal by the Israeli air force does not bring about any change. Another Syrian force penetrates Israeli territory at Korazim north of the Kinneret in May, routed by the IDF after a four-day battle in which 40 Israeli soldiers are killed. Incidents proliferate along the Jordanian and Egyptian (Gaza Strip) borders as well, with the IDF mounting its first reprisals there in response to infiltration and sabotage.
At Shaar Hagolan, a kibbutz in the Jordan Valley, Dr. Moshe Stekelis of the Hebrew University finds the first known evidence of a Stone Age civilization having existed in Palestine. Stekelis unearths utensils and art objects, including a feminine figurine known as the Venus of Shaar Hagolan.
Commercial relations with Turkey continue to grow as Israeli ships start to arrive at Turkish ports.
The Tel Aviv Museum exhibits works by Marc Chagall.
SS General Jürgen Stroop, who directed the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto, is tried in Warsaw and sentenced to death.
From April to December there are about 16 bombings in the Miami area of Florida. Half are against Jewish centers and synagogues.
Beginning in May, about 14.000 Hungarian Jews from Budapest and another 8.000 from the provinces are deported to slave labor camps in Siberia. In July, American president Harry S. Truman will declare that the Hungarian government is "accountable before the world for its infamous conduct."
July: During the summer, mass deportations of Jews from border areas of the Soviet Union to Siberia are extended to the Jews of Georgia and Daghestan in the Caucasus.
September 27 : West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer wins the approval from the Bundestag to make amends for Nazi crimes in the form of material payments to Israel and the Jews at large. Addressing the Bundestag, he acknowledges that "unspeakable crimes were perpetrated in the name of the German people which impose on us the obligation to make moral and material amends."
October: The Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany is established. Presided over by Nahum Goldmann, the conference agrees to support Israel's 1.5. billion Dollar claim and to demand satisfaction of all other Jewish claims against Germany.
Hannah Arendt (1906-1975), German philosopher, writes "The Origin of Totalitarianism." She analyzes the political and psychological factors which lead to antisemitism and points out basic similarities between National Socialism and Soviet Communism.
Herman Wouk, US novelist, writes "The Caine Mutiny", for which he will receive the Pulitzer Prize in 1952.
"Judaism for Modern Man" by Will Herberg and "Man Is Not Alone" by Joshua Heschel signal the growth of interest im Jewish theology and thought.