Chairman of the Jewish Agency: Simcha Dinitz.
April: Most of Albania's Jewish population secretly emigrates to Israel.
May: Israeli aircraft begin airlifting Ethiopian Jews from Addis Ababa to Israeli. The airlift is completed in 36 hours. Afterward, Israel confirms that it paid the Marxist government 35 million dollar for the release of the Ethiopian Jews.
Under "Operation Salomon", a total of 4,137 Ethiopian Jews reach Israel, almost the same number in a single year as had arrived in the previous five.
October 7: The first direct flight from the Soviet Union to Israel arrives carrying 150 immigrants.
New immigrants in 1991: 176,100.
January: Israel opens a consulate in Moscow nearly 24 years after the Soviet Union severed ties in the aftermath of the Six-Day War.
January: Tension rises with the approach of the UN deadline of 15 January for Iraq to evacuate from Kuwait. Some Israelis fly out of the country. Observers predict that in the event of war, Iraq will not dare attack Israel.
January 3: Two Patriot anti-missile missile launchers are delivered to Israel by the US.
January 9 : After a futile meeting with US Secretary of State James A. Baker, Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz asserts that Iraq will attack Israel if a war starts in the Persian Gulf.
January 10: The Civil Defense organization begins instructing the public on the use of anti-chemical protective equipment.
January 14: The Civil Defense organization issues instructions for sealing rooms in all houses and offices for protection against chemical warfare.
January 17: The US starts the war against Iraq. Baghdad is bombed intensively. A sense of imminent victory is felt worldwide and in Israel. School is closed in Israel.
January 18: Iraq launches a SCUD missile attack against Israel. Eight missiles are fired. Casualties and damages are light. (See: Gulf War)
January 19: Iraq launches a second SCUD attack against Israel. US President George Bush telephones Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. Bush urges Israeli restraint and hopes Israel will let the US retaliate on its behalf in order to maintain the unity of the Allied coalition, in which Saudi Arabia is the crucial Arab participant. Ariel Sharon, Ezer Weizman and Moshe Arens oppose Israel remaining passive. The US rushes Patriot antimissile batteries to Israel, which are manned by US soldiers. American service personnel is on active duty on Israeli soil for the first time in Israel's history.
January 21: The economy is nearly at a standstill in anticipation of further Scud attacks.
January 22: US President George Bush sends a mission headed by Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger and Paul Wolfowitz to Israel.
January 22: The defense establishment orders the resumption of normal civilian activity.
February: Anger is registered in Israel at reports that the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza "danced on the rooftops" when the missiles fell on Israel.
February 2 : Germany begins delivering 670 million dollar in military aid to Israel, which includes gas masks, gas-proof vehicles, and poison gas antidotes. An Israeli defense spokesman comments, "I think everyone can understand why the Germans are offering us this aid ... We are hearing every day about the aid given by German elements ... to the Iraqi ability to fire missiles at Israel and to Iraq's chemical warfare capability.
February: The US releases 400 million dollar of loan guarantees to Israel for the construction of housing for Soviet immigrants. The US has held up the guarantees for more than a year to obtain assurances the money would not be spend on settlements in the West Bank and in Gaza Strip.
February 25: Iraq launches its 40th and last SCUD missile attack on Israel.
March 10: A Palestinian murders four Jewish women in the Kiryat Yovel neighborhood of Jerusalem.
March 11: Two IDF soldiers are killed and two are wounded in a hit-and-run attack in the Gaza Strip.
March 14 : Two PLO officials, including Abu Iyad, considered the second highest PLO official after Yasser Arafat, are assassinated in Tunis. The PLO blames Israel, but other reports indicate the shootings were on orders of Iraq and carried out by the Abu Nidal Palestinian group.
March 25 : The second trial launching of the Israeli-made Arrow missile fails.
March: The US grants Israel 600 million dollar in cash aid to help cover its increased military and civil defense costs incurred as a result of the Gulf War.
March: In an address to the Congress, US President George Bush says the Gulf War illustrates that "geography cannot guarantee security" and "a comprehensive peace must be grounded in the UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and the principle territory for peace. The time has come to put and end to the Israeli-Arab conflict."
March: During the week of March 10, US Secretary of State James A. Baker meets with the foreign ministers of Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates, in Saudi Arabia, with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and with Palestinian leaders in an effort to encourage peace negotiations.
March: Air Force Brigadier General Rami Dotan pleads guilty to taking 10 million dollar in kickbacks on the purchase of US military equipment. He is sentenced to 13 years in prison.
April 1: Lieut. Gen. Ehud Barak takes over from Dan Shomron as chief of staff.
April 16 - 18: A series of terrorist incidents take place in the Jordan Valley region from Kibbutz Neveh Ur in the north to the Allenby Bridge in the south.
April 24: Four Israelis are arrested in Cyprus for attempting to plant telephone taps in the Iranian embassy. They are released on May 9 after paying a fine.
May 16: Maccabi Tel Aviv wins the national basket ball cup for the 22nd consecutive time.
May: US Secretary of State James A. Baker drives from Amman, Jordan, to Jerusalem. The trip takes about 90 minutes. Baker says, "You realize when you drive like that ... just how short the distances are and how important, therefore, it is to promote peaceful co-existence."
May: Testifying before Congress, US Secretary of State James A. Baker says, "Nothing has made my job of trying to find Arab and Palestinian partners for Israel more difficult than being greeted by a new West Bank settlement every time I arrive in the Middle East."
May 20: Polish President Lech Walesa arrives for a visit to Israel.
May: Addressing Israel's Knesset, Poland's President Lech Walesa apologizes for antisemitism in Poland's history. "Here in Israel, the land of your culture and revival, I ask for your forgiveness." Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir says he hopes the first visit by a Polish president would ease the Polish-Israeli relations.
June 4: Israeli planes attack terrorist bases in the Sidon region.
June 9: Member Knesset Yair Levy of Shas is questioned by the police on suspicion of fraud, forgery and theft. He reserves the right to remain silent.
June 22: The Maccabi Haifa soccer team attains the coveted "double", winning both the state championship and the cup.
June 23: The king of the Zulu nation visits Israel.
July 14: Peace activist Abie Natan, having met with Yasser Arafat abroad, is questioned by the police upon his return home for contact with representatives of a terror organization. In September he will be convicted and sentenced to 18 months' prison and an 18-month suspended sentence.
July 19 : Israeli Judge Ezra Kama concludes an inquiry on last October's Temple Mount riot and finds that the violence was not planned by either side; the rioting started after a tear gas grenade was accidentally dropped by a policeman and rolled toward the demonstrators, who then threw stones at the police and Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall. He finds that the police fired at random without reasonable care. His findings contradict an earlier Israeli government report.
July: US President George Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev issue a joint statement in Moscow reaffirming "their strong mutual commitment to promote peace and genuine reconciliation among the Arab states, Israel, and the Palestinians." They add that peace can only result from direct negotiations between the parties.
August: Two African foreign ministers visit Israel - Nigeria's and Congo's - in anticipation of the resumption of diplomatic relations with Israel.
August 6: The publicly owned Bezeq telecommunications company strikes over projected plans for privatization. The publicly owned electric company strikes as well.
August 14: John Demjanjuk's appeal against his conviction as a Nazi war criminal is postponed to December. The prosecutor travels to the Soviet Union to gather new evidence.
August: Albania and Israel agree to establish diplomatic relations.
September 12: US President George Bush criticizes Prime Minister Shamir and expresses doubt about the country's genuine desire for peace in light of new Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
September 16: US Secretary of State James A. Baker arrives for a one-day visit to advance the prospect of a peace conference.
September: At a press conference, US President George Bush demands that Congress delay for four months the debate regarding Israel's request for $10 billion in housing loan guarantees to resettle newly arrived Soviet Jews until after a Middle East peace conference scheduled for October. "I'm up against some powerful political forces, ... something like a thousand lobbyists on the Hill ... We've got one lonely little guy down here doing it." Congress agrees to the delay.
September: US President George Bush writes to the president of the Conference of Major Jewish Organizations. "I am concerned that some of my comments on the Thursday press conference caused apprehension within the Jewish community. My reference to lobbyists and powerful political forces were never meant pejorative in any sense." It is reported that Bush was alarmed by the antisemitic tone of some of the supportive letters and phone messages he received.
September: In a speech at the UN General Assembly, US President George Bush urges the repeal of its 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism. "This body cannot claim to seek peace and at the same time challenge Israel's right to exist." The Soviet Union supports Bush's call for a repeal.
September: The IDF issues the figures of known deaths since the begin of the Intifada. There had been 1,225 Arab deaths: 697 Arabs were killed by Israeli soldiers. 78 of them were 14 or younger. 528 Arabs were killed by Arabs. In addition, 13 Israeli soldiers were killed by Arabs.
October 9: The attorney general requests the Knesset speaker to remove Shas M.K. Yair Levy's parliamentary immunity on the basis of over 100 counts on fraud and forgery.
October 11: A hit-and-run attack is perpetrated by a Palestinian terrorist from the village of Qibya who drives into a group of soldiers waiting at the Tel Hashomer junction, killing 2 and wounding 11.
October 18 : The US and the Soviet Union invite Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Faisal al-Husseini, a Palestinian leader in the occupied territories, to a peace conference to begin on October 30 at Madrid, Spain.
October: Israel and the Soviet Union restore full diplomatic relations.
October 30 : Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and representatives of the Palestinians meet for peace talks in Madrid. US President George Bush addresses the conference and tells the Israelis "territorial compromise is essential for peace" and tells Arabs "it is not simply to end the state of war in the Middle East and replace it with a state of non belligerency. ... We seek peace, real peace. I mean treaties. Security. Diplomatic relations. Economic relations. Trade. Investment. Cultural exchange. Even tourism."
October: A third trial launch of the Israeli-made Arrow missile fails.
December 10 : Arab-Israeli peace talks begin in Washington, D.C., with the Israelis meeting with separate Lebanese, Syrian, and joint Palestinian-Jordanian groups. They adjourn eight days after a failure to advance the discussions beyond procedures and agendas. The talks are scheduled to resume in January 1992.
December: The UN General Assembly revokes Resolution 3379, the 1975 "Zionism is Racism" resolution, by a vote of 111 to 25 with 13 abstentions. The repeal resolution is spearheaded by the US and cosponsored by 85 countries, including the Soviet Union. It is only the second time that the General Assembly has overturned one of its own resolutions.
During 1991, stabbings of individual Jews, twelve of the fatal, become more frequent in Jewish urban areas.
The Tel Aviv Museum of Art exhibits: "In the Flower of Youth: Maurycy Gottlieb, 1856-1879." Despite his death at 23, Gottlieb became a celebrated painter in Poland and among Jewish circles in eastern Europe during his lifetime. Many of his works by destroyed by the Nazis.
The Israel Museum exhibits "The Jewish Art of Solomon Yudovin (1892-1954): From Folk Art to Socialist Realism." He traveled as a recorder with the famous Anski Jewish ethnographic expedition through the Pale of Settlement between 1911 and 1914 and kept painting Jewish themes throughout his career.
March: Lech Walesa, president of Poland, in a meeting with Jewish leaders in New York, concedes there has been a resurgence of antisemitism in Poland. "Though this is just a marginal part of life, I am ashamed of it. As long as I have anything to say in Poland, I will oppose antisemitism."
March 2: French poet, songwriter, actor and director Serge Gainsbourg dies.
June: The Council of Jewish Federations reports the results of the National Jewish Population Survey of 1990, the broadest national survey of American Jews ever undertaken. It reports 5.5 million core Jews (those who consider themselves Jews by religion of secular Jews). There is increasing acceptance of intermarriage. Since 1985, Jews married other Jews - including converts to Judaism - 48% of the time. This compares to 91% before 1965.
July: US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Schifter and Elie Wiesel, in Romania to dedicate a memorial to the 400,000 Romanian Jews who were killed in World War II, visit Jassy, the scene of a pogrom in June 1941 that took the lives of 8,000 Jews. They express US and American Jewish concerns about the Romanian Parliament's rehabilitation of Ion Antonescu, who initiated mass killings. There are estimated 20,000 Jews in Romania.
August: In New York, African-Americans riot in Brooklyn's Crown Height's neighborhood after a car driven by a Lubavitch Hasid accidentally kills a seven-year-old child, Gavin Cato. Yankel Rosenbaum, an Australian Hasid is accosted and stabbed by a gang of African-American youths. He later dies. The unrest continues for several days.
October: Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev condemns antisemitism in a statement issued at Babi Yar, commemorating the killings of thousands of Jews by the Nazis 50 years ago. He acknowledges that hatred of Jews still exists in the nation's "everyday life" and he regrets the hundreds of thousands of "gifted and enterprising citizens" now emigrating because of it.
October: Lithuania suspends the rehabilitation of thousands of people who were sentenced by Soviet courts after World War II on war crime charges. A Lithuanian Supreme Court judge discovered that several exonerations of people convicted of killing Jews were unjustified.
December: The Soviet Union dissolves. Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as president. Eleven former republics constitute themselves as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Estonia, Latvia, and Georgia do not participate.
"Europa, Europa", a French-German film by Angieszka Holland, tells the astonishing true story of how Solomon Perel, German Jewish teenager, survives the Holocaust. It includes his experience as a member of the Hitler Youth. The film is based on Perel's book "Ich war Hitlerjunge Salomon" - "Europa, Europa" in English translation.
Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda produces "Korczak", the story of Janusz Korczak.
Neil Simon, US playwright, writes "Lost in Yonkers", set in an apartment over a candy store, where the ruthless will-to-live philosophy of Grandma Kurnitz is juxtaposed against the need for love and understanding of her children and grandchildren.
Joseph Brodsky, Russian poet exiled from the Soviet Union in 1972, is named the fifth poet laureate of the US. He is the first foreign-born poet to be named laureate. He won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1987.
The Jewish Museum in New York exhibits "Painting a Place in America: Jewish Artists in New York, 1900-1945." It traces the experience of immigrant and first-generation American Jewish artists and surveys their impact on American art. Included in the exhibit are works by Louise Nevelson, Mark Rothko, Ben Shahn, Raphael Soyer and Max Weber.
Seven murals painted by Marc Chagall in Moscow in 1920 and 1921, for the Moscow Jewish Art Theater, depicting the Jewish life of his youth in Vitebsk, are exhibited in a museum in Martigny, Switzerland. They were banned by Joseph Stalin as formalist non-Socialist art. They will go on exhibition in Moscow and Leningrad.
Nadine Gordimer, South African novelist, is awarded the Nobel Prize in literature. South Africa's President de Klerk calls the award "an honor to South Africa." Her novels and short stories portray the trauma of racial segregation. several were banned by the South African government.
The Lipman School, one of the largest Jewish schools in Moscow, is founded.
In a speech at the Austrian Parliament chancellor Franz Vranitzky admitts widespread Austrian complicity in the Holocaust.