Year
 
Jewish Agency for Israel
 
Israel
 
Jewish History & Culture
2005            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

top

 

Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency and the WZO: Sallai Meridor and Zeev Bielski.

Director General of the Jewish Agency: Moshe Vigdor.

Treasurer of the Jewish Agency: Shai Hermesh.

January: 15,000 young Jews from around the world are participating in short-term programs run by the Jewish Agency and birthright Israel.

January: A delegation of Japanese members of Parliament visit the Absorption Center in Mevasseret Zion.

January 19: The partnership between the Jewish Agency and the Foreign Ministry develops a unique online course to help individuals and communities worldwide promote a positive image of Israel.

January 23 : A special task force is set up at the initiative of the Jewish Agency is launching a program for helping residents of Sderot and the area deal with trauma.

January 23: The Minister for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs, Natan Sharansky, and JAFI Chairman, Sallai Meridor, release the annual Israeli Government Report on Global Anti-Semitism for 2004.

January 25: The Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Absorption renew the Fund for Immigrant Students Alone in Israel, which provides students $150 per month to help cover tuition and living expenses. The program has awarded 4,000 scholarships to new olim who might otherwise drop out of school because they could not afford to continue.

January: The Jewish Agency provides 89 students of Jordan Valley College with scholarships totaling NIS 225,000.

February 13: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon decides to bring the last of the eligible Falash Mura to Israel by the end of 2007. (More.)

Februar 20 - 22: Board of Governors.

February 21: The cabinet votes that by the end of 2007 around 13,000 Falash Mura will be brought to Israel.

February 21:The President's Award for Jewish Education in the Diaspora ceremony takes place at the President's residence in Jerusalem.

March 3: Max Fisher, US Jewish leader and founding chairman of the Jewish Agency's Board of Governors, dies aged 96.

March 4: Some 60,000 French Jews are interested in immigrating to Israel, according to Bar-Ilan University research conducted by Dr. Arik Cohen.

March 6: A study carried out by the Hebrew University and funded by the Jewish Agency reinforces findings suggesting that there is a drop in support for Israel among U.S. Jews, especially among youth and university students.

March 15: Nane Annan, wife of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and niece of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, visits the Jewish Agency Absorption Center in Mevasseret Zion.

March 17: Following the recent anti-Semitic events in France and growing reports that Jews are afraid to identify openly as Jews on the street, the Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Sallai Meridor, decides that during his visit to Paris he will wear a kippa wherever he goes.

March 18: The director general of the Jewish Agency's immigration and absorption department, Mike Rosenberg, is asked to step down after more than seven years heading the organization's flagship department.

March 20 - 24: In conjunction with the Jewish Agency for Israel’s People-to-People Center over one hundred doctors, professors, and medical professionals attended the first International Maimonides Conference on Medicine and Ethics.

March 27: Around 1,000 Jews from France arrive in Israel on a mission that is to mix solidarity, politics and soccer.

March 28: An external audit finds that funds transferred by the Jewish Agency to the World Jewish Congress were not earmarked for paying the pensions of WJC employees, but to finance WJC activities.

March 31: Chairman of the Jewish Agency, Sallai Meridor, welcomes the High Court decision that those who study for conversion in Israel and undergo conversion abroad will be recognized as Jews by the Law of Return.

April 7: The Jewish Agency and the Prime Minister's office sign a long term contract for Project MASA whereby the government of Israel will allocate $10 million per year. This commitment will grow by $10 million a year until it reaches $50M. MASA will connect and engage a new generation of Jewish leadership through dramatically increasing the number of students on long-term Israel programs.

April 12: The Jewish Agency sponsored high school soccer team comprising Jewish kids, new Ethiopian immigrant youth and Arab teenagers reaches the final of the Jerusalem High School League Mayor's Cup.

April 21: The Jewish Agency publishes the Aliyah statistics for the countries of the former Soviet Union.

April 29: The Jewish Agency's education department recently publishes a new study program that tries to provide answers to various questions concerning Jewish demography.

May 10: In a surprise move, Jewish Agency Chairman Sallai Meridor tells Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that he will step down at the end of June. An acting chairman will be appointed at the end of June, after the meeting of the agency's board of governors, and a permanent chairman will be selected when the World Zionist Congress meets in the summer of 2006.

May 16: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon names Ra'anana Mayor Ze'ev Bielski as his candidate for the leadership of the Jewish Agency, to replace Salai Meridor. Bielski is expected to serve as Jewish Agency head for one year, until the end of Meridor's current term.

May 19: The new Herzl Museum is inaugurated. The complex on Mount Herzl includes a state-of-the-art museum with the most modern audio-visual effects, and a Zionist learning center. Among the artifacts on display are the desk on which Theodor Herzl wrote "The Jewish State" which was published in 1896 and documents from the First Zionist Congress held in Basel, Switzerland between August 29th and 31st 1897.

May 24: With less than three months left to the disengagement, the Construction and Housing Ministry has chosen Amigur, a subsidiary of the Jewish Agency, to manage the housing of evacuated settlers in the Ashkelon-Nitzan area.

May 29: The Jewish Agency launches "MASA", a new program aimed at bringing 20,000 young Jews to Israel each year by 2008. (Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's speech at the opening event.)

June 7: Former minister Natan Sharansky has submitted his candidacy for the position of Chairman of the Jewish Agency.

June 15: Efforts are being increased to bring more Ethiopian immigrants to Israel in what would make up the largest mass aliya in years.

June 16: A Likud internal court declines a request to prevent Prime Minister Ariel Sharon from fielding Ra'anana Mayor Ze'ev Bielski as his candidate for interim chairman of the Jewish Agency.

June 19: Former Diaspora affairs minister Natan Sharansky is elected as World Likud's candidate for the post of Jewish Agency chairman in what is being viewed as an anti-disengagement statement.

June 20: In a surprise move, the Reform Movement announces that it is nominating Ra'anana Mayor Zeev Bielski as its candidate for Jewish Agency chairman, dramatically weakening Natan Sharansky's chances of being elected to the position.

June 24: The Zionist General Council unanimously elects Ra'anana mayor Ze'ev Bielski as interim chairman of the Jewish Agency after former minister Natan Sharansky removes himself from the race.

June 28: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon speaks at the Jewish Agency Assembly 2005.

June 28: A beaming Zeev Bielski takes the stage in front of the assembly of the Jewish Agency for Israel, vowing to be their emissary to the Jewish people as they elected him in a unanimous show of hands.

June 30: "The beauty of this place is that it is constantly busy dealing with long-range issues - about what we can do so that the Jewish people and the State of Israel will be strong 20 or 30 years from now," comments departing Jewish Agency chairman Sallai Meridor, on the institution he has headed for the past six years. (More.)

June 30: Ten percent of North American Jews are interested in living in Israel, either permanently or temporarily, a comprehensive market study ordered by the Jewish Agency discovers.

(Next Page.)

 

 

 

 

 

January: Early fortifications are uncovered in the Lower Galilee.

January: Both Israeli chief rabbis, Yona Metzger and Shlomo Moshe Amar, confirm the religious law which forbids Jews to enter the Temple Mount.

January: Orange, the color of the flag of the Gush Katif Regional Council, becomes the hallmark of the residents of the Gush.

January: The January unemployment rate stands at 9.9 percent, marking the continuation of a downward trend that began in January 2004, Central Bureau of Statistics figures show. Currently, Israel is home to about 265,000 unemployed.

January 5: A terrorist infiltrates the Erez crossing terminal in the Gaza Strip, activates an explosive device, hurls grenades and opens fire. He is killed by an IDF force.

January 9: The Vatican will loan the work of Moses Maimonides, one of Judaism's most celebrated rabbis and sages, to Israel this year in a gesture meant to improve relations between Catholics and Jews.

January 10: Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is confirmed as the winner of the Palestinian presidential elections. He receives 62% of the vote.

January 10: The vice chairman of Citigroup, Stanley Fischer, agrees to serve as the next governor of the Bank of Israel.

January 10: Labor-Meimad joins the government. United Torah Judaism joins the coalition. The Knesset confirms the new unity government with a 58:56 vote. The left-wing Yachad party supports Ariel Sharon.

January 12: One Israeli civilian is killed and three IDF soldiers are wounded when a bomb is detonated as a military vehicle patrols the route near Morag in the southern Gaza Strip. Two terrorists are killed by IDF forces. The area is booby-trapped with explosive devices in addition to the bomb.

January 12: United Torah Judaism splits into Agudat Yisrael and Degel Hatorah, reverting back to their original separate parties. The latter initiated the split at the instruction of its religious authority, Rabbi Yosef Elyashiv.

January 12: Some 8,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews rally in Tel Aviv. They launch a petition signed by more than 300,000 people who have pledged not to shop at stores open on Shabbat.

January 13: A terrorist attack at the Karni terminal crossing
in the Gaza Strip kills six Israelis and wounds five more. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suspends the contacts with the Palestinian Authority.

January 17: Palestinians continue to fire Qassam rockets at Sderot, with two rockets landing in open spaces outside the city. Another rocket lands at a local kibbutz.

January 17: The executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, headed by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), calls on all Palestinian organizations to cease attacks against Israel. Abu Mazen also steps up talks between Fatah and the Islamist organizations in the Gaza Strip, in an effort to agree on a cease-fire with Israel.

January 18: AN ISA officer is killed, an IDF officer seriously wounded, and four IDF soldiers and three members of the ISA are lightly wounded in a suicide attack at the Gush Katif junction in the Gaza Strip. While search procedures are carried out, the suicide bomber detonates himself.

January 18: The Israeli Aircraft Industries inaugurate a new business jet, the G150.

January 23: Mahmoud Abbas secures a 30-day cease-fire from Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

January 27: Attorney General Menachem Mazuz decides that all land managed by the Israel Lands Administration, including land owned by the Jewish National Fund, will be marketed without discrimination or limits including to non-Jews.

January 28: Israeli and Palestinians meet in Davos, Switzerland, to discuss the future of the region.

January 29: Israeli satirist Ephraim Kishon dies, aged 80.

January 30/31: 150,000 - 200,000 opponents of the disengagement plan take part in a demonstration held in the government complex between the Prime Minister's Office and the Knesset in Jerusalem.

January 31: Attorney General Menachem Mazuz announces that the government's decision made in June 2004 to confiscate East Jerusalem property owned by Palestinians was made without his knowledge or consent.

January 31: Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and Mohammed Dahlan - considered one of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' closest advisers - meet in Herzliya.

February 1: German President Horst Koehler arrives on a two day state visit to mark 40 years of German-Israeli diplomatic ties. He addresses the Knesset in Hebrew and German.

February 1: The Rafah crossing, the main gateway in and out of the Gaza Strip for Palestinian travelers, is reopened after Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz agrees to a Palestinian Authority request to reopen the border crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

February 1: Attorney General Menachem Mazuz announces that he is annulling a government decision to apply the absentee property law to thousands of dunams in East Jerusalem.

February 6: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visits Israel. She emphasizes the "dramatic opportunity" of the historic decision of the planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank.

February 8: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordanian King Abdullah II meet in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, at a Mideast summit expected to mark a formal end to more than four years of hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians.

February 10: Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas agree to coordinate the Gaza pullout.

February 10 - 12: Violent clashes between Druze and Christians in the mixed village of Maghar are sparked by a rumor spread by a 16-year-old Druze boy that Christian youths had placed pictures of Druze girls on the internet. Dozens of Christian businesses are burned to the ground and many Christian families flee the village.

February 13: Hamas announces it is committed to the terms of the cease-fire agreed upon with the Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and those announced at the Sharm el-Sheikh summit. Israel agrees to transfer security control of the West Bank city of Jericho to the Palestinian Authority.

February 13 - 18: The 22nd International Book Fair takes place in Jerusalem.

February 14: In an interview with the New York Times, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says the war will be over "when the Israelis declare that they will comply with the agreement I made in Sharm el Sheik, and today our comrades in Hamas and Jihad said they are committed to the truce, the cooling down of the whole situation, and I believe we will start a new era."

February 14: Former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri is killed with 16 others in a massive bomb explosion in Beirut. 137 are wounded.

February 15: Dudu Geva, illustrator and cartoonist, dies of heart failure aged 54.

February 15: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and some ministers receive threats by opponents of the government's plan to remove settlers from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank.

February 16: Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz announces his decision against granting chief of staff Moshe Ya'alon an expected one-year extension to his three-year term, which expires days before the scheduled initial implementation of the disengagement in July.

February 16: The Knesset passes the enabling legislation for the disengagement plan by a large majority of 59-40, with five abstentions.

February 17: Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz orders an end to the punitive practice of house demolitions.

February 18: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's son Omri is charged with fraud and other crimes in the same case.

February 20: Jordan returns its ambassador to Tel Aviv after four-year absence.

February 20: The cabinet votes 17-5 in favor of evacuating settlements in the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank. In a separate move, the cabinet votes 20-1 with one abstention, to approve the route of the separation fence south of Jerusalem. The government decision enables Sharon to sign evacuation orders for all the Jewish residents of the Gaza Strip and the residents of four settlements in the northern West Bank. The evacuation of about 9,000 settlers will begin in July and take two months. Ministers Netanyahu and Sharansky vote against the disengagement plan.

February 22: Israel frees 500 Palestinian prisoners, but 7,500 remain in Israeli jails.

February 24: Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz names Major General Dan Halutz as the next chief of staff, the first ever to advance from the ranks of the air force.

February 24: NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer visits Israel.

February 24: A new Palestinian cabinet is approved.

February 25: A suicide bomber blows himself up in front of a nightclub at the beach in Tel Aviv, killing 5 and wounding 50. The Damascus-based leadership of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad claims responsibility for the attack. In a videotape made prior to the suicide bombing, bomber Abdullah Badran declares that the attack is intended to do harm to the Palestinian Authority, which he says serves the interests of the United States.

February 25: The Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronoth reports that Israel plans to build more than 6,000 new homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

February 25: The Adva Center publishes a report about the consequences of Israel's occupation policy. The report says that military spending, the cost of Jewish settlements to colonize Palestinian land, and the collapse of tourism and other enterprises because of the two intifada, have severely undermined the economy and greatly increased poverty.

February 28: Israel claims that the orders for the suicide bombing in Tel Aviv came from the Islamic Jihad headquarters in Syria.

March 1: The Meeting on Supporting the Palestinian Authority takes place in London. Israel does not participate.

March 3: Peter Malkin, the Mossad agent who nabbed top Nazi Adolf Eichmann on a Buenos Aires street in 1960, dies in New York. (More on Malkin.)

March 5: Twenty-four employees, past and present, of Bank Hapoalim's Hayarkon Street branch in Tel Aviv are arrested in what officials call the biggest money-laundering case in the history of the state, thought to involve hundreds of millions of dollars in the past year.

March 8: Former chief state prosecutor Talia Sasson submits her report on the funding of unauthorized West Bank outposts to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

March 8: An Israeli Arab from a village in the western Galilee is arrested on suspicion of planning a terror attack at the Knesset building.

March 8: Israeli women live longer, study more, earn less than men (more).

March 9: Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas meet at the Erez crossing in Gaza.

March 9: Palestinian militant factions agree to cease all attacks within the Israel's pre-1967 borders.

March 10: Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz meets with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Sharm el-Sheikh for talks on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and implementation of the disengagement from Gaza.

March 10: Law enforcement officials will not open an inquiry or criminal investigation against Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, following statements he made about Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in his weekly sermon.

March 10: The Jasser Palace Hotel-Bethlehem Intercontinental, located a few hundred meters south of Rachel's Tomb that was forced to close shortly after it opened in 2000 is getting ready to welcome tourists again.

March 12: Hamas says it will run candidates in July's elections for the Palestinian legislature. The move ends a 10-year boycott of elections.

March 13: The government votes 18-1 to approve the recommendations in attorney Talia Sasson's report on the illegal outposts and set up a ministerial committee to deliver a detailed proposal for action within 90 days.

March 13: A group of anti-disengagement protesters block the Ayalon's northbound lanes between Hashiva and Kibbutz Galuyot junctions with burning tires. Demonstrators take to the other side of the highway as well, causing further traffic snarls.

March 16: Police arrest six settlers in the southern Gaza Strip who riot and try to block the Gush Katif junction to Palestinian traffic.

March 16: The new museum in Yad VaShem is inaugurated. Dignitaries from 40 countries attend the ceremonies.

March 16: The Knesset passes the enabling legislation for the disengagement plan by a large majority of 59-40, with five abstentions.

March 16: Students at Tel Aviv University protest against cuts to the higher education budget.

March 16: Oscar Abu Razek is appointed director general of the Interior Ministry. He is the most senior civil servant within the Arab sector.

March 16: Israel begins preparations to finally hand over security control in Jericho to the Palestinian Authority, moving one of the checkpoints near the city further north to allow Palestinian traffic access to Ramallah.

March 16: Lawyer Khaled Mahamid opens the first Arab institute for Holocaust research and teaching.

March 17: Some 40 yeshiva students from a West Bank settlement attack a group of eight Palestinian laborers, wounding at least three of them. Settlers also attack Palestinians in Hebron.

March 17: Egyptian Ambassador Assem Ibrahim arrives in Tel Aviv more than four years after Cairo recalled its most senior representative in Israel.

March 17: The IDF Southern Command issues a military order prohibiting Israeli citizens who do not reside in the Gaza Strip settlements from relocating to that area.

March 18: Conductor Gary Bertini dies, aged 77.

March 20: About 10,000 people attend a rally in support of disengagement at Dizengoff Square in Tel Aviv.

March 20: The Defense Ministry completes an extensive aerial photography operation detailing the location and expansion of each settlement and outpost in the West Bank.

March 21: Marine biologists and maritime police spend the day attempting to help return to the open sea a pod of dolphins that entered the Haifa harbor by mistake.

March 21: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon calls on the cabinet to increase government funding for medication and medical procedures by NIS 150 million, nearly doubling the current NIS 200 million allocation.

March 22: Disengagement protestors burn tires and block the Coastal Road at the Poleg junction near Netanya for about half an hour, prompting huge northbound traffic jams.

March 23: Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi grabs the spotlight at an Arab summit, calling Israelis and Palestinians idiots for seeking separate states and saying the UN Security Council was a terrorist organization.

March 23: Thousands of Students from universities from all over the country demonstrate at Haifa University during which 15 students and are arrested for attempting to block a nearby road.

March 28: The 11th Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition opens in Tel Aviv.

March 28: The Knesset plenum rejects the bill on the disengagement referendum by a vote of 72 to 39.

March 28: Jose Mourinho, world-famous soccer player, visits Israel in a peace mission.

March 28: Israeli businessman Arnon Milchan will donate USD 100 million to advance the project of a university in the Galilee. This is the largest amount of money ever donated by a private individual in Israel.

March 29: The Knesset approves the state budget by a 58-36 margin, with one abstention, averting the government’s fall and clearing the final hurdle before the disengagement plan’s implementation.

March 29: The human rights organization Btselem publishes its report about the Gaza Strip.

March 29: The government plans to build another 3,500 housing units in the area known as E-1, between Jerusalem and Ma'aleh Adumim, and thus obstruct the territorial contiguity needed for a Palestinian state, something Sharon has already agreed on.

March 31: The High Court rules that those who study for conversion in Israel and undergo conversion abroad will be recognized as Jews by the Law of Return. Orthodox leaders condemn the ruling.

March 31: A survey finds that about 80 percent of Israelis watch television every day; more than half own two or more television sets.

April 3: The graves of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and his wife Lea in the national cemetery on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem are defaced. Vandals erase their names from the tombstones and spray painting the words "murderous dog" on Yitzhak Rabin's grave.

April 5: The Jewish proportion of Israel's population is expected to drop by some 10 percent by 2025 to about 70 percent of the total population, the Central Bureau of Statistics announces.

April 5: 70 mayors from 32 countries visit Israel for the 23rd Jerusalem Conference of Mayors.

April 5: During his third visit in the region, Hollywood actor Richard Gere meets Foreign Minister Shimon Peres. He also holds talks with Palestinian leader Abu Mazen and Minister Ehud Olmert.

April 6: The Peace Index for March shows that the disengagement plan - which, as in the past, enjoys majority support and is given high chances of implementation - is not the end of the story, but only a first step toward a larger evacuation of Jewish settlements in the West Bank in the framework of the permanent agreement with the Palestinians.

April 8: Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz says that Israel should consider not demolishing the evacuated buildings in the Gaza Strip, with the exception of synagogues (due to fears of their potential desecration) since it would be more costly and time consuming. This contrasts with the original plan by the Prime Minister to demolish all buildings which are vacated after the disengagement plan.

April 9: The train between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv is back on track.

April 10: Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fire dozens of rounds of mortar shells, in what they say is further retaliation for the killing of three Palestinian youths by Israel Defense Forces soldiers the day before.

April 11: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon arrives in the US. He meets President George Bush at his ranch in Texas. Bush opposes the construction of any new settlements in the West Bank. He confirms his support for Sharon's plan to withdraw settlers and forces from the Gaza Strip.

April 11: Leading international Soccer coach Jose Mourinho agrees to serve as a special envoy for the Peres Center for Peace and assist in establishing and financing two soccer schools for Israeli and Palestinian children.

April 11: Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal and Nablus Mayor Hussein al-Araj meet in Jerusalem and declare they woill attempt to advance a Hudna (cease-fire) between Israelis and Palestinians.

April 12: Israel Prize laureate Ehud Manor dies at the age of 64.

April 19: Former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau is elected Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv.

April 24: Former president Ezer Weizmann dies, aged 81.

April 27: Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives in Israel for an unprecedented state visit by a Russian - or Soviet - head of state.

April 28: Israeli director Dani Menkin’s "39 Pounds of Love" is awarded the best documentary prize at the Palm Beach International Film Festival .

May 1: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrives in his first-ever visit to the country, which is being viewed by Israel as a return to "business as usual" between the two countries. Major arms deals between the two allies are among the issues on the agenda.

May 1: Stanley Fischer, one of the world's leading economists and former deputy chairman of the Citigroup banking and insurance corporation, is sworn in as governor of the Bank of Israel by President Moshe Katsav. Fischer, an American citizen, officially becomes an Israeli citizen, when he receives his national identification card at the Interior Ministry in Jerusalem. He will serve as central bank governor for the next five years, having been chosen for the post by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu four months ago.

May 2: Minister of Diaspora and Jerusalem Affairs, Natan Sharansky, submits his resignation. In his letter to Sharon, Sharansky notes he opposed the disengagement plan from the outset based on the belief that "every concession in the peace process on the part of Israel must be conditioned on democratic reforms on the Palestinian side."

May 3: Police Commission Moshe Karadi hands over to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority the sheet of fingerprints taken from Adolph Eichmann during his interrogation in Israel in 1960-61.

May 5: The Israeli public learns that a few days before her death last June, songwriter, poet and Israel Prize laureate Naomi Shemer confessed to a friend that she had based the melody to her renowned song from 1967, "Jerusalem of Gold", on a Basque lullaby.

May 5: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon participates in the "March of the Living" at the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp in Poland, to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day.

May 5: Four Israeli-Arabs, including three Knesset members, express their sympathies for victims of the Nazi Holocaust during Israel’s national Holocaust Remembrance Day and say Jews and Arabs must learn to combat prejudice that still exists between them today.

May 9: The beginning of the evacuation of settlements is officially pushed back from July 20 to August 15, so as to not coincide with the Jewish holidays of the Three Weeks and Tisha B'Av.

May 12: Israel celebrates the 57th Independence Day.the country’s population is estimated to stand at about 6.9 million residents, according to Central Bureau of Statistics figures. About 5,260,000 Jews currently live in Israel, comprising 76 percent of the total population, alongside about 1,350,000 Arabs, who comprise approximately 20 percent of the population.

May 16: A protest by opponents of the disengagement from the Gaza Strip is held throughout the country, with the protesters blocking major traffic arteries throughout Israel. The protest is sponsored by "HaBayit HaLeumi", and is hailed by them as a success, with over 400 protestors arrested, half of them juveniles.

May 19: Actor and photographer Leonard Nimoy visits Israel.

May 20: Batya Gur, one of Israel's most perceptive writers and critics, dies aged 57.

May 21: Israeli actress Hanna Laslo receives the best actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for her role in the latest film of Israeli director Amos Gitai, "Free Zone."

May 22: American First Lady Laura Bush tours the Middle East to promote democracy and the status of women.

May 23: Khaled Mahameed, an Israeli Arab in Nazareth opens the first Holocaust Museum, geared to an Arab audience.

May 24: The Tel Aviv district committee for planning and construction approves the proposed subway route in Tel Aviv, overriding a previous plan that called for a street-level train.

May 26: About 1,000 Gush Katif families have signaled their readiness to leave Gaza and accept a Government-organized mass relocation package.

May 26: The Israel Defense Forces plan to call up close to 8,000 reservists for the implementation of the disengagement plan, from mid-August until approximately mid-September.

May 26: British Lecturers overturn their decision to boycott Haifa and Bar-Ilan universities.

May 26: Organizations representing Holocaust survivors reject Bank Leumi's offer to pay NIS 35 million immediately, as an advance on funds which belonged to Jews who perished during WWII, a reversal of the bank's former policy.

May 26: In a joint press conference with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, US President George Bush states his expectations vis-a-vis the Roadmap: "Any final status agreement must be reached between the two parties, and changes to the 1949 Armistice lines must be mutually agreed to. A viable two-state solution must ensure contiguity of the West Bank, and a state of scattered territories will not work. There must also be meaningful linkages between the West Bank and Gaza. This is the position of the United States today, it will be the position of the United States at the time of final status negotiations."

May 27: A young Palestinian man who allegedly plans to launch a suicide bomb attack inside Israel is arrested by the Israel Defense Forces in the Nablus area.

May 27: Dozens of Nitzan residents and members of the Green Course environmental group hold a rally to protest the constructing of facilities in Nitzanim that will host evacuated Gaza settlers after the pullout.

May 29: The "Trojan Horse Affair" shocks the Israeli business world. Leading private investigators planted “Trojan Horse” spy software in the computers of high-profile Israeli companies in a bid to sell privileged information to competitors.

May 30: Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar decides to recognize the members of India's Bnei Menashe community as descendants of the ancient Israelites. Amar also decides to dispatch a team of rabbinical judges to India to convert the community members to Orthodox Jews. Such a conversion will enable their immigration to Israel under the Law of Return, without requiring the Interior Ministry's authorization.

May 30: President Moshe Katsav arrives in Germany to mark 40 years of diplomatic relations during a three-day visit in which he is to address the German parliament.

May 30: 15 families start living in the "Hof Dekalim" hotel in Gaza which has been turned into a stronghold known as Maoz Hayam by a pro-Kahane anti-pullout group.

May 31: Israeli TV Channel 2 starts broadcasting "Yoman Masa" - "Diary of a Journey" ("Land of the Settlers") filmed by Channel 1 news anchor man Chaim Yavin.

June: Orange and blue (or blue-white) ribbons are seen everywhere in Israel. On the orange side are Jewish settlers and their supporters. On the blue side are the peace activists.

June 1: Egyptian officials prevent author Ali Salem from traveling to Israel to receive an honorary doctorate from Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva.

June 1: Dan Halutz takes over as new Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces.

June 2: Israel releases 400 Palestinian prisoners.

June 3: The staff at the Israeli embassy in Uzbekistan and their families are instructed to leave the country owing to heightened security concerns.

June 4: Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas postpones the elections which should have taken place in the middle of July.

June 6: Two Jews are injured during violent clashes on the Temple Mount. Israeli police officers face down hundreds of stone-throwing Palestinians outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque, as Jews visit the site on the anniversary of the capture of the Old City and East Jerusalem during the 1967 war.

June 7: Thieves steal Israel's first-ever Olympic gold medal, won by windsurfer Gal Fridman in the 2004 Summer Olympics, during a break-in at his family home in Karkur.

June 7: Heads of the teachers organizations and representatives of the education and finance ministries are to meet at the National Labor Court in Jerusalem, where they will be asked to report progress in their negotiations.

June 7: Qassam rockets are fired at Sderot.

June 8: A synagogue is opened at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem as part of the new museum to give relatives of Holocaust victims a place to say Kaddish, the prayer of remembrance for the deceased.

June 9: An expanded panel of the High Court upholds the government's plan to withdraw from Gaza and parts of the West Bank, removing a major legal obstacle to the pullout. The 11-judge panel headed by Chief Justice Aharon Barak also determines that "Judea and Samaria [West Bank] and the Gaza area are lands seized during warfare, and are not part of Israel."

June 9: The first ever Rehovot Conference opens, to examine Israel's science policy. However, there is not a single woman among the 30 dignitaries invited to the inauguration.

June 11: The Defense Ministry delivers the first two "luxury trailers" for Gaza Strip evacuees to a site near the Negev community of Nitzan. Hundreds more of these wider-than-usual mobile homes are set to arrive over the coming weeks and form the basis for a new neighborhood that will be built to house some of the evacuees.

June 11: Windsurfer Gal Fridman receives his stolen Olympic gold medal back, after it was found the day before.

June 12: America imposes sanctions on Israel because of selling weapons to China.

June 14: Israeli researchers have germinated a sapling date palm from 2,000-year-old seeds, saying their research could lead to the discovery of new medicines that will benefit future generations, one of the scientists leading the project say. The palm plant, nicknamed Methusaleh after the biblical figure said to have lived for 969 years, is now about 30 centimeters tall.

June 14: Bobby, a two-and-a-half-year-old female penguin, has a new boyfriend. Over the last 18 months the keepers at The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens in Jerusalem (the Biblical Zoo) noticed that one of the male penguins, number 513, was courting her and trying to impress her. A few months ago, it appears she was finally wooed and the couple now is "going out."

June 14: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffers a defeat during a debate on corruption in the government. Knesset Speaker Ruven Rivlin calls for early elections.

June 15: Israel and Egypt agree upon the deployment of Egyptian troops along the border of the Gaza Strip.

June 16: The Education Ministry fires 2,500 teachers.

June 18: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urges Israel and the Palestinians to coordinate the planned Israeli pullout from Gaza, calling such cooperation "absolutely critical." She praises the disengagement from Gaza as a "historic step."

June 18: Anti-disengagement activists staying at Gaza hotel attack Palestinians bathing in sea; three Palestinians are beaten while a is fourth shot; terror groups respond with mortar fire.

June 19: The government informs notifies the construction of 700 apartments in the West Bank, 300 will be in Maaleh Adumim and 400 in Beitar Illit.

June 20: Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak meet in Sharm-el-Sheikh to discuss the problematic border controll after the Gaza pullout.

June 20: The underground infrastructure work for the establishment of 250 housing units for the Gush Katif evacuees is completed at Yated, Yevul, Mavki'im, Karmiya, Mefalsim and Or Haner in the Negev. The work has been carried out by the economic arm of the local councils association, on behalf of the Housing and Construction Ministry. Altogether it will prepare the ground for 500 housing units at a cost of NIS 50 million.

June 20: Five 12- to 15-year-old girls arrested 35 days ago during settler protests against the disengagement plan are due to be released to their homes. The girls are the last minors remaining in detention for blocking the country's highways.

June 20: Gaza resident Wafa Samir Ibraim Bas, 21, is detained by security forces at Gaza’s Erez crossing . The woman is scheduled to arrive at Soroka hospital in the Southern town of Be’er Sheva for some tests, and is hoping to take advantage of the medical appointment to carry out a suicide attack.

June 21: Eight people are killed and 195 are injured when a passenger train collides with a truck beside a sunflower field near Kibbutz Revadim in the northern Negev.

June 21: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas meet. Both sides are disappointed after the meeting.

June 24: Militant Palestinians kill a 17 year old Jewish settler near Hebron. Five people are wounded.

June 25: Pullout opponents adopt the tactic of blocking traffic on roads. Several dozen protesters set tires alight across the Ayalon Highway near Tel Aviv.

June 26: A Quassam rocket is fired into the Negev.

June 26: IDF Corporal Avie Bieber refuses orders to remove settlers who are disrupting the demolition of abandoned homes in Gush Katif. He is sentenced to 56 days in military jail.

June 27: Pullout foes occupy an aera in the Gaza Strip and put up tents. A group seizes a building in the Palestinian village of Muasi.

June 27: The Military Court of the Israel Defense Forces convicts a former IDF soldier of manslaughter in the killing of pro-Palestinian British activist Thomas Hurndall, obstruction of justice and giving false testimony.

June 27: Opponents of the disengagement protest along the main Israeli highways with flags and banners.

June 28: An IDF soldier receives a 56-day jail sentence for refusing pullout order.

June 29: A group of Israeli teenagers, allegedly members of the banned Kach group, attack Hilal Ziad al-Majaydeh, a 18 year old Palestinian youth, stone him and try to lynch him in the village of Mouasi in Gaza. The lynch attempt takes place after the right-wing extremists take over an abandoned building in Muasi, a Palestinian area adjacent to Gush Katif. The extremists and Palestinians hurl rocks at one another.

June 30: In a carefully planned operation completed with relatively little resistance, police and the IDF remove some 110 anti-disengagement radicals from a beachfront hotel in Gush Katif and bus most of them out of the Gaza Strip. The radicals have barricaded themselves in the Gush Katif hotel, which they call Maoz Hayam, or the Seaside Fortress. But the "fortress," which is populated predominantly by ideological teenagers, crumbles in half an hour as over 1,000 police and soldiers charge in and cart off the activists.

 

 

 

 

January 11: Germany has been the world's fastest growing Jewish community over the past decade.

January 11: World Jewish Congress vice-president Isi Leibler announces his resignation from the organization at the WJC's annual assembly in Brussels. Leibler says he makes the announcement after coming to the conclusion that he has no chance of getting reelected to the post.

January 13: Records of more than 3,000 World War II-era Swiss bank accounts are published on the Internet in an effort to return hundreds of millions of dollars to Nazi victims or their descendants.

January 18: Pope John Paul II meets with 160 Jewish leaders, rabbis and cantors from around the world, a meeting described as the largest Vatican audience granted by a pope to Jewish representatives. The gathering was organized to thank the pope for his work to better relations between Roman Catholics and Jews.

January 24: The UN General Assembly holds a Special Session to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Nazi concentration camps.

January 27: Heads of state and royalty, along with political leaders from nearly 40 countries, prominent Jews and Nazi death camp survivors and liberators gather in Auschwitz to commemorate the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp 60 years ago, where nearly 1,1 million Jews were killed.

February 10: American playwright Arthur Miller dies, aged 89. He is hailed as one of America's greatest playwrights thanks to his celebrated modern classics such as "Death of a Salesman", "The Crucible" or "All My Sons". (Read more on Arthur Miller.)

February 27: Former US ambassador to Austria Henry A. Grunwald dies, aged 83. (See November 1987.)

February: Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, is publically criticized after he compares a Jewish Evening Standard reporter to a concentration camp guard after he tried to interview him at a party. The London Assembly votes unanimously for him to issue an apology but he does not.On March 4, he will launch a provocative attack against the "war criminal" Ariel Sharon.

March 1: More than 1,000 groups around the globe are studying the last page of the Talmud, for the 11th time since the Daf Yomi Project was started in 1923. (More.)

March 14: A synagogue and a Jewish-owned shop in the southern Swiss city of Lugano are gutted by fire after a petrol-bomb attack by unknown assailants.

April 2: Pope John Paul II dies, aged 84.

April 5: Nobel Prize laureate Saul Bellow dies, aged 89.

April 5: Five Neo-Nazis are convicted of involvement in plans to bomb the dedication of a Munich synagogue and community center in 2003. Most of the defendants - three women and two men - are charged with membership in a terrorist organization, a serious charge rarely applied in Germany against the extreme right. The Munich state court sentences them to probation ranging from one year, four months, to one year, 10 months.

April 11: German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and U.S. veterans come to the Buchenwald memorial outside Weimar for the commemoration of the camp's liberation.

April 12: Karl Plagge , a German military officer who became known as the "Nazi who saved Jews" is honored by Yad Vashem for rescuing hundreds of Jews from death camps during World War II.

April: The AUT, Britain's leading academics' labor union, votes to boycott Haifa and Bar Ilan Universities for their alleged collusion with the Israeli government in its mistreatment of the Palestinians. The boycott motion accuses Bar Ilan of being "directly involved with the occupation of Palestinian territories" because it supervises degree programs at a college based in the settlement of Ariel, near Nablus in the West Bank. Haifa is accused of failing to uphold the academic freedom of staff and students who conducted research into the founding of the state of Israel that portrayed the country in an unflattering light.

April: A number of leading Austrian politicians condemn recent statements from a member of the upper chamber of the Austrian parliament in which he questions that the Nazis used gas chambers in their concentration camps.

April: The first German-Jewish comedy since World War II, director Dani Levy's "Alles auf Zucker" (Go for Zucker: An Unorthodox Comedy) lampoons Jewish life in Germany and shatters post-war taboos. Poking fun at German and Jewish cliches while ignoring rules about "political correctness" in Germany's uneasy relationship with Jews, "Alles auf Zucker" is about two estranged Jewish brothers raised on opposite sides of the Berlin Wall. Jakob Zucker, who grew up in Communist East Germany, is a former sportswriter turned cash-strapped gambler who distanced himself from Jewish traditions after his mother and his Orthodox brother Samuel Zuckermann fled west before the Wall went up. When their mother dies, the brothers meet for the first time in 40 years. They learn they will only get their inheritance if they reconcile and arrange an Orthodox funeral for her in Berlin including a seven-day mourning, or shiva, with their families. Watching Zucker's awkward efforts to reacquaint himself with Jewish customs after his life unraveled in the 15 years since East Germany collapsed, one neighbor offers the wry comment: "He's really had a lot of bad luck. And now he's even Jewish."

April - October: The cities Worms (Germany) and Troyes (France) commemorate the 900th anniversary of Rashi's death.

May 9: Pope Benedict XVI says that Roman Catholics and Jews can continue dialogue and look with "confidence" toward the future. Benedict makes the comments in a note prepared for the 90th birthday of Elio Toaff, the former chief rabbi of Rome who welcomed Pope John Paul II on a historic visit to Rome's synagogue in 1986.

May 9: President George W. Bush, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and dozens of other heads of state attend military parade in Moscow's Red Square marking the 60th anniversary of Germany's surrender to the allied forces.

May 10: After 17 years of fierce debate, Germany's memorial to the 6 million Jewish victims of Nazi terror is inaugurated in Berlin.

May 17: The American Jewish Committee publishes a survey dealing with knowledge and remembrance of the Holocaust in seven countries: the United States, Germany, France, Great Britain, Austria, Poland, and Sweden.

May 24: German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer receives the annual Leo Baeck Prize from the country's main Jewish leader, who praises him for efforts to help secure peace in the Middle East.

May 25: Austria's Nazi compensation fund agrees to pay 18.2 million euro to a Jewish group that lost synagogues and community centers during World War II. Austria's parliament created the General Settlement Fund in 2001 to compensate Holocaust victims who were robbed of businesses, property, bank accounts and insurance policies during the Nazi era. The government and Austrian companies have pledged to pay 166.4 million euro to endow the fund as long as any Nazi-related claims pending against Austria in U.S. courts are settled or dropped.

May 26: The Temple Scroll from Qumran arrives at the Martin Gropius-Bau Museum in the center of Berlin. The scroll - one of the principal exhibits at "The New Hebrews: a Century of Art in Israel" - has come a long way, all the way from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem to the history museum in Berlin.

May 26: Canada's parliament bans the right-wing Kahane Chai organization and adds it to the country's list of terror organizations.

June 8 - June 9: The Conference on Anti-Semitism and Other Forms of Intolerance takes place in Cordoba, Spain.

June 9: International Jewish leaders hold their first meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, expressing confidence the German-born pontiff will keep up the momentum for improving Catholic-Jewish relations spurred by his Polish predecessor John Paul II. Meeting in the Vatican with the delegation of 25 Jewish leaders, Benedict acknowledges that the history of their relations has been "complex and often painful" but adds his conviction that their "spiritual patrimony" could guide them toward a "future of hope."

June 15: Vandals smash and knock over the headstones of about 130 graves in a Jewish cemetery in Budapest.

June 16: A draft of the Balfour Declaration, the 1917 document in which Britain expressed support for a Jewish state, is sold for $884,000 at Sotheby's in New York.

June 16: Vandals desecrate 86 gravestones in a London Jewish cemetery and spray some of them with swastikas.

June 20: Jeremy Jones, former president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, is made a member of the Order of Australia. Jones is one of 15 Jews honored to celebrate the birthday of Great Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, who is also Australia's head of state.

June 23: The Moscow district prosecutor orders an examination into the Shulhan Arukh - a code of Jewish halakhic law compiled in the 16th century - to ascertain whether it constitutes racist incitement and anti-Russian material. Alexander Boroda, the president of the Federation of Jewish Communities tells a Russian news agency: "We are shocked by the very examination. The fact that books from the 16th century, which have become part of Jewish heritage, are subject to investigation shows the short-sightedness of the state prosecutor's people."

June 23: An Italian judge sentences 10 former Nazi SS officers to life in prison for their roles in the murder of 560 Tuscan villagers in one of Italy's worst civilian massacres of World War Two.

June 24: Germany decides to tighten immigration laws for Jews from the former Soviet Union as part of attempts to reduce the burden on existing Jewish communities that often give financial support to the newcomers.

(Next Page.)

 
 
 

 

 

 

Share              PRINT   
12 Nov 2007 / 2 Kislev 5768 0