Chairman of the Jewish Agency: Simcha Dinitz.
March 31: Reports are published that the Soviet Union will open its gates to large-scale emigration of Jews directly to Israel.
April: Reports published at the end of the month indicate that of 717 Jews who emigrated from the Soviet Union in April, only 168 came to Israel.
June: The Jewish Agency Assembly meeting in Jerusalem adopts reforms demanded by American Jews, including removal of partisan considerations from the agency, equal partnership between the Zionist movement and the Diaspora philanthropists, accountability of board officers, reiteration of a 1986 decision forbidding agency funding for non-Zionist (i.e. ultra-Orthodox) religious schools, and the cutting off of allocations to any Israeli body that refuses to accept Ethiopian immigrants as Jews.
November 1: The oldest immigrant ever, Zalman Efterman, aged 100, arrives in Israel from the Soviet Union.
December: The World Zionist Congress, meeting in Jerusalem, elects Simcha Dinitz chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive. Two Zionist movements that stress religious pluralism, Arza (Reform) and Mercaz (Conservative) win a total of 53 seats. The Religious Zionist movement, which supports the religious status quo in Israel, is accorded 14.
Arie Lova Eliav founds the youth village of Nitzana.
The immigration of Jews from the Soviet Union reaches an unprecedented 8,155. Of these, only 2,072 go to Israel, the remainder to the US.
New immigrants in 1987: 12,965.
January 13: The shekel is devaluated by 10%. Price increases follow.
January: US Defense Department official Dov Zakheim visits Israel to advise that the Lavi fighter plane project is too costly for Israel's defense economy and not a military necessity.
February 21: Mapam leader and Hakibbutz HaArtzi founder Meir Ya'ari dies aged 90.
February 22: A hand grenade thrown by a Palestinian terrorist in East Jerusalem wounds 17 persons - 12 border policemen and 5 Arabs.
February 25-27: Second Peres-Mubarak summit conference in Cairo.
February: Israel is officially designated by the US as a major non-NATO ally. This is an acknowledgment of Israel's strategic value to the US.
March 29: David Levy is elected chairman of the Herut party by a narrow margin.
March: The Mormons' Jerusalem Center, on Mount Scopus, opens.
March: Colonel Aviem Sella, the Israeli air force officer who was the first "handler" of convicted spy Jonathan Jay Pollard is assigned to command Israel's largest air base. The US protests, and Sella resigns.
March: Natan Sharansky, leading Soviet refusnik who arrived in Israel in February 1986, speaks out against the bungling absorption bureaucracy and the failure to make new immigrants feel at home in Israel.
April 2: The Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team loses the final playoff for the European Cup to Tracer Milano, 71:69.
April 5: Mounted police use batons to subdue an agitated protests by university students in Jerusalem against the raising of tuition costs. Three students are injured and 17 arrested.
April 6 : President Chaim Herzog becomes the first Israeli head of state to visit West Germany.
April 10 : The US and Israel sign a more detailed agreement than the August 1986 accord for the construction of a Voice of America radio transmitter in the Negev. The agreement provides that the US would lease the land from Israel for 25 years.
April 11: A terrorist attack on an Israeli car near Qalqilya results in the death by burning of an Israeli woman and serious burns to members of her family.
April 11: Following secret talks with King Hussein in London, Shimon Peres and Hussein reach an agreement outlining the method whereby a peace treaty could be negotiated between Israel and Jordan. The first part of the agreement lays down that Secretary-General of the United Nations would invite the five permanent members of the Security Council (the US, the USSR, Britain, France and China), and all the parties involved in the Israeli-Arab dispute, to negotiate a settlement based on Security Council Resolutions 242 (Israeli withdrawal from territories occupied in 1967) and 338 (the implementation of Resolution 242).
April 16: The Shabak is again the subject of controversy when Izat Nafso, a Circassian IDF officer, is sentenced to 18 years in prison for spying. His lawyer claims that the senior interrogator in the case falsified evidence against Nafso.
April 19: Lieut. Gen. Dan Shomron replaces Moshe Levy as chief of staff.
April: Shimon Peres becomes the first foreign minister to visit Spain.
April: While Syrian President Assad visits Moscow, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev publicly states that the Soviets "unambiguously recognize ... Israel's right to peace and a secure existence. At the same time the Soviet Union continues to categorically oppose Tel Aviv's policy of force and annexation."
April: Confrontations and incidents continue in the security zone in southern Lebanon and in the occupied territories.
May 7-10: Violent confrontations occur between Jewish settlers and Arab residents in Qalqilya and Nablus.
May 21: Eight-year-old Rami Haba of Elon Moreh in the West Bank is murdered by terrorists at the outskirts of the settlement.
May 23: Rioting by Arabs erupts in East Jerusalem.
May 24: The Supreme Court orders the release of Izat Nafso and criticizes the Shabak interrogators. On 1 June, the government will request the president of the Supreme Court to appoint a commission of inquiry into interrogation norms of the Shabak. The commission is to be headed by the retired Chief justice of the Supreme Court, Moshe Landau.
June 6: The 20th anniversary of the Six Day War is marked by rioting by Arabs in the occupied territories.
June 8: MK Meir Kahane's parliamentary immunity is removed following his refusal to take the oath of allegiance to the Knesset and the laws of the state.
June: Terrorist acts and attempted acts occur in Israel proper, in the occupied territories, and in southern Lebanon.
July 6: Druze residents of the Galilee village of Beit Jan riot over their demand to develop land near their village designated as a nature reserve, resulting in 31 injured, including policemen and nature reserve inspectors.
July 11: A crowd of several hundred thousands attends a concert in Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park given by violinist Itzhak Perlman and opera singer Placido Domingo.
August 10: Katyusha rockets target the Galilee.
August 17: Actor and entertainer Shaike Ophir dies aged 58.
August 23: Violent confrontations occur between striking workers and management at the Soltam factory in Yokneam, part of the Koor conglomerate. The workers detain the management by force for 40 hours.
August 26: Head of the Institute for Palestinian Research in Jerusalem, Faisal Husseini, is arrested on suspicion of committing a hostile act and inciting residents of East Jerusalem to disorderly conduct.
August 30: The cabinet votes to end the Lavi fighter plane project.
September 5: Israeli Air Force planes launch a large strike against terrorist bases in Lebanese territory.
September 16: Three Israeli soldiers are killed and four are wounded in an encounter in southern Lebanon with a band of 12 terrorists heading toward Israel to carry out an attack.
September 24: Palestinian terrorists kill an Israeli reserve soldier at the Megido junction.
September: Israel releases an abridged version of the indictment of Mordechai Vanunu, former technician at the Dimona Nuclear Research Center. He has been on trial in secret for passing top secret information about the facility to the London "Sunday Times".
October 7: The Israel Broadcasting Authority radio and TV journalists announce a strike for an indefinite period, demanding pay equal to that of the print journalists. Radio and TV broadcasting close down for some two months.
October 7-12: The Gaza Strip is the scene of rioting and a general strike, spreading to East Jerusalem and Ramallah.
October 15: Ida Nudel, leading Soviet refusnik, arrives in Israel. She had been refused an exit visa for 17 years, including 4 in exile in Siberia. She is greeted by the American actress Jane Fonda.
October 30: The Landau Commission submits its findings on Shabak interrogation norms.
November 6: Singer Zohar Argov hangs himself in his cell at the police station at Rishon LeZion.
November 16: MK Rafael Eitan leaves the Tehiya party and forms a new one-man party based on similar nationalist principles.
November 25: A lone Palestinian gunman flies a hang glider from Syrian-occupied Lebanon into Israel, near Kiryat Shmonah where he kills six soldiers and wounds seven before he is killed.
December 2: The commander of the Nahal Brigade is relieved of his post after the terrorist hang-glider incident.
December 9 : An accident between an Israeli truck and Palestinian cars kills four Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Rioting ensues, and the Palestinian uprising called the "Intifada" begins.
December 15: Minister of Industry and Trade Ariel Sharon marks the completion of his new house in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem.
December 21: The deterioration of the situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip causes concern both in Israel and in the world. The Israeli Arabs hold demonstrations of identification with the residents of the occupied territories. The UN Security Council censures Israel's policy in the occupied territories. (UN Security Council Resolution 605.)
December 28-29: Eight letter bombs are discovered in Israeli post offices. One, in Or Yehuda, explodes, wounding two people.
The Israel Museum opens its renovated and expanded Judaica wing. It exhibits Joseph Stieglitz's important collection of Jewish ritual objects.
The Israel Museum exhibits "Tradition and Revolution: The Jewish Renaissance in Russian Avant-Garde Art, 1912-1928." The exhibition features El Lissitzky, Nathan Altman, Issachar Ryback, Joseph Tchaikov, Boris Aronson, Marc Chagall and their efforts to create a new, modern Jewish art by fusing the folk sources of the Jews with the modern artistic motifs of the day. The exhibition will be shown at the Jewish Museum in New York in 1988.
The Museum of the Diaspora exhibits Jews on the Bank of the Amazon.
Historian Benny Morris writes "The Birth of the Palestine Refugee Problem, 1947-1949", in which he concludes that the refugee problem was a by-product of Arab and Jewish fears resulting from the bitter fighting of the War of Independence.
The cost of living rise drops to 19.9%, the first time in the 1980s that it registers below 20%.
February: Great Britain's United Synagogue sells its oldest synagogue, the New Synagogue in Stamford (North London) to the Bobover Hassidim, who will use the premises for educational purposes. The membership of the synagogue fell below 270 from a peak of 2,000 in the 1950s.
February: The Union of Italian Jewish Communities and the Italian government sign an agreement that the community will no longer be a public body that is controlled by the state. However, contributions to the community can be deducted from taxes, up to a maximum of 10% of personal income, and Jews can observe the Shabbat and holidays wherever employed and obtain kosher food in public institutions.
February: European Jewish leaders and Catholic officials from Poland, France, and Belgium sign an agreement requiring that the Carmelite convent near the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camps be closed and that the nuns living in the convent be relocated to an interreligious center about 1,5 kilometers from the camps.
February: The Tower Commission, established by President Ronald Reagan to investigate the Iran-Contra Affair, issues its report, declaring that the US government is responsible for its own decisions and must bear responsibility for the consequences, even if the government of Israel actively worked to begin the initiative.
March 4 : Jonathan Pollard is sentenced to life imprisonment and his wife, Anne Henderson Pollard, to two concurrent five-year terms by US District Judge Aubrey Robinson for spying against the US on behalf of Israel.
April: The US government places Kurt Waldheim, newly elected president of Austria, on the "watch list" of persons barred from entering the US. The decision is based on a finding that he "assisted or otherwise participated in the persecution of persons because of race, religion, national origin or political opinion." He is the first head of state to be barred.
April: Karl Linnas, commandant of a concentration camp in Tartu, Estonia, during World War II, is deported by the US to the Soviet Union. In 1962, he was sentenced to death in absentia by the Soviet Union. In 1981, he was stripped of his US citizenship. He is the first ex-Nazi forcibly deported to the Soviet Union by the US. In July, he will die of natural causes in Leningrad.
April 11: Italian chemist and writer Primo Levi commits suicide in Turin.
May: Sister Teresa Benedicta is beatified by Pope John Paul II. Born Edith Stein, she converted in 1922 and became a Carmelite nun. She was murdered by the Nazis in 1942. This first case of a Jewish-born Catholic being beatified results in criticism from some Jews who assert she was murdered because she was Jewish and, therefore, was not a martyr for the Catholic faith.
May: The new Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam opens. The museum operates under government auspices and is housed in a converted complex of four former Ashkenazic synagogues erected in 1671, 1686, 1700, and 1752 that were badly damaged in World War II. They are sold to the city of Amsterdam, which donated 80% of the 11 million dollar cost for renovation.
July: Klaus Barbie, "the butcher of Lyon", is found guilty by a French court in Lyons of the 17 crimes against humanity he was accused of and sentenced to life imprisonment. Barbie was defended by Jacques Verges, who argued that crimes against humanity were not limited only to Nazi Germany, accusing France of such crimes in Algeria, and Israel against the Arabs.
September: Pope John Paul II meets with American Jewish leaders in Miami. Earlier he met in Rome with another delegation and discussed the Waldheim visit, the Holocaust, antisemitism, and the Vatican's relations with Israel.
September: Jean-Marie Le Pen, leader of France's right-wing National Front party, declares that the issue of Nazi gas chambers was one "discussed by historians" and "a question of detail in the history of World War II." The French National Assembly, in protest, will open its fall session with a minute of silence in memory of victims of Nazism.
November 6: US President Ronald Reagan nominates Henry Anatole Grunwald (1922 - 2005), of New York, as Ambassador to the Republic of Austria. Grunwald was born in Vienna and emigrated to the US. He began his career in 1944 as a reporter for the Trade Union Courier. Since 1979 Henry Grunwald had been editor-in-chief of Time magazine in New York City. Previously, he was Time Inc., corporate editor, 1977 - 1979; managing editor, 1968 - 1977; assistant managing editor, 1966 - 1968; foreign news editor, 1961 - 1966; senior editor, 1951 - 1961; and staff writer, 1945 - 1951.
French film director Louis Malle - a Catholic - produces "Au Revoir, les Enfants", a movie about his memory of a rural priest who, during World War II, is deported by the Germans to a concentration camp for hiding Jewish boys in his school. The movie wins the French equivalent of an Oscar.
"Commissar", a film made in the Soviet Union in 1967 under the direction of Alexander Askoldov, is shown in the West. The film, set in 1922, implies a link between Soviet antisemitism and Nazism and was suppressed for 20 years. It will be shown in the Soviet Union in 1988.
Joseph Brodsky, Russian poet living in the exile in the US since 1972, is awarded the Nobel Prize in literature. He does not generally write of Jewish subjects, but his long poem "Isaac and Abraham" deals with the Akedah, and "The Jewish Cemetery near Leningrad" is considered an outstanding example of Soviet Jewish poetry.
Robert M. Solow is awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics.
The Jewish Museum in New York exhibits "The Dreyfus Affair: Art, Truth & Justice", a compilation of paintings, sculpture and graphic art relating to the Dreyfus Affair.
Michael Marrus, University of Toronto history professor, writes "The Holocaust in History", a study of the historiography of the Holocaust. He includes a discussion of the argument between "intentionalists", who assert that from the early 1920s Adolf Hitler was intent on exterminating the Jews, and "functionalists", who maintain there was no plan of extermination, but the '"final solution" emerged out of a series of increasingly harsh steps against the Jews, ending in a policy of mass murder.
The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow exhibits 90 paintings and 200 graphic works by Marc Chagall to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the Russian-born artist.