Chairman of the Jewish Agency: Arie Dulzin.
January: Information is released that thousands of Jewish immigrants from Ethiopia have arrived in Israel during the preceding weeks in "Operation Moses".
March: Over 800 Ethiopian Jews are secretly flown to Israel from the Sudan aboard US aircraft. Details of plan were worked out by US Vice President George Bush during a Sudan visit.
New Immigrants in 1985: 10,642.
January 13: Yona Avrushmi, who was convicted of murdering Emil Gruenzweig and wounding nine others at a Peace Now demonstration in Jerusalem in February 1983, is sentenced to life imprisonment.
January 14: Israel begins a three stage phased withdrawal from Lebanon. It decides not to link the withdrawal to a comparable Syrian withdrawal or to a political agreement with the Lebanese government. The first phase will be completed on 16 February when the port city of Sidon reverts to Lebanese authority.
January 24: A second package deal is signed by the key components of Israel's economy with the aim of restoring stability. Finance Minister Yitzhak Modai announces that heavy taxes will be imposed on imports and travel abroad.
January 24 : The jury in a trial of a suit brought by Ariel Sharon against Time magazine in a New York federal court finds that Time did not libel Sharon as it accepted the article in good faith. However, the jury finds the Time correspondent acted negligently and carelessly as he provided substantial evidence supporting his assertions of Sharon's complicity in the massacre of Arabs in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in West Beirut.
January 27: Israeli-Egyptian talks on the future status of Taba, the small area of Sinai territory adjacent to Eilat, begin in Beersheva.
January: The Knesset defeats an effort to have the Law of Return amended, such that conversions to Judaism take place "according to Halacha". Religious parties sought passage of the amendment, which was opposed by the US Conservative and Reform movements.
February 3: In a daring bank robbery in Jerusalem, foreign currency, jewelry, and millions of dollars in cash are stolen from safe deposit boxes in a branch of the Bank Hapoalim.
February 5: Price rises, an increase in the travel tax, and a 3% tax on car imports are announced by the government.
February 18: Two IDF officers, a colonel and a major, are killed in terrorist ambushes in Lebanon. Attacks on the Israeli forces are a daily occurrence.
February 22: The prices of subsidized basic commodities are raised by an average of 25%.
February 28: The Ata textile company, one of the largest manufacturers in Israel, dismisses 400 workers.
February: Speaking in New York, Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin states that "Syria came out of the war in Lebanon with the upper hand vis-à-vis Israel in terms of deciding the political future of Lebanon. Syria won in that respect."
March 10 : Twelve Israeli soldiers are killed and 14 wounded by a suicide car-bomber who detonates his vehicle as it passes an open military truck just north of Metulla, in Lebanon.
April 2: The Ansar prison camp in Lebanon is closed down. Most of the prisoners - Palestinians captured in Lebanon - are transferred to Israel. The rest are released.
April 17: David Ben-Shimol, the soldier who fired a missile at an Arab bus in East Jerusalem on 28 October 1984, is sentenced to life imprisonment.
April 11 : Israel completes the second stage of its Lebanon withdrawal, pulling out of a 300-square-kilometer area in and around Nabatiyeh. Israel remains in control of 2,000 square kilometers of Lebanon.
April 22 : The US and Israel sign a Free Trade Agreement, later implemented by congressional approval, which would gradually eliminate tariffs on exports of the two countries to each other.
April: In a visit to Israel, US Secretary of the Navy John Lehman announces that the US and Israel would jointly build three submarines for the Israel navy, that coproduction of a missile would be undertaken, and that the US would lease a second squadron of Kfir fighters from Israel.
May 15: The cost of living for the month of April is 19.4%. The government implements further economic measures. The value added tax is raised on 19 May to 17%, the tax on travel abroad is raised and the maximum purchase of foreign currency permitted for travel abroad is set at 800 Dollar per person.
May 20 : Israel releases 1,150 convicted Arab terrorists held in prison in exchange for three Israeli soldiers held in Damascus by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. This desire to close the final chapter of the stay in Lebanon is severely criticized, as the exchange includes the release of 167 convicted murderers. Hundreds demonstrate outside Prime Minister Peres' residence. Yitzhak Shamir demands that the Jewish underground prisoners be pardoned.
May 27: Workers at the Ata textile concern, which is on the verge of closing down, barricade themselves in the plant.
May 28: The prices for subsidized basic commodities are again raised.
May: The Israel National Park Authority opens the City of David in Jerusalem. This archaeological park contains the remains of a room burned when the First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC.
June 10 : Israel completes the third stage of its Lebanon withdrawal. What remains is a security zone, 8-15 kilometers wide.
Prime Minister Shimon Peres announces in the Knesset that Israel is prepared to begin talks with a joint Palestinian-Jordanian delegation on condition that the Palestinian delegates are not members of the PLO.
June 11 : Following the deaths in a road accident of 17 schoolchildren and 4 adults from Petah Tikvah, Interior Minister Rabbi Yitzhak Peretz asserts that the deaths were the result of divine retribution for Shabbat violations. The city's law had been amended to permit film screenings on Friday evening. His comment provokes widespread outrage.
June 20: Finance Minister Yitzhak Modai presents an economic recovery program to Prime Minister Peres, who approves it. Prices for foodstuff and electrical appliances rise within days.
June 25: The Knesset calls on the government to prevent the closing of Ata.
June 28: The treasury announces emergency measures, including imminent layoffs in government-owned enterprises and governmental offices.
June 29: A concert given by the Israel Philharmonic together with the New York Philharmonic Orchestras conducted by Zubin Mehta draws an audience of hundreds of thousands to the Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv.
June: During a visit to London, Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir reiterates Israeli objections to the continued British embargo on oil and arms shipments to Israel, while weapons are sold to Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
July 1 : An economic stabilization plan (ESP) is introduced in Israel. The inflation rate is reduced to 14% in the final five months of the year from 150% in the first seven months of the year. The shekel is devalued by 20%. The prices of all commodities and services rise. Thousands of layoffs will be implemented in the public sector. The measures prompt a wave of strikes.
July 3: Israel releases 300 Lebanese prisoners held in Israeli territory.
July 14: Some 11,500 layoffs in public service are anticipated in the light of the new economic measures.
July 14-16: A dysentery epidemic breaks out in the Krayot area outside Haifa as a result of water pollution. Thousands take ill.
July 16-18: A demand by the Chief Rabbinate that the immigrants from Ethiopia undergo conversion to Judaism causes a furor.
July 22 : 25 members of a Jewish terrorist organization from the West Bank and Golan Heights are convicted of various crimes, including a 1983 attack on Hebron's Islamic college and a conspiracy to blow up the Dome of the Rock shrine on Jerusalem's Temple Mount.
July: Terrorist incidents in Israeli territory continue. They include the murder of two teachers from Afula and the stabbing of five children in the center of Jerusalem.
August 15: The rise in the cost of living published for the month of July - 27.5% - causes shock waves. It is the highest-ever monthly figure in the country's history.
August 20: A terrorist attack at the Israeli embassy in Cairo results in the death of the administrative attache, Albert Atrakzi, and the wounding of his wife and a woman staff member.
August 24: The Israeli-American Free Trade Agreement goes into effect.
September 4: The new Israeli shekel replaces the old shekel at the rate of 1,000 old shekels = 1 NIS. (See also the agora series.)
September 8: Sextuplets are born at Sheba Hospital near Tel Aviv. One baby subsequently dies.
September 11-12: Shimon Peres and President Hosni Mubarak meet in Cairo.
September 18: Tension rises within the government coalition on the issue of Taba. Labor supports a compromise agreement with the Egyptians. The Likud is opposed.
September 22: A crowd of several thousand heckles a rally by Rabbi Meir Kahane in Givatayim.
September 25 : Three PLO terrorists attack an Israeli yacht anchored in a marina at Larnaca, Cyprus, and murder its three civilian passengers. Before surrendering to Cypriot police, they demand the release of 20 PLO terrorists held in Israeli prisons.
September: The government approves the establishment of a second TV channel.
October 1 : The Israeli air force bombs PLO facilities in Tunisia in retaliation for the Larnaca and other terrorist attacks. Yasser Arafats headquarters are destroyed, and 60 are killed. The UN Security Council adopts a resolution with the US abstaining, denouncing the attack as a violation of international law and an infringement on Tunisian sovereignty. (Interview with Prime Minister Peres.)
October 5 : Seven Israelis, including four children, vacationing at Ras Burka, in the Sinai, are shot by an Egyptian security man, and five bleed to death as Egyptian personnel prevent medical assistance from reaching them. The culprit will be sentenced to life imprisonment.
October 7 : PLO terrorists of the Abu Abbas faction hijack the "Achille Lauro", an Italian cruise ship bound for Israel from Alexandria, Egypt. They kill Leon Klingshoffer, a 69-year-old disabled American Jewish tourist, and throw his body and wheelchair overboard. Syria refuses to assist the hijackers, who return the ship to Egypt. Egypt allows the four terrorists and Abu Abbas to leave aboard an Egyptian airliner, which is intercepted over the Mediterranean Sea by US Navy jets and forced to land in Sicily. Italy detains the terrorists but allows Abu Abbas to flee to Yugoslavia.
October 21: Prime Minister Peres addressing the UN General Assembly, calls for peace with Jordan and an end to hostilities with the Palestinians. (See radio interview.)
November 1: Eliat becomes a duty-free zone.
November 19: IDF planes down tow Syrian planes over Lebanon.
December 9: The international arbitration on Taba starts in Geneva.
December: The ultra-Orthodox set fire to bus stops that display advertisements viewed by the community as immodest.
A new affair occupies the politicians and the public: land purchases by Jews in the West Bank. MK Michael Dekel, formerly deputy minister of agriculture, is one of the figures involved.
The Israel National Parks Authority opens an archaeological park at Jericho, which is thought to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world.
Yeshayahu Nir, Israeli scholar, writes "The Bible and the Image: The History of Photography in the Holy Land, 1839-1899."
The Israel Museum in Jerusalem opens three new galleries: one containing the permanent display "Israeli Communities: Tradition and Heritage"; a gallery of Asian art; and a gallery of 15th-19th century old masters. The two-story gallery housing Israeli art is opened. The museum is three times as large as it was when it opened 20 years ago.
The Israel Museum exhibits "From Secular to Sacred: Everyday Objects in Jewish Ritual Use". it examines the social and economic conditions that caused the conversion of everyday objects into ritual use.
The Tel Aviv Museum holds retrospective exhibitions on the Israeli painter Mordechai Ardon and Jankel Adler, Polish-born painter who lived in Great Britain after World War II.
The Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem exhibits "Selected Manuscripts and Prints from the Treasures of the Jewish National and University Library."
The rise in the cost of living falls off drastically toward the end of the year. In October it is less than 0.5%, and in November 1.3%. The annual total, however, is 304.6%.
Israel's population consists of only 18.5% native-born Israelis. Immigrants from Asia, mostly Russians, constitute 21.3%, immigrants from Africa, 22%, and immigrants from Europe and the Americas, 38.2%. One divide is between the predominantly north European and North American Ashkenazi Jews, and the Sephardi Jews who came in most instances from North Africa, Iraq, Persia, and the Balkans.
Lake Kinneret, the source of a large proportion of Israel's drinking water, drops to its lowest level in decades during the rainless winter of 1985/86.
February: After an eight-week trial, Ernst Zundel is convicted in Canada of willfully publishing statements that he knew to be false and that caused injury or mischief to a public interest. Zundel runs a Toronto publishing house that disseminated material denying the historicity of the Holocaust. Rudolph Vrba, an Auschwitz survivor, and historian Raoul Hilberg are prominent prosecution witnesses.
March 28: Marc Chagall dies.
April: The White House announces President Ronald Reagan will visit a West German military cemetery at Bitburg. The subsequent discovery that among the 2,000 soldiers buried there are 47 members of the Waffen SS results in a storm of protest.
At the White House ceremony at which Elie Wiesel is rewarded a Congressional Gold Medal of Achievement, Wiesel requests President Reagan to cancel his Bitburg cemetery visit. Wiesel tells the President before a live television audience: "That place, Mr. President, is not your place. Your place is with the victims of the SS." After the ceremony, it is announced that the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp is added to the President's itinerary.
May: President Ronald Reagan visits the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp for over one hour and the Bitburg military cemetery for 10 minutes. At Bergen-Belsen, addressing Holocaust survivors, Reagan says, "Many of you are worried that reconciliation means forgetting. But I promise you, we will never forget."
May 8: West German President Friedrich von Weizsäcker addresses Parliament several days after President Reagan's visit and while acknowledging that "execution of the Nazi crimes lays in the hands of a few and was hidden from the eyes of the public" states that "everyone who opened his ears and wanted to be informed could not fail to observe that the deportation trains were on their way." Children and the unborn are not responsible, but "their forefathers have left a heavy heritage ... We are all concerned by its consequences and are held responsible for them."
May: Amy Eilberg is the first woman to receive ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. A month later she is admitted to the Conservative movement's rabbinical organization, the Rabbinical Assembly.
June: The remains of a man who had drowned in 1979, believed to be former SS doctor Josef Mengele, are exhumed in Embu, Brazil. West German, American, and Brazilian scientists examine the remains and confirm Mengele's identity.
July: The Institute for Historical Review is ordered by the Superior Court of Los Angeles to pay Mel Mermelstein, a Holocaust survivor, the 50,000 Dollar reward it offered for "proof" that Jews were gassed by the Nazis in the concentration camps. In 1980, Mermelstein submitted to the institute declarations by Auschwitz survivors who had witnessed friends and relatives taken away and gassed.
October: At a press conference. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev states, "If there is any country in which Jews enjoy the political and other rights that they do not in our country, I would like to hear about it. ... The Jewish population which makes up 0.69 percent of the country's total population, is represented in its political and cultural life on the order of at least 10 to 20 percent."
November: Jonathan Pollard, American Jewish US Navy intelligence analyst, is arrested on charges of spying for Israel. His wife, Anne Hederson Pollard, is charged as an accomplice. Pollard supplied secret US data to Israeli officials on Arab armies and on Soviet weapons supplied to Arab states. Israel apologizes, calls the operation "rogue", disbands the unit responsible, and allows US officials to come to Israel to investigate.
Claude Lanzmann, French filmmaker, produces and directs "Shoah", a 91/2 hour documentary recording the memory of the survivors, the perpetrators, and the bystanders of the Holocaust. "Shoah" contains no photographs or film of the Holocaust. It receives worldwide acclaim.
November: After viewing excerpts of Claude Lanzmann's "Shoah" Jerzy Turowicz, the editor of a Catholic newspaper published in Cracow, criticizes Lanzmann as having "anti-Polish, anti-Catholic, and anti-peasant prejudices" and states that "Polish antisemitism, which we do not mean to diminish or justify, had nothing to do with the extermination of the Jews."
November: A Vatican document on Christian-Jewish relations, "The Common Bond: Christians and Jews; Notes for Preaching and Teaching" is issued. "Jews and Judaism should not occupy an occasional and marginal place in catechesis; their purpose there is essential and should be organically integrated." For the first time, the Holocaust and the State of Israel are mentioned in an official Vatican document. Catholics are to recognize and teach the spiritual significance to Jews of these events.
December: Franco Modigliani is awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his pioneering studies of saving and financial markets.
December: Palestinian terrorists of the Abu Nidal faction coordinate attacks near the El Al counters in the Rome and Vienna airports, killing 20. Security police kill three of the four terrorists in Rome and in the three in Vienna.
Protest halt the presentation if Rainer Werner Fassbinder's play "Der Müll, die Stadt und der Tod" - "Garbage, the City and Death". The play focuses on the character of a real estate speculator referred to as "the rich Jew" and deals with the destruction of a Frankfurt residential area for a commercial development. The play's antisemitism is denounced, yet evokes charges of catering to Jewish power.
The Rabbinical Assembly, the organization of conservative rabbis, publishes "Siddur Sim Shalom", a prayer book for Shabbat, festivals and weekdays.
Philip Roth, US author, publishes the trilogy of novels ("The Ghost Writer", 1979; "Zuckerman Unbound", 1981; "The Anatomy Lesson", 1983) depicting the life of Nathan Zuckerman in one volume under the title "Zuckerman Bound", with an added epilogue, "The Prague Orgy".
The Jewish Museum of New York exhibits "The Circle of Montparnasse: Jewish Artists in Paris, 1905-1945". It describes the first generation of Jews to become professional visual artists - including Marc Chagall, Moise Kisling, Jacques Lipchitz, Mane Katz, Amedeo Modigliani, Jules Pascin, Chaim Soutine, and Max Weber. It also exhibits "Art and Exile: Felix Nussbaum 1904-1944", a retrospective of the German painter who died at Auschwitz. The people of his hometown, Osnabrück, located his paintings after World War II and installed them in the city's historical museum.
Herman Wouk, US author, writes "Inside, Outside", a novel whose hero is Israel David Goodkind, a Jewish presidential speechwriter and adviser. Goodkind, an Orthodox Jew, is an insider religiously and an outsider in his relations with the workaday world.
The B'nai B'rith Klutznick Museum in Washington D.C., exhibits "Hooray for Yiddish Theater in America", which includes over 250 posters, photographs, costumes, and other memorabilia.
Joseph L. Goldstein and Michael S. Brown are awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Jerome Karle and Herbert A. Hauptman are awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.