A Brief History of the Jewish State
From property of the sovereign...
Jews in the Middle Ages designated
as servi camera (ruler’s property)
…to a sovereign state
IDF soldiers in Jerusalem
Jews in pre-19th Century Europe
Prior to 19th century, European Jews consistently
subject to massacres and expulsion
► Massacres (tens of thousands killed/tortured)
Crusades (1096-1229)
Black Death (1348-1351)
Chmielnicki massacre in Ukraine (1648)
► Expulsions
Deggendorf massacre (1337)
Entire Jewish community
killed in one day
France (1254, 1306, 1322, 1394)
England (1290)
Spain (1492)
Portugal (1496)
Germany/Bohemia (throughout Middle Ages until
Jews in
Century Europe:
► After French Revolution, Jews gradually liberated,
ultimately leading to full equal rights (at least in
theory) in France (1831), Germany (1848-1860s),
Austria (1867) and Italy (1848-1870)
► Jewish presence in major cities grows much
faster than the rest of the population
► Jewish intellectuals increasingly focus on secular
culture, rather than religious doctrine
► In Western Europe, Jews steadily assimilate into
broader society and embrace national identity of
states they inhabit
Hayyim (a.k.a. Heinrich) Heine ► Benjamin Disraeli, born to a Jewish family (later
baptized) and outspoken philo-semite, becomes
British PM (1868 and again in 1874)
Widely considered greatest
German poet of 19th century
Jews in
Century Europe:
Russian Anti-Semitism
► Massive pogroms break out in Ukraine, often with
government support (1881-1884)
► Legislation greatly restricts Jewish education, labor
force participation, residence rights and voting rights
► Tsar Alexander III labels Jews as “Christ-killers” and
oppressors of Christian Slavs
Konstantin Pobedonostsev
Advisor to Alexander III and
Head of Russian Orthodox
► Tsarist secret police forges and publishes Protocols
of the Elders of Zion (1903), describing purported
Jewish conspiracy to dominate world
► Persecution results in mass emigration of poor
Russian Jews to Western Europe, fueling antiSemitism there
“The characteristics of the Jewish race are parasitic; for their sustenance they require the presence of
another race as ‘host’ although they remain aloof and self-contained. Take them from the living
organism, put them on a rock, and they die. They cannot cultivate the soil.“ – Pobedonostsev
Jews in
Century Europe:
German Anti-Semitism
► After Napoleon, rise of German nationalism leads to
popularization of “Volk” concept, glorifying
“authentic” Germans and their “natural” roots
► Depicts Jews as “alien” and “cosmopolitan” threats to
traditional Volk
► Emergence of racial component to anti-Semitism,
framing Jewish threat as part of “Social Darwinist”
► Anti-Semitic parties gain political strength, especially
in Vienna under leadership of Karl Lueger
Richard Wagner
“I regard the Jewish race as the born enemy of pure humanity and everything that is noble in it; it
is certain we Germans will go under before them, and perhaps I am the last German who knows
how to stand up as an art-loving man against the Judaism that is already getting control of
everything.” – Wagner (1881)
Jews in
Century Europe:
French Anti-Semitism
► Napoleon gathers assembly of Jewish notables (1806),
fueling anti-Semitic conspiracy theories
► French pseudo-scientists promote racist theories of
Semitic inferiority vs. Aryans
► Multiple financial scandals involving Jews provide fodder
for anti-Jewish press
► Assumptionist order of Catholic clergy, in effort to
promote Christian revival, claims Jews conspiring with
Protestants and Freemasons against France
La France Juive
► Édouard Drumont publishes La France Juive (1886),
1,200 pages of rabid anti-Semitism that is immensely
“It seems to me interesting and useful to describe the successive phases of this Jewish conquest,
to indicate how, little by little, as a result of Jewish activities, old France has been dissolved, broken
up, how its unselfish, happy, loving people has been replaced by a hateful people, hungry for gold
and soon to be dying of hunger.” – Drumont (1886)
Dreyfus Affair (1894-1906)
► Alfred Dreyfus, only Jew in French army general
staff, is accused of passing secrets to Germans
► Despite scant evidence and his denial of the
charges, Dreyfus convicted in secret trial in which
he’s not allowed to view the evidence against him
► Dreyfus then stripped of his rank in a public
ceremony designed to humiliate him
► Outside, crowds chant “Death to the Jews!”
Alfred Dreyfus
► Ceremony is covered by young Hungarian
reporter, Theodore Herzl
► Dreyfus sentenced to life imprisonment and
solitary confinement on Devil’s Island, near
French Guiana
Dreyfus Affair (1894-1906)
► Two years later, new chief of French military intelligence, Lt Col Picquart, uncovers
evidence that real culprit was Major Esterhazy
► Army suppresses Picquart’s evidence and transfers him to Tunisia
► Military court acquits Esterhazy in 2 days despite compelling evidence against him
► Word of cover-up leaks to press and becomes national issue due to J’accuse, an
open letter by novelist Émile Zola (1898)
► Army later convicts Dreyfus of additional charges based on documents forged by
French counter-intelligence officer, Lt Col Henry (1899)
Dreyfus Affair (1894-1906)
► “Dreyfus Affair” bitterly divides French society:
Army, Catholic church and many rightists
claim Dreyfus acting as part of Jewish
conspiracy against France
Socialists, moderates and Radical Party claim
Dreyfus was framed
► Dreyfus eventually pardoned (1899) and fully
exonerated (1906), with his rank restored
► Anti-Semitic themes from “anti-Dreyfusard” camp
later espoused by Nazis
► Dreyfusards’ victory causes counter-reaction
Édouard Drumont and anti-Semitic
among segments of population, sowing the seeds
newspaper he founded. Headline is:
for French collaboration with Nazis in WWII
“Traitor condemned
10 yrs of Detention and Degradation
Down with the Jews!”
Theodore Herzl
► Born to secular family in Hungary, with little
Jewish education
► Moves to Paris, becomes playwright, journalist
and writer
► Originally believes “Jewish question” should be
solved by assimilation or conversion
► Relentless anti-Semitism in “enlightened”
countries, typified by Dreyfus Affair and rise of
Karl Lueger in Vienna, convinces Herzl that Jews
need sanctuary of their own
Theodor Herzl
► Herzl publishes Der Judenstaat (“The State of
the Jews”) (1896)
“In vain do we exert ourselves to increase the glory of our fatherlands by achievements in art and
in science and their wealth by our contributions to commerce…We are denounced as strangers…If
only they would leave us in peace…But I do not think they will.” – Herzl (1896)
Theodore Herzl
► Wealthy Jews, Orthodox and Reform rabbis in Western
Europe generally ignore Herzl or see his plan as threat to
their standing in society
► Primary base of support is poor Eastern European Jews,
who know they’ll never be able to call Russia or Poland
► One such supporter is Chaim Weizmann, key activist in
Herzl’s movement
► Herzl and Weizmann work tirelessly to convince national
leaders of their idea
Chaim Weizmann
► Originally, location of Jewish State does not matter to
Herzl, but over time, under pressure from his supporters,
he rejects idea of national home anywhere but Palestine
► Herzl dies at age 44, old enough to see Zionist movement
emerge but too young to see it prevail
Ottoman Empire on Eve of WWI
By 1914, Palestine had
been under Ottoman
control for 400 years
At the time, fewer than
100,000 Jews resided
in Palestine, along with
500,000 Arabs
Balfour Declaration (1917)
► Weizmann emigrates to England and persistently lobbies
British leaders, such as Lloyd George, Arthur Balfour,
Winston Churchill and Herbert Samuel, to support Zionism
► British receptive due to general tolerance towards Jews
and desire to gain Jewish and U.S. support in WWI
► In 1917, Foreign Secretary Balfour issues cabinetapproved declaration formalizing U.K. support for Jewish
national home in Palestine
► Jews fortunate that Herzl’s efforts began 20 yrs before
other nationalist movements in Middle East; Arabs not
diplomatically organized in 1917
Arthur James Balfour
► One year later, Balfour Declaration likely would not have
been possible
“His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for
the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it
being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious
rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by
Jews in any other country.” – Balfour Declaration (1917)
British Mandate for Palestine
► Following WWI, at negotiations in San
Remo, Italy (1920), UK awarded
Mandate for Palestine
► San Remo resolution incorporates
Balfour Declaration
► League of Nations formally adopts
San Remo resolution and confirms
British Mandate (1922)
► In the process, Britain carves out area
east of Jordan river (“Transjordan”)
from Mandate provisions dealing with
Jewish national home
► Mandate provisions, including Jews’
rights to build settlements,
subsequently incorporated into UN
Charter (Article 80) (1945)
Jewish Settlement in Palestine
► Russian pogroms (1881) lead to “First Aliyah” (25,00030,000 Jews)
► Wealthy Jews, particularly Edmund de Rothschild and
Montefiore, subsidize dozens of new agricultural
► Jewish National Fund created to purchase land in
Palestine for Jewish settlement (1901)
► More Russian pogroms (1904) lead to “Second Aliyah”
(40,000 Jews)
► Tel Aviv officially founded, as is Degania, the 1st kibbutz
► During British Mandate, Jews consistently increase their
landholdings in Palestine via legal purchases, primarily
from absentee, non-Palestinian Arab landlords
Revival of Hebrew
► For centuries, Hebrew used primarily for religious
► Hebrew literature emerges during “Haskalah” (Jewish
movement that paralleled Enlightenment movement),
but still relies on biblical Hebrew words and style
Haviv, the first Hebrew
school in Israel
(established 1886 in
Rishon LeZion)
“The rebirth of Hebrew as a
mother tongue after two
millennia is an event
unique in sociolinguistic
– Prof. Lewis Glinert,
Dartmouth College
► During 1880s, Mendele Mocher Sfarim (1846-1917)
revolutionizes literary Hebrew by relying on Rabbinic
(rather than biblical) Hebrew and incorporating
influences from Yiddish and other European languages
► Eliezer Ben-Yehuda (1858-1922) immigrates to
Jerusalem (1881) and actively promotes use and
development of Hebrew as modern, spoken language
► Immigrants from First Aliyah (1881) and especially,
Second Aliyah (1904), many of whom could already
read and speak Hebrew, are receptive to Ben-Yehuda’s
efforts and widely adopt Hebrew as their spoken tongue
► British Mandate recognizes Hebrew as Jews’ official
language in Palestine (Nov 1922)
Eliezer Ben-Yehuda
► Born Eliezer Yitzhak Perelman, in Lithuania; learns
biblical Hebrew and goes to yeshiva to become rabbi
► Becomes more interested in secular studies; leaves
yeshiva for Russian school and gains exposure to
Hebrew literature and Zionism
► Grows interested in national revivals in Balkans and
Italy; decides that revival of Hebrew as modern,
spoken language could unite Jews and lead to Jewish
State in Palestine
► Moves to Paris (1878), where he takes advanced
Hebrew classes but terminates studies after
contracting tuberculosis
Eliezer Ben-Yehuda
► Moves to Jerusalem (1881), where he tirelessly
promotes Hebrew as the national language of the Jews
“In every new event, every step, even the smallest in the path of progress, it is necessary that
there be one pioneer who will lead the way without leaving any possibility of turning back.”
– Ben-Yehuda, in his newspaper, Hatzvi (1908)
Eliezer Ben-Yehuda
► Ben-Yehuda’s efforts include:
Encouraging exclusive use of Hebrew in the
home; raises his first son as first all-Hebrew
speaking child in modern times
Teaching, exclusively in Hebrew, in local schools
and encouraging other teachers to do the same
Publishing a newspaper, “Hatzvi”, in Hebrew
Founding Hebrew Language Council (1890),
forerunner to Hebrew Language Academy, the
supreme authority on all matters related to
Hebrew language
Writing first modern Hebrew dictionary
(published posthumously), including many words
coined by Ben-Yehuda that gain wide acceptance
Ben-Yehuda at his desk in
“Before Ben-Yehuda, Jews could
speak Hebrew; after him, they
did.” – Cecil Roth, in his book,
‘Was Hebrew Ever a Dead
► Dies of tuberculosis (1922); 30,000 attend his funeral
► Legacy as driving force behind Hebrew revival
Arab Hostility in pre-WWII Palestine
► Under influence of future Palestinian Arab leader Haj
Amin al-Husseini, Arabs riot (1920, 1921 and 1924),
killing and wounding hundreds of Jews
► al-Husseini instigates major riots (1929) by spreading
false stories of Jews killing Arabs and plotting to take
over their holy sites
► 1929 riots kill 135 Jews, including 67 in Hebron
(“Hebron Massacre”), and destroy synagogues
► In 1936, again with encouragement of al-Husseini,
Arabs attack Jews and the British, ultimately leading to
major rebellion lasting until 1939 (“Arab Revolt”),
which the British violently suppress
Survivor of
Hebron Massacre
Haj Amin al-Husseini
► After death of Kamil al-Husayni, Mufti of Jerusalem
(1921), British High Commissioner Sir Herbert Samuel
pardons his half-brother, Haj Amin al-Husseini, from his
participation in recent Arab riots
► Under recommendation of extreme anti-Zionist British staff
member Ernest Richmond, Samuel then appoints alHusseini as Mufti of Jerusalem in “gesture” to Arabs, even
though he received fewest votes out of 3 candidates
► Virulently anti-Semitic al-Husseini becomes most
prominent leader of Palestinian Arabs until 1948
Haj Amin al-Husseini
► Radicalizes Palestinian Arabs, silences (and kills)
moderate Palestinians and promotes anti-Zionism in rest
of Arab world
► Periodically incites Arab massacres of Jews
► Meets with Hitler and actively collaborates with him to
recruit Muslim support for Nazis
Haj Amin al-Husseini
al-Husseini meeting
with Hitler
al-Husseini greeting
Bosnian Waffen-SS volunteers
“Kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God, history and religion.” – al-Husseini (1944)
British Immigration Policy
► Britain periodically restricts
Jewish immigration and land
Rise of Hitler leads …but Britain imposes
purchases to appease local
to surge in Jews
severe restrictions
Arabs – especially after Arab
seeking to immigrate...
on immigration
riots in 1921 and 1929
► Restrictions later overturned (by
Churchill in 1922, MacDonald in
1931), but Jewish immigration
still limited based on “absorptive
capacity” of the land
► During 1936 Arab revolt, Peel
Commission (1937)
recommends limiting Jewish
immigration and land purchases
1929 1930
1931 1932
1933 1934
1935 1936 1937
1938 1939
1940 1941
Jewish immigration to Palestine
► 1939 White Paper limits Jewish
immigration to 75,000 over 5
years, then to cease altogether
Ze’ev Jabotinsky
► Born Vladimir Jabotinsky, to secular Jewish family in
Odessa (1880)
► Becomes Zionist after Kishinev Pogrom (1903) and
creates self-defense group for Jews in Russia
► During WWI, together with Russo-Japanese war hero
Joseph Trumpeldor, creates Jewish Legion to fight for
British against Ottomans
► After WWI, forms Jewish defense group which later
becomes the “Haganah” defense force and deploys it
against 1920 Arab riots
Ze’ev Jabotinsky
► Founds “Betar” (1923), Jewish nationalist youth group
trained in combat, which becomes highly popular in
Eastern Europe and produces numerous future leaders
of Israel
Ze’ev Jabotinsky
► Grows dissatisfied with Zionist
moderates and their acquiescence
to Britain’s severing of Transjordan
from Palestinian Mandate
► Founds “Union of ZionistRevisionists” (1925) to maximize
Jewish immigration and push for
immediate statehood on both
banks of Jordan River
Parita ship unloading
immigrants at Tel Aviv beach
► After he leaves Palestine for
lecture tour in 1929, British never
allow Jabotinsky to return
“As long as the Arabs feel that there is the least hope of getting rid of us, they will refuse to give up
this hope in return for either kind words or for bread and butter, because they are not a rabble, but
a living people. And when a living people yields in matters of such a vital character it is only when
there is no longer any hope of getting rid of us, because they can make no breach in the iron wall.”
– Jabotinsky (1923)
Ze’ev Jabotinsky
► With Hitler’s rise to power, Jabotinsky raises alarm
for European Jewry and urges “evacuation” of all
Eastern European Jews to Palestine (1936)
► Works tirelessly on behalf of Jewish immigration to
Palestine (legal and illegal)
► Drafts will asking that his remains be moved to
Israel “only at the instructions of a Jewish
government that shall be established”
► Becomes commander of Irgun (1937),
underground militia that retaliates against Arab
attacks and later fights the British
Irgun logo:
All of British Mandate and a
rifle above the words
“only thus”
► Dies in New York (1940); remains transferred to
Mount Herzl in 1964
► Legacy as forceful and prescient Zionist leader
“I continue to warn you incessantly that a catastrophe is coming closer, I became gray and old in
these days, my heart bleeds, that you dear brothers and sisters, do not see the volcano which will
soon begin to spit its all consuming lava.” – Jabotinsky at a speech to Jews of Warsaw (Oct 1938) 25
Strains within Zionism pre-1947
► During British Mandate, Jewish leaders
have conflicting views regarding Zionist
strategy and goals
► Weizmann advocates patience and
building solid social, educational and
economic institutions in Palestine
before creating Jewish State
► David Ben-Gurion concentrates on
founding socialist state settled by
secular, agricultural pioneers
Weizmann & Einstein
► Albert Einstein and others argue
against statehood; goal should be
peaceful co-existence with Arabs
► Ze’ev Jabotinski focuses on
maximizing immigration (without
regard to type of immigrant) and
rapidly achieving statehood
Peel Commission (1937)
► During 1936-1939 Arab Revolt, British delegation
headed by Earl Peel recommends partition, end to
Mandate (except for Jerusalem-Jaffa corridor) (1937)
► Jewish State to include coastal strip, Galilee, Jezreel
► Arab State to include hill regions, Negev, Judea &
► Commission recommends restricting Jewish
immigration (12,000/yr) and land purchases, as well as
population transfer
► Arabs reject proposal and subsequently intensify
revolt; Jews are divided
► British initially accept proposal, but later dismiss it as
impractical (1938)
Jewish Support for Britain
► After shelving Peel report, British issue 1939
White Paper severely restricting Jewish
immigration and land purchases and
recommending formation of independent
Palestine with small Jewish minority
► Jews denounce this repudiation of Balfour
Declaration, but temporarily put aside
resistance against Britain (other than illegal
immigration) to help defeat Nazis
Jewish Brigade guarding
German POWs in Italy
► Weizmann pushes British to form Jewish
military force to assist in WWII, but army
repeatedly refuses until Churchill forces the
issue and forms Jewish Brigade with 25,000
members (1944)
“I like the idea of the Jews trying to get at the murderers of their fellow countrymen in Central
Europe. It is with the Germans that they have their quarrel…I cannot conceive why this martyred
race scattered about the world and suffering as no other race has done at this juncture should be
denied the satisfaction of having a flag.” – Churchill (1944)
Jewish Resistance to Britain
► As WWII ends, Jewish resistance to Britain
increases, led by 3 organizations: Haganah,
Irgun and Stern Gang
► Haganah focused on promoting illegal
immigration, military training, sabotage
► Irgun attacks British installations but generally
seeks to avoid civilian casualties
► Stern Gang, offshoot of Irgun, takes more radical
action, including assassinations
King David Hotel
after bombing
(July 1946)
► Movements briefly unite (1945-46), but split
again after King David Hotel bombing
After British raid Jewish Agency and arrest
2,500+ Jews, Irgun bombs British admin &
military HQ at King David Hotel
Warning calls given, but hotel not evacuated;
91 killed, including 17 Jews
UN Partition Plan (1947)
► UK tires of Mandate; announces it will turn over
Palestine issue to UN (Feb 1947)
► Palestine issue put before UN committee (May
1947), which recommends partition into Jewish
and Arab states and international zone in Jerusalem
► General Assembly votes in favor (Nov 1947);
33 to 13, with 10 abstentions
► Strong support from Truman (despite objections
from State and Defense Departments) and Soviets
(seeking to establish socialist state and reduce UK
influence in Middle East)
► Jewish Agency and majority of Jews support the
partition; Palestinians and Muslim states oppose
Nov 1947- May 1948 War
► Local Arabs and foreign Arab volunteers begin
attacking Jewish communities after partition vote
► Arabs blockade isolated Jewish communities,
including Jerusalem (100,000 Jews)
► Initially, Haganah reacts defensively, focuses on
protecting Jews and supplying isolated areas
► In April 1948, Ben-Gurion orders Haganah to move
to the offense to link up Jewish enclaves, leading to
decisive victory by middle of May
► During the war, over 200,000 Palestinian Arabs flee
from their homes
“Personally I hope the Jews do not force us into this war
because it will be a war of elimination and it will be a dangerous
massacre which history will record similarly to the Mongol
massacre or the wars of the Crusades.” – Azzam Pasha,
secretary-general of the Arab league (1947)
Declaration of Independence (1948)
“By virtue of our national and intrinsic right, and on the strength of the
resolution of the United Nations General Assembly, we hereby declare the
establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, which shall be known as the
State of Israel.” – David Ben-Gurion (May 14, 1948)
War of Independence (1948)
► Hours after declaring independence, Israel
attacked by Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon & Iraq
Arabs have tremendous weapons superiority
British actively assist Jordanian forces
► Jordan captures Old City of Jerusalem
► Irgun and Stern Gang unite with Haganah,
renamed “Israel Defense Forces”
► After initial setbacks, IDF halts invasion and
launches successful counter-offensive
► Fighting ends Dec 1948; Arabs sign armistice
agreements in Feb-Jul 1949
► At end of war, Israel is 5,000km2 larger than land
allotted to it under UN Partition Plan
1949 Armistice Lines
“The best we can tell you is that we have a 50-50 chance.”
– Chief of Operations Yigal Yadin to Ben-Gurion
Altalena Affair (1948)
► Irgun buys Altalena to smuggle weapons
and ~900 fighters from France
► While ship is en route, Irgun is absorbed
into IDF (June 1948)
► Head of Irgun, Menachem Begin,
requests that weapons be allocated to
Irgun battalions within IDF; Ben-Gurion
rejects request and demands that all
weapons be handed to IDF
Altalena in flames after
being shelled
(June 1948)
► Ben-Gurion orders IDF to take ship by
force; IDF shells Altalena, setting it on fire
► Fighting kills 16 Irgun and 3 IDF soldiers
► Begin orders forces not to retaliate; Irgun
fully integrates into IDF (Sept 1948)
“There will never be a civil war.” – Menachem Begin, after the Altalena affair
David Ben-Gurion
► Born David Gruen, to Zionist family in Russian Poland;
becomes active member of Zionist youth groups
► Emigrates to Palestine (1906), where he is elected to
central committee of Social-Democratic Jewish
Workers’ Party (“Poalei Zion”)
► Advocates Jewish nationalism grounded in a
collectivist society
► Helps establish first Jewish self-defense group in
Palestine (“Hashomer”)
► Expelled by Ottomans (1915); joins Jewish Legion to
support British in WWI
David Ben-Gurion
► Returns to Palestine (1918), where he becomes head
of Histadrut, Israel’s dominant trade union
► Becomes leader of newly-formed “Mapai” party
(Zionist labor party) (1930)
David Ben-Gurion
► Becomes chairman of Jewish Agency (de facto
government of Palestine’s Jews pre-1948)
► Under his leadership, Labor becomes strongest
movement within World Zionist Organization
► Focuses on Jewish immigration, establishing
settlements and building defense forces
► Generally supports cooperating with British, but
moves to resistance after White Paper issued
► Oversees Israel’s military operations during 19471948 War and War of Independence
Ben-Gurion declaring
Israel’s independence
(May 1948)
► Largely responsible for creating Israel’s state
institutions and guiding its path to statehood
“All our aspirations are built upon the assumption – proven throughout all our activity in the Land –
that there is enough room in the country for ourselves and the Arabs.” – Ben-Gurion (1937)
Palestinian Refugees
► From 1947 Partition Resolution until end of War
of Independence, 550,000-650,000 Arabs flee
Israel (~70% of them to West Bank & Gaza)
► Most leave either to escape the fighting or due
to encouragement of Arab leaders, who:
Palestinian refugees
Ask them to make way for invading armies
Fabricate/exaggerate reports of Jewish
atrocities, particularly after Deir Yassin
Accuse Arabs who stay behind of
► Arab leaders promise refugees they will be able
to return to their homes after “swift victory”
► Small minority of Arabs leave due to expulsion
by IDF or threat of force by IDF
Arab Encouragement of Exodus
“We will smash the country with our guns and obliterate every
place the Jews seek shelter in. The Arabs should conduct their
wives and children to safe areas until the fighting has died
down” – Iraqi PM Nuri Said
“Since 1948 we have been demanding the return of the
refugees to their homes. But we ourselves are the ones who
encouraged them to leave” – Syrian PM Haled Al-Azm (1973)
“Various factors influenced [Haifa Arabs’] decision to seek
safety in flight. There is but little doubt that the most potent of
the factors were the announcements made over the air by the
Higher Arab Executive, urging the Arabs to quit....It was clearly
intimated that those Arabs who remained in Haifa and
accepted Jewish protection would be regarded as renegades”
– The Economist magazine (October 1948)
Deir Yassin
► During 1947-1948 war, Jerusalem’s Jews
under siege; food shortage critical by Apr
► On April 9, poorly-trained forces of Irgun and
Stern Gang attack Deir Yassin (small Arab
village); goal is to conquer it and open
supply route to Jerusalem
► Local villagers, helped by foreign Arab
soldiers, fiercely resist the assault
Deir Yassin after the attack
(April 1948)
“This was our biggest mistake. We did not
realize how our people would react. As
soon as they heard that women had been
raped at Deir Yassin, Palestinians fled in
terror. They ran away from all our
villages.” – Hazam Nusseibeh (1998),
news editor of Palestine Broadcasting
Service at the time of the attack
► 107 villagers killed; some by indiscriminate
fire, others killed after the fighting ended
► Arab leaders deliberately exaggerate scale
of the massacre and fabricate reports of
rape in order to inflame foreign Arab opinion
► These reports unintentionally sow panic
among Palestinians, causing many to flee
Palestinian Refugees: Aftermath
► After War of Independence, Israel expresses
willingness to repatriate portion of refugees as
part of peace agreement that would include
resettling portion of refugees in Arab countries
► Arabs reject resettlement and peace agreement
► U.N. sets up “U.N. Nations Relief and Works
Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East”
(UNRWA) (1949) to provide aid to refugees
► UNRWA extends definition of “Palestinian
refugee” to include descendants, unlike all other
► Today, number of “refugees” exceeds 5 million
► Jordan is only Arab country to date to provide
citizenship to refugees
“The Arab States do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore,
as an affront to the UN and as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders don't give a damn whether
the refugees live or die.” – Sir Alexander Galloway, former UNRWA official (1952)
Jewish Refugees
► 1947 Partition Resolution leads to pogroms
across Arab countries
► From 1948 until early 1970s, over 800,000
Jews flee from Arab countries due to
combination of expulsion, violence and
► Over 70% of Jewish refugees absorbed by
Israel, where they are given citizenship
► Initially housed in tent camps and transit camps
Israeli Transit Camp
► Refugees pose enormous burden on nascent
Jewish state, but are gradually absorbed into
society (without any UN support)
“The lives of one million Jews in Muslim countries would be jeopardized by partition, which might
create anti-Semitism in those countries even more difficult to root out than the anti-Semitism which
the Allies tried to eradicate in Germany.” – Egyptian delegate to UN (1947)
Israeli Airlifts of Jewish Refugees
Operation Magic Carpet
Operations Ezra & Nehemiah
Israel airlifts 49,000 Jews from Yemen
Israel airlifts 130,000 Jews from Iraq
“Every Jew has the right to come to this country as an oleh.” – Israel’s Law of Return (1950)
Dead Sea Scrolls
► Bedouin shepherd discovers 7 scrolls in cave at
Qumran, near Dead Sea (1947); sells them to
antique dealers, who later sell them to Jewish
archaeologists Sukenik (1948) and Yadin (1954)
► Additional scrolls discovered (1949-1956),
bringing total to 972
Qumran cave #4, in which 90%
of Dead Sea Scrolls found
► Scrolls kept in E. Jerusalem museum, controlled
by Jordan until Israel unites Jerusalem in Six-Day
War (1967); Israel currently owns most scrolls
► Scrolls date from late Second Temple era (~ 200
BC – 100 AD) and consist of earliest copies of
Old Testament books, non-Biblical works and
contemporary documents
► Scrolls widely considered to have been written by
Essenes, an ascetic Jewish sect who hid the
scrolls during revolt against Romans (~70 AD)
“Isaiah Scroll” containing
complete Book of Isaiah
► Scrolls are invaluable source of info regarding
Jewish life during Second Temple era
Fedayeen Attacks (1951-1956)
► Palestinian terrorists known as fedayeen (“selfsacrificers”) periodically infiltrate Israel from Syria,
West Bank, Gaza and Egypt to attack soldiers and
civilians (starting in 1951)
► Egypt, under leadership of Gamal Abdel Nasser
(colonel who led 1952 military coup), begins to train
and support fedayeen (1954)
► Over 400 Israelis are killed and 900 wounded in
fedayeen raids (1951-1956)
► Ben-Gurion creates “Unit 101”, led by Ariel
Sharon, to launch cross-border raids in retaliation
against fedayeen attacks (1953)
“Egypt has decided to dispatch her heroes, the disciples of Pharaoh and the sons of Islam and they
will cleanse the land of Palestine....There will be no peace on Israel's border because we demand
vengeance, and vengeance is Israel's death.” – Nasser (1955)
Suez War (1956)
► In defiance of 1949 armistice agreement and
UN resolutions, Egypt closes Suez Canal to
Israeli shipping and blockades Straits of Tiran
► Nasser begins to import Soviet arms, leading
US to withdraw funding for building Aswan Dam
► In response, Nasser nationalizes Suez Canal,
which was owned by UK and France (Jul 1956)
► Egypt signs agreement with Syria and Jordan,
giving it command over all 3 armies (Oct 1956)
► In response to Egypt’s blockades, sponsorship
of fedayeen attacks and belligerent declarations,
Israel attacks Egypt (Oct 29, 1956)
Gamel Abdel Nasser
► Israel has secret backing of UK and France,
who sought to topple Nasser and regain canal
“The Arab people will not be embarrassed to declare: We shall not be satisfied except by the final
obliteration of Israel from the map of the Middle East.” – Egyptian Foreign Minister (1954)
Suez War (1956)
► Israel captures Gaza and virtually all of Sinai
in 8 days
► UK and France bomb Egypt and land
paratroops near canal zone, but withdraw
quickly due to massive US pressure
US previously asked UK and France not
to attack Egypt after canal nationalization
US wants diplomatic cover to criticize
USSR’s suppression of Hungarian
► Israel refuses to withdraw, prompting major
crisis with US, but ultimately relents (Mar
1957) in exchange for US commitment to
maintain freedom of Suez Canal navigation
and stationing of UN peacekeepers in Sinai
► Suez War leads to increase in prestige of
Nasser and USSR in Middle East
Eichmann Trial (1960-1962)
► Senior Nazi in charge of managing
logistics of Holocaust, especially
deportation of Jews to death camps
► Avoids Nuremberg Trials and escapes to
Argentina as “Ricardo Klement” (1950)
► Mossad tipped off to his whereabouts
and sends team to Argentina (1959);
team captures Eichmann and covertly
flies him to Israel (1960)
Eichmann on trial in
bulletproof chamber
► In highly emotional trial, Eichmann
convicted on all counts and becomes
only person Israel ever sentenced to
death (1961)
► Hanged; ashes scattered at sea (1962)
“…the so-called Final Solution would never have assumed the infernal forms of the flayed skin and
tortured flesh of millions of Jews without the fanatical zeal and the unquenchable blood thirst of the
appellant and his associates.” – excerpt from verdict by Israel’s Supreme Court (1962)
Palestinian Attacks (pre-1967)
► Yasser Arafat co-founds Fatah (“conquest”) in
Kuwait (1959) in order to “liberate Palestine”
► Backed by Syria and operating from Jordan, Lebanon
and Gaza, Fatah launches dozens of attacks per
year against Israeli civilians (starting in 1964)
► Separately, Palestine Liberation Organization
founded in East Jerusalem (1964), with support of
Nasser, to represent Palestinian national cause
Yasser Arafat
► Fatah grows to become dominant faction within PLO
Palestine National Charter (1964)
“The Balfour Declaration, the Palestine Mandate System, and
all that has been based on them are considered null and void.
The claims of historic and spiritual ties between Jews and
Palestine are not in agreement with the facts of history or with
the true basis of sound statehood.” – Article 18
PLO logo
“Zionism is a colonialist movement in its inception, aggressive
and expansionist in its goal, racist in its configurations, and
fascist in its means and aims.” – Article 19
Eli Cohen
► Born in Egypt to Syrian Jews; moves to Israel (1956)
► Recruited by military intelligence and transferred to
Mossad for training (1960); given new identity as
Kamel Amin Tha’abet, a Syrian living in Argentina
► Moves to Buenos Aires (1961) and then to Damascus
(1962); befriends Syria’s political and military elite
► Given private, senior-level tour of Golan Heights,
where he memorizes Syrian military positions
► Provides invaluable intelligence to Israel on Syrian
military plans and preparations to divert Jordan River
Eli Cohen
Israel’s greatest spy
► Syria hires Soviet experts to discover intelligence leak;
Soviets detect Cohen’s radio transmission to Israel
► Syria captures Cohen, tries him in show trial, tortures
and hangs him (1965); body never returned to Israel
Prelude to Six-Day War (1967)
Relative strength of
Arab and Israeli militaries (Jun 1967)
► Syria shells Israel from Golan Heights
(1965-1967); in retaliatory raid, Israel
downs 6 Syrian fighter jets (Apr 1967)
► Based on false info provided by USSR
about Israel’s plans, Syria readies for
war and asks Egypt for support
► Nasser amasses forces and orders UN
to leave Sinai (May 16); UN complies
► Egypt closes Straits of Tiran to Israeli
and Israel-bound ships, an act of war
(May 18)
► Israeli forces stay mobilized for
weeks, at great cost
► US, France impose arms embargo on
Mideast, mostly affecting Israel;
Soviets heavily arm Arabs
Arab Declarations Preceding War
“I, as a military man, believe that the time has come to enter
into a battle of annihilation” – Syrian DM al-Assad (May 20)
“Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab
people want to fight” – Nasser (May 27)
“The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are poised
on the borders of Israel...to face the challenge, while standing
behind us are the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and
the whole Arab nation. This act will astound the world. Today
they will know that the Arabs are arranged for battle, the
critical hour has arrived. We have reached the stage of serious
action and not declarations – Nasser (May 30)
“The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified.
This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has
been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear -- to wipe Israel off
the map” – Iraqi President Abdur Rahman Aref (June 1)
Six-Day War: Egyptian Front
► Israeli FM Abba Eban spends nearly two
weeks visiting US and EU to defuse crisis
► Eban fails; despite US and EU pressure for
Israeli restraint, Israeli cabinet decides to
attack (Jun 4)
► At 7:45am on Jun 5, virtually entire Israeli air
force strikes Egypt’s airbases, destroying most
of Egypt’s air force on the ground in 2.5 hrs
► Simultaneously, Israel launches complex
ground attack against fortified Egyptian
positions in Sinai and Gaza
Egyptian warplanes
destroyed on tarmac
► Egyptian army begins retreat (Jun 6); Israel
continues offensive and routs remaining
forces, capturing Gaza and Sinai (Jun 8)
Six-Day War: Jordanian Front
► Egypt tells Jordan that it destroyed 75% of Israel’s
warplanes and urges Jordan to attack Israel (Jun 5)
► Jordanian artillery and air force attack central
Israel; Israel does not respond (Jun 5)
► Israeli PM Eshkol sends message to Jordan’s King
Hussein indicating that, “if you don’t intervene,
you will suffer no consequences” (Jun 5);
instead, Jordan escalates attacks and invades
► Israel counterattacks; by end of Jun 5, Israel wipes
out Jordanian air force and isolates Jerusalem from
Jordanian forces in West Bank
Israeli paratroopers after
recapturing Western Wall
► Israel captures all of Jerusalem, including the Old
City, after two days of fierce fighting (Jun 5-7)
► In parallel, Israel defeats Jordanian army in West
Bank, capturing all of it by Jun 7
Six-Day War: Syrian Front
► Syrian jets raid northern Israel; IAF response
destroys 59 Syrian planes, mostly on the
ground (Jun 5)
► Syria launches ground offensive; Israel defends
itself but does not counterattack due to
shortage of available forces (Jun 6-8)
► Syria accepts UN cease-fire, but re-launches
attacks 5 hrs later (Jun 8)
► Israel strikes back and shifts forces from
Egyptian and Jordanian fronts to Syrian front
View of Israel from
Syrian tank on Golan Heights
► IDF nears key Syrian city of Quneitra; in effort
to provoke Soviet intervention, Syria falsely
announces Israel has captured the city (Jun 10)
► Move backfires, leading Syrian forces to flee en
masse; Israel captures Golan Heights and
Six-Day War ends (Jun 10)
Six-Day War: Aftermath
► By war’s end, Israel has more than tripled in size
► During war, 300,000 Arabs flee from West Bank to
Jordan; Israel ultimately allows 60,000 to return
► Israeli gov’t unanimously votes to return Sinai to Egypt
and Golan to Syria for peace agreements and to
negotiate with Jordan (Jun 19)
► Israel annexes Eastern Jerusalem (Jun 27)
► Israel gives control over Temple Mount to Jordanian
Waqf (Islamic trust); Jews allowed to visit, but not
pray, at Temple Mount
► Leaders of 13 Arab countries meet in Sudan and
resolve that there will be “no peace, no recognition
and no negotiation with Israel” (Sep 1)
Israel after Six-Day War
► Egyptian missile boat sinks Israeli destroyer Eilat,
killing 47 (Oct 21); Israel destroys Egyptian refineries
in retaliation (Oct 25)
U.N. Resolution 242
► Arabs, USSR and their allies call for Israeli withdrawal to 1949 armistice lines, but
after months of negotiations USSR relents and votes for Resolution 242, drafted
primarily by UK and US (Nov 22)
► English text of resolution (determinative version voted on by Security Council) calls for
“just and lasting peace” including:
“Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict”
(i.e., not “the territories” or “all the territories”)
Right for every state “to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries
free from threats or acts of force”
Lord Caradon
(Permanent UK representative to UN and
chief drafter of Resolution 242)
Arthur Goldberg
(Permanent US representative to UN and
drafter of Resolution 242)
“We didn't say there should be a withdrawal
to the '67 line; we did not put the ‘the’ in, we
did not say ‘all the territories’ deliberately.
We all knew that the boundaries of '67 were
not drawn as permanent frontiers, they were a
cease-fire line of a couple of decades earlier.”
– 1978
“The resolution does not explicitly require
that Israel withdraw to the lines that it
occupied on June 5…The notable omissions
in language used to refer to withdrawal are the
words ‘the’, ‘all’, and the ‘June 5, 1967, lines’.”
– 1988
War of Attrition (1968-1970)
► After Six-Day War ends, Egypt sporadically
launches artillery attacks against Israeli
positions near Suez Canal
► Nasser formally announces War of Attrition
and increases intensity of attacks (Mar 1969)
USSR re-arms Egypt and provides it with
fighter pilots and other military personnel
► IDF responds with strikes deep in Egypt
Israeli soldier monitoring
Suez Canal
► Fear of crisis escalation leads Nixon to
intervene and broker ceasefire that restores
status quo (Aug 1970)
► Hostilities end after Nasser dies and Anwar
Sadat assumes power (Sep 1970)
► Over 1,500 Israelis (incl. 120 civilians) and
~10,000 Egyptians killed
Munich Massacre (1972)
► At 1972 Olympics, 8 armed members of PLO’s
Black September faction break into apartment
of Israeli athletes in Olympic Village (Sep 5)
► 2 Israelis killed while resisting; 9 taken hostage
Athletes’ resistance enables 3 Israelis to
escape and 7 to hide unharmed
► Palestinians demand Israel release over 230
prisoners; Israel refuses
PLO terrorist on balcony of
Israeli team quarters
► West Germans allow helicopters to transport
terrorists and hostages to NATO air base,
where they plan an ambush
► Ambush is badly mishandled, leading to
shootout in which all 9 hostages and one
police officer are killed
“I regret nothing. You can only dream
that I would apologize.” – PLO attack
planner Abu Daoud (2006)
► 5 terrorists killed, 3 captured
Munich Massacre: Aftermath
► Olympic Games are briefly suspended, but are then allowed to continue
► Israel bombs 10 PLO bases in Syria and Lebanon, killing 200 fighters (Sep 8)
► Palestinians hijack Lufthansa jet and demand release of 3 captured Munich terrorists
(Oct 29); West Germany complies with demand
► Israel launches covert operation to kill terrorists involved with Munich Massacre;
dozens are assassinated in Europe and Middle East over next 20 years
Helicopter carrying Israeli
Bombed by terrorists during
failed West German ambush
at NATO air base
Prelude to Yom Kippur War (1973)
► Sadat repeatedly threatens to attack Israel, but does
nothing (1971-1972)
► Egypt prepares to cross Suez Canal; Israel partially
mobilizes reserves, at high cost, but Egypt does not
attack (May 1973)
► In reconnaissance mission, IAF attacked by Syrian jets;
IAF downs 12 Syrian aircraft while losing 1 (Sep 1973)
► Israeli intelligence aware of massive Egyptian and
Syrian military deployments, but is convinced they
won’t attack so soon after their Six-Day War defeat
Anwar Sadat
► Attitude reinforced by multiple false alarms and
deliberate Egyptian deception campaign
► Israel receives indisputable intelligence on eve of war
that Egyptian attack is imminent; PM Golda Meir
rejects pre-emptive strike so as to preserve US
support, which would prove critical during the war
Yom Kippur War: Egyptian Front
► On Yom Kippur, Egypt launches massive air
and ground attack against Israel (Oct 6);
Egyptian troops cross Suez Canal and
penetrate 10km into Sinai by Oct 7
► IDF suffers major losses; Egypt’s new antiaircraft batteries and anti-tank weapons
effectively defeat IDF counter-attacks (Oct 6-8)
► Stalemate ensues until Egypt decides to attack
beyond range of its anti-aircraft batteries in
order to relieve pressure on Syria (Oct 14)
Egyptian forces crossing
Suez Canal
(Oct 7, 1973)
► Attack fails; bolstered by US weapons airlift,
Israel counter-attacks, causing massive losses,
and crosses Suez Canal
► IDF encircles Egypt’s Third Army (Oct 23)
and is 101km from Cairo as cease-fire
negotiated between US and USSR gradually
takes effect (Oct 22 onwards)
Yom Kippur War: Syrian Front
► Simultaneously with Egypt’s attack, Syria launches
massive air and artillery strikes against Israel and
initiates ground invasion (Oct 6)
► Proximity of Golan Heights to Israeli cities leads IDF to
prioritize reserve mobilization for Syrian front
► IDF suffers major losses but manages to limit Syria’s
territorial gains
► Arrival of reserves enables IDF to push Syrian forces
back behind pre-war ceasefire line (Oct 10)
Hafez al-Assad
► PM Golda Meir decides to press counter-offensive
into Syria rather than re-allocate forces to Egyptian
front, in spite of continued IDF difficulties in Sinai (Oct
11); IDF captures territory beyond pre-war ceasefire
line and stops 40km from Damascus
► After being re-supplied by USSR, Syrian President
al-Assad considers new offensive but decides to
accept ceasefire (Oct 23)
Yom Kippur War: Aftermath
Captured by Israel
Captured by Egypt
► Ceasefire leads to armistice agreements in which
Israel and Egypt withdraw from captured territory and
UN observer force stationed in demilitarized zones in
Sinai and Golan Heights (Jan and May 1974)
► Israeli intelligence failure and casualty count (2,500+
killed) leads to protests and appointment of Agranat
Commission to investigate failures
► Commission recommends dismissal of IDF Chief of
Staff, Head of Military Intelligence and Head of
Southern Command
► PM Golda Meir and Defense Minister Moshe
Dayan absolved of responsibility but ultimately
accede to public calls for their resignation (Apr 1974)
Ceasefire lines at end of
Yom Kippur War
► Israel seen as war’s victor, but Egypt’s early success
pierces Israel’s perception of invincibility and
improves Arab morale, ultimately giving impetus to
Israel-Egypt negotiations resulting in 1979 peace
Moshe Dayan
► Born on Kibbutz Degania Alef to Ukrainian immigrants
► Joins Haganah at age 14 to defend Jewish
settlements from Arab attacks; imprisoned for 2 years
after UK outlaws Haganah (1939-1941)
► Joins British Army unit assigned to reconnoiter Vichy
Lebanon prior to Allied invasion; on mission, Dayan
loses left eye when his binoculars are shot (1941)
► During War of Independence, commands Jordan
Valley sector and Jerusalem front (1947-1948); highly
involved in armistice negotiations w/Jordan (1949)
Moshe Dayan
► Elected IDF Chief of Staff (1953)
Advocates deep retaliatory raids in enemy
territory in response to Arab terrorism
Revamps IDF to make it more aggressive and
Moshe Dayan
► Personally leads IDF in Suez War (1956)
► Retires from IDF and enters politics; elected to
Knesset as member of Labor party (1959)
► Appointed Defense Minister in run-up to Six-Day
War (1967); personally oversees capture of
eastern Jerusalem from Jordan
► As Defense Minister during Yom Kippur War,
Dayan nearly suffers nervous breakdown
Dayan entering the Lion’s
Gate of Jerusalem after SixDay War
At news conference, Dayan nearly mentions
“downfall of the Third Temple” – i.e., Israel –
but PM Meir prevents him from speaking
► Resigns (1974) after public blames him for IDF’s
unpreparedness for Yom Kippur attack
► Appointed by PM Begin as Foreign Minister
(1977); leads peace negotiations with Egypt
Moshe Dayan
► Resigns as Foreign Minister (1979) due to
disagreements with Begin regarding approach to
West Bank and Gaza
► Forms Telem party (1981), advocating unilateral
withdrawal from territories captured in 1967; party
wins just 2 seats in elections
► Dies of colon cancer (Oct 1981)
► Remembered as bold but controversial leader with an
unpredictable and mercurial approach to military and
political affairs
Dayan as Foreign Minister
arriving in the US
“We are a generation that settles the land and without the steel helmet and the canon's maw, we
will not be able to plant a tree and build a home. Let us not be deterred from seeing the loathing
that is inflaming and filling the lives of the hundreds of thousands of Arabs who live around us. Let
us not avert our eyes lest our arms weaken.” – from Dayan’s eulogy of kibbutz resident Roi
Rutenberg, who was ambushed and murdered by Egyptian soldiers near Gaza (Apr 19, 1956)
Zvika Greengold
► Born and raised on Kibbutz Lohamey HaGeta’ot
(“Kibbutz of the Ghetto Fighters”)
► While on leave, hears about surprise Egyptian/Syrian
attack (1973); hitchhikes to Golan Heights, where he is
put in charge of 2 repaired tanks
► Over next few days, Zvika fights in numerous battles
without rest, destroying 20-40 Syrian tanks
Zvi (“Zvika”) Greengold
(born 1952)
Continues fighting after being wounded and burned
Changes tanks “half a dozen times” after his tanks
are knocked out
Often fights alone, successfully deceiving Syrians
that he is part of much larger unit (“Zvika Force”)
► Awarded Israel’s highest medal for heroism
► After business career, is elected mayor of Ofakim (2008)
Golda Meir
► Born Golda Mabovich, in Kiev; moves to Milwaukee
(1906) and joins Labor Zionist group in high school
► Immigrates to Palestine (1921) and rises in the ranks of
Histadrut, the largest trade union
► Becomes head of Jewish Agency’s Political Dep’t
(1946); raises large sums of money from US Jews to
purchase arms for Israel
► Travels to Jordan dressed as Arab to ask King Abdullah
not to attack Israel (May 1948); he refuses
Golda Meir
“Peace will come when the
Arabs will love their children
more than they hate us.”
► Becomes Foreign Minister (1956-1966); builds ties with
African and Latin American countries
► Becomes Prime Minister upon death of PM Eshkol
(1969); accepts US proposal to end War of Attrition with
Egypt (1970)
► Orders Mossad to assassinate perpetrators of Munich
Massacre (1972)
Golda Meir
► Hours before onset of Yom Kippur War, Meir given
conflicting advice from senior defense officials
DM Dayan believes war unlikely; recommends
limited reserves call-up and no pre-emptive strike
Chief of Staff Elazar recommends full mobilization
and pre-emptive strike on Syria
► Meir decides on larger-scale reserves call-up and no
pre-emptive strike, so as not to antagonize US
Golda Meir
► Ultimately, IDF’s belated mobilization and massive US
weapons airlift prove critical to Israel’s victory
► Still, public blames Meir for IDF’s unpreparedness for
Yom Kippur War, and she resigns (1974)
“I am also grateful that I live in a
country whose people have
learned how to go on living in a ► Dies of lymphatic cancer (1978)
sea of hatred without hating
those who want to destroy them ► Remembered as strong-willed leader and highly
and without abandoning their
effective spokesperson on behalf of Jewish State
own vision of peace.” (1975)
Entebbe Rescue (1976)
► Air France jet hijacked by 2 Palestinian and 2
German terrorists and flown to Entebbe Airport in
Uganda, where they are joined by 4 other terrorists
and dozens of local soldiers provided by Ugandan
tyrant, Idi Amin (June 27, 1976)
► Terrorists release non-Jewish passengers; Jews
remain captive and plane’s crew, in support of
hostages, refuses to leave
► Terrorists threaten to execute hostages Jul 1 unless
Israel releases 53 prisoners
► Israel offers to negotiate if deadline pushed to Jul 4;
terrorists agree
► Meantime, Israel prepares rescue raid
Terminal at Entebbe in which
106 hostages were held
Israeli firm had built Entebbe Airport; provides
blueprints to IDF
Released hostages also provide helpful intel
Entebbe Rescue (1976)
► Israel sends aircraft carrying 200 elite troops
on 7.5 hour flight to Entebbe (Jul 3)
► Planes land undetected (Jul 4); troops led by
Lt. Col. Yonatan Netanyahu approach
terminal disguised as Idi Amin’s convoy,
including a replica of Amin’s black Mercedes
► Other troops secure perimeter and destroy
30 Ugandan MiG fighter jets on the ground
Yonatan Netanyahu
“As I don't intend to tell my grandchildren
about the Jewish State in the 20th century
as a mere brief and transient episode in
thousands of years of wandering, I intend
to hold on here with all my might.” – Yoni
Netanyahu, in letter to brother Benjamin
(Dec 1973)
► In operation lasting <1 hour, troops kill all 8
terrorists and over 30 Ugandan soldiers
► IDF evacuates 102 hostages; 3 hostages
killed in firefight and 1 who was in hospital
later killed by Ugandan army
► Lt. Col Netanyahu killed while evacuating
hostages; sole IDF commando killed in raid
Rescue of Vietnamese Boat People
► Victory of North Vietnamese communists leads
to exodus of Vietnamese seeking to escape
persecution (1975); many flee via rickety boats
► Israeli cargo ship passes by boat with 66
Vietnamese lacking food & water (Jun 1977); its
SOS signals had been ignored by East German,
Norwegian, Japanese and Panamanian boats
Vietnamese refugee in Israel
► Israeli Captain Meir Tadmor provides them food
& water and transports them to Hong Kong &
Taiwan, both of whom deny docking rights since
the refugees lack citizenship
“We never have forgotten the boat with
900 Jews [the St. Louis], having left
Germany in the last weeks before the
Second World War... traveling from
► In his first official act as PM, Begin provides
harbor to harbor, from country to
refugees w/Israeli citizenship; Taiwan then
country, crying out for refuge. They were
allows boat to dock and refugees fly to Israel
refused...Therefore it was natural… to
give those people a haven in the land of
► From 1977-1979, Israel welcomes over 300
Israel.”– PM Begin to Pres. Carter (Jul
Vietnamese refugees
19, 1977)
Camp David Accords (1978)
► US President Carter tries to forge peace treaty
between Israel and Arab world
► Skeptical of Carter’s approach, Begin and Sadat
launch secret bilateral negotiations
► Sadat becomes first Arab leader to visit Israel,
where he speaks to Knesset (Nov 1977)
► Carter hosts Begin and Sadat at Camp David (Sep
1978), where negotiations result in 2 agreements:
Sadat speaking to the
(Nov 20, 1977)
Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza to be
granted “full autonomy” over 5 year period,
after which Israeli troops will withdraw
Israel to withdraw from Sinai and evacuate
7,000 settlers in exchange for normal
relations with Egypt, de-militarization of
Sinai and free passage through Suez Canal
► US agrees to provide major economic and military
subsidies to both countries
Camp David Accords: Aftermath
► Israel and Egypt sign peace treaty (Mar
1979) and normalize relations (1980)
► Israel withdraws troops, evacuates
thousands of settlers (including forcibly
removing residents of Yamit settlement, who
resist expulsion), and turns over valuable oil
wells to Egypt (1979-1982)
► Egypt shunned by Arab world; Sadat
assassinated by troops belonging to Islamic
Jihad (Oct 1981)
Signing of Israel-Egypt
Peace Treaty
(Mar 26, 1979)
► Treaty leads to “cold peace” characterized
by quiet border but frosty relations, as
Egyptian people oppose normalization of
ties with Israel
Egypt remains principal source of
virulent anti-Semitic propaganda
Egyptian trade unions prohibit contacts
with Israelis
Bombing of Iraqi Reactor (1981)
► In 1970’s, Iraq begins building “Osirak”
nuclear reactor with French & Italian support;
Israel fails to convince France & Italy to cease
their assistance
► Mossad bombs reactor structures in France
prior to being shipped (Apr 1979) and
assassinates Egyptian scientist working on
reactor (Jun 1980)
Osirak nuclear reactor
after Israeli attack
► Upon receiving intelligence that reactor would
soon become operational, PM Begin orders
attack despite considerable opposition within
Israeli gov’t and IDF
“With thanks and appreciation for the
► 14 Israeli aircraft fly over Jordanian, Saudi
outstanding job you did on the Iraqi nuclear
and Iraqi airspace, completely destroy reactor,
program in 1981, which made our job
and return safely to Israel (Jun 7, 1981)
much easier in Desert Storm!” – inscription
on photo of destroyed Osirak reactor given
► UN Security Council unanimously passes
by US Sec. of Defense Cheney to IAF
anti-Israel resolution; Thatcher and Reagan
Commander Ivry, who led the strike on
Osirak (Jun 1991)
administrations strongly condemn Israel
Operation Peace for Galilee (1982)
Israeli towns
► In 1970s, PLO relocates headquarters from Jordan
to Lebanon and creates “state-within-a-state” in
southern Lebanon; from there, PLO launches
periodic attacks against northern Israel, drawing
Israeli reprisals
► PLO escalates bombardment of northern Israel (Jul
1981); Israel responds with air strikes
► Palestinian terrorists shoot and critically wound
Israeli ambassador to UK (Jun 3, 1982)
Israel-Lebanon Border
(June 1982)
“No sovereign state can tolerate
indefinitely the buildup along its
borders of a military force dedicated
to its destruction and implementing
its objectives by periodic shellings
and raids.” – US Sec. of State
Kissinger (Jun 16, 1982)
► Israeli forces led by DM Ariel Sharon invade
Lebanon (Jun 6, 1982) with goal of expelling PLO,
reducing Syrian influence and installing Christianled gov’t that would sign peace treaty with Israel
► Within weeks, IDF expels PLO from Beirut,
destroys all of Syria’s surface-to-air missile
batteries in Lebanon and downs over 80 Syrian
MiG jets; IAF loses one fighter jet
Operation Peace for Galilee (1982)
► Bashir Gemayel, Maronite Christian leader of
“Phalange” party supported by US and Israel,
becomes President of Lebanon after running
unopposed (Aug 1982)
► Gemayel assassinated by rival, Syria-backed
party (Sep 14, 1982)
Sabra & Shatila after the
Phalangists’ massacre
(Sep 1982)
► Two days later, IDF allows Phalangist militia to
enter Sabra & Shatila refugee camps to root out
terrorists believed to be hiding there
► While in the camps, Phalangists massacre
hundreds of civilians to avenge Gemayel’s
► Israel sets up commission of inquiry which finds
IDF to be indirectly responsible for the massacre
for failing to anticipate it (Feb 1983); findings
ultimately lead to resignation of DM Sharon and
dismissal of Army Chief of Staff Eitan
Operation Peace for Galilee (1982)
► Mounting IDF casualties (over 1,200 killed),
failure to achieve all objectives and fallout from
Sabra & Shatila erodes Israeli public’s support
for the war; PM Begin resigns (Oct 1983)
► IDF withdraws most forces (Jan 1985), but
leaves behind token force to support Israelibacked South Lebanon Army in establishing
“security zone” in southern Lebanon as buffer
for northern Israel; IDF fully withdraws in 2000
US Embassy in Beirut after
Hezbollah suicide bombing that
killed 63 people (Apr 1983)
► War confirms Israel’s military superiority and
achieves goal of ousting PLO from Lebanon but
also leads to several negative outcomes:
Civil discord within Israel
Expansion of Syrian influence in Lebanon
Founding of Hezbollah (1982), Iransponsored Shiite terrorist group that
eventually takes control over southern
Lebanon (2000) and threatens Israel
Menachem Begin
► Born in Brest-Litovsk, Poland (1913)
► Joins Jabotinsky’s Betar movement, ultimately heads
Betar Poland (100,000 members)
► Flees to Lithuania when WWII starts; arrested and
interrogated by Soviets (1940)
► Sent to Siberian labor camp, later released in amnesty
program for Poles (1941)
► Becomes Polish army officer, sent to Palestine (1942)
► Loses most of family in Holocaust; Brest-Litovsk
Jewish population reduced from 30,000 to 10
Soviet mugshot of Begin
► Joins Irgun, becomes its commander and declares
war on British administration (1944)
“The Partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized .... Jerusalem was and will for ever
be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And forever.” – Begin
Menachem Begin
► As Irgun commander, Begin promotes attacks against
British forces, including bombing of UK military and
administrative HQ at King David Hotel (Jun 1946) and
Acre Prison break (May 1947)
► Begin’s approach is strongly opposed by Ben-Gurion,
culminating in Altalena affair (Jun 1948), in which
Begin is one of last Irgun members to abandon ship
► Begin forms Herut, a right-wing party that becomes
main opposition to Ben-Gurion’s dominant Labor party
► Begin leads opposition to reparations agreement
between Israel and West Germany (1952), in which
West Germany ultimately pays Israel $840m
Menachem Begin
► Begin’s party joins unity government formed during
Six-Day War (1967), but resigns over disagreements
with Golda Meir regarding War of Attrition cease-fire
negotiations with Egypt (Aug 1970)
“Israel is still the only country in the world against which there is a written document to the effect
that it must disappear.” – Begin (1978)
Menachem Begin
► Forms Likud party (1973) as alliance of multiple rightwing parties
► Disenchantment with Labor party grows after Yom
Kippur War; Begin is elected Prime Minister (1977)
► Negotiates Camp David Accords with Egypt (1978)
and signs peace treaty with Egypt (1979)
► Orders destruction of Iraq’s nuclear reactor (1981)
Menachem Begin
► Launches Operation Peace for Galilee in response to
frequent shelling from Lebanon (1982)
“The fate of...Jewish children has
► Resigns (Oct 1983) following wife’s death and growing
been different from all the
children of the world throughout
public dissatisfaction with Operation Peace for Galilee
the generations. No more. We will
defend our children. If the hand of ► Dies of heart attack (Mar 1992)
any two-footed animal is raised
against them, that hand will be
► Remembered as fierce nationalist who led resistance
cut off, and our children will grow
against UK and forged peace with largest Arab nation
up in joy in the homes of their
parents.” – Begin (1982)
Rescue of Ethiopian Jews
(1984 & 1991)
► Ethiopia contained a Jewish community (“Beta Israel”
or “Falashas”) for many centuries, where it was
severely oppressed
► In 1980s, desperate for aid due to famine, Ethiopia
succumbs to pressure and lets Beta Israel emigrate
► Secret Israeli airlift (“Operation Moses”) transports
7,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel via Sudan (Nov 1984 –
Jan 1985); however, after the news leaks, Arab
countries pressure Sudan to cease cooperation
► Ethiopia later agrees to allow Beta Israel to move to
Israel for family reunification (Nov 1990)
Operation Solomon
(May 1991)
► Due to growing threat of rebels attacking remaining
Beta Israel community during Ethiopian civil war,
Israel sends 34 El Al and Hercules C-130 jets to airlift
14,300 Ethiopian Jews over a 36-hour period
(“Operation Solomon”) (May 1991)
Immigration of Soviet Jews
► After Six-Day War, Soviet Jews become more
openly Jewish and increase requests to emigrate
► USSR often rejects such requests and punishes
Jews who seek exit visas by imprisoning them or
firing them from their jobs
► US Jewish organizations adopt Refusenik issue
as major cause; focus on shaming USSR on
human rights grounds and lobbying US to apply
Natan Sharansky
(b. 1948)
Prominent Refusenik and Soviet
Imprisoned by USSR (1978-86),
later emigrated to Israel and
served as minister in 4 gov’ts
► US passes Jackson-Vanik amendment (1974)
linking emigration rights to US trade relations
► Gorbachev lifts emigration restrictions (late
► From 1990-2001, nearly 1 million Jews emigrate
from former USSR to Israel, permanently
changing its demographic landscape
First Intifada (1987-1991)
► Israeli killed in Gaza (Dec 6, 1987); 2 days later, in
what some Palestinians perceive as act of revenge,
4 Palestinians killed in accident involving IDF truck
► Over next week, Palestinians in Gaza, West Bank
and Jerusalem engage in mass riots, throwing of
Molotov cocktails and rocks, etc.
► Israel responds with riot control measures, mass
arrests and deportations
► Fueled by PLO, as well as Hamas and Islamic
Jihad terrorist groups, uprising (“Intifada”)
continues until onset of First Gulf War (1991)
Palestinian riot during
First Intifada
► Total of 27 Israelis and 2,100 Palestinians killed,
including 1,000+ killed by other Palestinians,
typically as suspected collaborators w/IDF
► Intifada worsens Israel’s global image, invigorates
Palestinian nationalism and increases calls within
Israel for withdrawal from West Bank and Gaza 84
Oslo Accords: Background
► Following its triumph in Gulf War I, US pushes for
peace negotiations between Israel, Palestinians and
Arab countries (mainly Syria, Jordan and Lebanon),
resulting in Madrid Conference (Oct 1991)
► Madrid Conference leads to several rounds of
negotiations; significant progress made between
Israel and Jordan, but little progress made between
Israel and Palestinians
► During negotiations, Israel’s incumbent Likud gov’t
(led by PM Yitzhak Shamir) loses elections to
Labor party (led by PM Yitzhak Rabin) (Jun 1992),
which returns to power for first time since 1977
Yossi Beilin
(b. 1948)
Israel’s Deputy FM who
initiated secret negotiations
with PLO in Oslo
► Following elections, Israeli diplomats led by Deputy
FM Yossi Beilin and FM Shimon Peres conduct
secret negotiations directly with PLO in Oslo
(late 1992 – Sep 1993)
Oslo Accords: Agreement
► Israel and PLO reach agreement (Sep 1993);
key terms include:
Rabin and Arafat sign
Oslo Accords
(September 13, 1993)
“We wish to turn over a new chapter in the
sad book of our lives together – a chapter
of mutual recognition, of good
neighborliness, of mutual respect, of
understanding. We hope to embark on a
new era in the history of the Middle East.”
– PM Rabin, at signing of Oslo Accords
(Sep 13, 1993)
Israel recognizes PLO as representative of
Palestinian people
IDF gradually withdraws from parts of Gaza
and West Bank, with authority transferred
to a Palestinian Interim Self-Government
Authority (“Palestinian Authority”)
PLO recognizes Israel’s right to exist and
renounces violence
Palestinian Authority rule to last for interim
period of up to 5 years, during which
“permanent status” negotiations to occur
► Major issues such as borders, security
arrangements, settlements and refugees not
addressed; left for future negotiations
► After fierce debate, Israeli parliament ratifies
Oslo Accords by small margin (Sep 1993) 86
Arafat Comments after Oslo
“I see this agreement as being no more than the agreement signed
between our Prophet Muhammad and the Quraysh in Mecca…The
prophet had been right to insist on the agreement, for it helped him
defeat the Quraysh and take over their city of Mecca. In a similar spirit,
we now accept the peace agreement, but [only in order] to continue on
the road to Jerusalem” – addressing Muslims in South Africa (May 1994)
“Since we cannot defeat Israel in war we do this in stages. We take any
and every territory that we can of Palestine, and establish sovereignty
there, and we use it as a springboard to take more. When the time comes,
we can get the Arab nations to join us for the final blow against Israel” –
comments on Jordanian TV (Sep 1995)
“You understand that we plan to eliminate the State of Israel and
establish a purely Palestinian State” – speech to Arab diplomats (Jan
Terrorist Attacks after Oslo
Surge in terror fatalities in Israel post-Oslo
Oslo Accords
► Signing of Oslo Accords leads to
major increase in Palestinian
terrorist attacks and emergence
of suicide bombings, led
primarily by Hamas and Islamic
► 22 suicide bomb attacks from
► 112 terrorist attacks in 5 years
post-Oslo, double the total for
prior 5 years
► In 2.5 years post-Oslo, more
Israelis killed by terrorists than in
preceding 10 years
“We shall fight terrorism as if there is no peace process, and pursue the peace process as if
there is no terrorism.” – Rabin slogan
Peace Treaty with Jordan (1994)
► Madrid Conference (1991) leads to “IsraeliJordanian Common Agenda” (Sep 1993),
containing blueprint for eventual peace treaty
► Rabin and King Hussein sign “Washington
Declaration” (Jul 1994) ending state of war
► Negotiations culminate in signing of Treaty
of Peace (Oct 1994); key terms include:
Rabin and Hussein sign
Washington Declaration
(July 25, 1994)
“I hope what has happened today under
the brilliant leadership of King Hussein and
Yitzhak Rabin will go on, will walk on, will
march on until the whole Middle East will
be a region of peace, of promise and
prosperity.” – FM Peres, at signing of
Treaty of Peace (Oct 24, 1994)
Full normalization of relations
Israel gives Jordan 50 million m3 of water
per year and allows Jordan to divert 75%
of water from Yarmouk River
Jordan given special rights as keeper of
sacred Muslim sites in Jerusalem
Jordan River set as border; Israel gives
Jordan 300km2 of land
► Hezbollah fires rockets at northern Israel 20
min before signing of Treaty of Peace
Rabin Assassination (1995)
► Signing of Oslo Accords and surge in Palestinian
terrorism leads to polarization of Israeli society, with
intense right-wing opposition to more Israeli concessions
► As Rabin exits Tel Aviv rally in support of Oslo Accords,
he is shot twice by Yigal Amir, a religious extremist
strongly opposed to Israeli withdrawal from West Bank
and Gaza (Nov 4, 1995); Rabin dies 40 min later
► Amir had been under surveillance by Israel’s internal
security service, but was not considered threat to Rabin
Yigal Amir
(b. 1970)
► Amir sentenced to life in prison + 6 years for injuring
Rabin’s bodyguard (Mar 1996), with another 8 years
added later for conspiracy to murder; Amir kept mostly in
solitary confinement until Jul 2012
“Shalom, chaver” (goodbye, friend) – Final words in President Clinton’s eulogy at Rabin’s
funeral (Nov 1995)
Yitzhak Rabin
► Born in Jerusalem to Ukrainian/Belarusian parents
(1922); his mother is one of first members of Haganah
► Volunteers for Palmach (commando unit of Haganah)
Participates in allied invasion of Lebanon (Jun 1941)
and liberation of 200 Jewish immigrants from British
detention camp (Oct 1945)
► Arrested by UK and imprisoned for 5 months; after
release, rises in ranks of Palmach to become Chief
Operations Officer (1947)
Rabin as IDF officer
(c. 1948)
► During War of Independence (1948), directs operations
in Jerusalem and fights Egyptians in southern Israel;
participates in fight against Irgun during Altalena Affair
(Jun 1948)
► Becomes IDF Chief of Staff (1964) and commands IDF
during Six-Day War (1967); one of first IDF members to
enter Old City of Jerusalem
Yitzhak Rabin
► Resigns from IDF and becomes ambassador to
US (1968); US-Israel ties improve during his 5
years as ambassador
► Appointed Labor Minister in Golda Meir’s gov’t
(Mar 1974) and, as head of Labor Party, becomes
PM when she resigns (Apr 1974)
► Orders Entebbe Rescue raid (Jul 1976)
► During election campaign, resigns as PM upon
revelation that his wife holds US bank account
Rabin (right) and Dayan
(left) after capturing Old City
of Jerusalem (Jun 1967)
► Becomes opposition member of Knesset until
1984, when he becomes Defense Minister and
serves under multiple unity gov’ts (1984-1990)
Orders partial withdrawal of IDF from Lebanon
and firm response to Intifada
► As head of Labor Party, elected as PM (1992)
Yitzhak Rabin
► Supportive of secret negotiations with PLO,
culminating in Oslo Accords (1992-1993)
► Negotiates and signs peace treaty with Jordan
► In what turns out to be his last address to Knesset,
Rabin indicates his support for united Jerusalem,
Jordan Valley as Israeli security border and autonomy
– not statehood – for Palestinians (Oct 5, 1995)
► Assassinated by Yigal Amir, extremist fiercely
opposed to Oslo Accords, after rally in Tel Aviv in
support of the Accords (Nov 4, 1995)
Yitzhak Rabin
► Legacy as strong military leader who was dedicated to
pursuit of peace; voted “greatest Israeli of all time” in
major Israeli poll (2005)
“I, who have sent armies into fire and soldiers to their death, say today: We sail onto a war which
has no casualties, no wounded, no blood nor suffering. It is the only war which is a pleasure to
participate in – the war for peace. – Rabin’s speech to US Congress (Jul 1994)
Shimon Peres
► Born Szymon Perski, in Poland (1923); immigrates to Tel
Aviv (1934)
► Spends several yrs at Kibbutz Geva and founds Kibbutz
Alumot; elected Secretary of Labor Zionist youth
movement (1941)
► Peres’s relatives who remain in Europe die in Holocaust
► Joins Haganah; responsible for manpower and arms
procurement (1947)
► Appointed Director-General of Defense Ministry (19531959); plays key role in forging strategic alliance with
France, which leads to major arms purchases, building of
Israel’s nuclear reactor and cooperation in Suez War
Peres in front of portrait
of his mentor,
► Elected to Knesset (1959); becomes Defense Minister
David Ben-Gurion
(1974-1977), where he strengthens IDF and engineers
Entebbe Rescue raid (1976)
► Becomes unofficial acting PM when Rabin resigns (1977),
but loses elections to Begin’s Likud Party (1977)
Shimon Peres
► Becomes acting PM when Rabin resigns
(1977), but loses elections to Likud Party one
month later
► Leads opposition until 1984, then forms unity
gov’t with Shamir’s Likud Party; serves as PM
in rotation with Shamir (1984-1986, 1988-1990)
► Plays important role in withdrawal of IDF into
security zone in southern Lebanon (1985)
Peres (center), receiving
Nobel Peace Price together with
Arafat and Rabin
“We are leaving behind us the era of
belligerency and are striding together
toward peace.” – Peres’s speech to
Nobel Prize Committee (Dec 1994)
► Negotiates secret agreement with Jordan’s
King Hussein for Arab-Israeli peace initiative,
with Palestinians represented by Jordan
(1987); Shamir rejects agreement and Jordan
later renounces claims to West Bank (1988)
► Becomes FM when Labor Party wins 1992
elections; leads secret negotiations with PLO,
culminating in Oslo Accords (1992-1993), and
promotes improved relations with Arab states,
resulting in peace treaty with Jordan (1994) 95
Shimon Peres
► After Rabin’s assassination, Peres appointed as new PM
(Nov 1995); after wave of Palestinian terrorism, loses
election to Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu (May 1996)
► Appointed FM and Deputy PM in unity gov’t led by PM
Ariel Sharon (Mar 2001), but resigns in Oct 2002
► Rejoins Sharon gov’t after Sharon decides to withdraw
Israeli forces and communities from Gaza (Jan 2005)
Shimon Peres
(born Aug 2, 1923)
“I stand here, before you, a
hopeful man. Proud to be
Jewish, proud to be Israeli,
proud to be there at the birth
of Israel, proud to have
served it for 65 years, proud
of our alliance with the US.” –
Peres’s speech to AIPAC
(Mar 2012)
► After losing election for Labor Party leadership (Nov
2005), Peres quits and joins Sharon’s new Kadima
Party; appointed Deputy PM when Kadima wins
elections (Mar 2006)
► Elected President of Israel (Jun 2007), becoming first
PM to be elected to that post
► Legacy as close associate of Ben-Gurion and supporter
of settling West Bank & Gaza, who later became fervent
supporter of Israeli withdrawal from those territories;
widely respected statesman by int’l community
Israel’s High Tech Boom
Israeli Science/Technology:
Global Rankings (c. 2010)
► Intel sets up R&D facility in Israel (1974); Intel
Israel subsequently develops some of Intel’s
leading microprocessors, including Centrino
Scientists/engineers per capita
Scientific papers per capita
Patents per capita
# of Biotech patents
Venture cap. invstmt. per capita
# of Tech startups
# of NASDAQ companies
% of Water recycled
Solar water heaters per capita
► Israeli government initiates Yozma program
(1993), giving tax incentives and matching
funds to foreign venture capital investment in
Israel; Yozma leads to boom in Israel’s
venture capital industry
► Israeli inventions include the cell phone, antivirus software and USB flash memory drives;
Israel pioneered technologies such as text
messaging, instant messaging, network
firewalls and capsule endoscopy
► High rate of Israeli innovation fueled by
factors such as high immigration rate
(especially from USSR) and emphasis on
creativity and questioning of authority in
the IDF (where service is mandatory)
Camp David Summit (Jul 2000)
► President Clinton invites Israeli PM Ehud Barak
and PA Chairman Arafat to final status negotiations;
sides hold summit at Camp David (Jul 11-25, 2000)
► Arafat is offered non-militarized Palestinian State
on 100% of Gaza + 91% of West Bank + 1% land
swap from Israel, as well as Arab neighborhoods in
east Jerusalem, sovereignty over Temple Mount
and land corridor between Gaza and West Bank
Barak, Clinton and Arafat
at Camp David
(Jul 2000)
“A summit’s purpose is to have
discussions that are based on
sincere intentions and you, the
Palestinians, did not come to this
summit with sincere intentions.” –
Clinton remarks to Palestinian team,
according to diary of Shlomo BenAmi, Israel’s top negotiator at Camp
David (Jul 15, 2000)
► Israel would annex major settlement blocs in West
Bank and maintain security presence along 15% of
Palestinian border with Jordan
► Palestinian refugees would be permitted to re-settle
in Palestinian State, not Israel
► Arafat rejects offer, provides no counteroffers
and claims Jewish Temple never existed
► Summit ends in failure; in press conference,
Clinton implicitly blames Arafat for intransigence
Camp David Summit: Aftermath
► Following failure of Camp David summit, Palestinian
attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians increase,
especially in mid-Sep 2000
► Likud leader Ariel Sharon visits Temple Mount (Sep
28, 2000); Palestinians claim visit is provocation,
despite it occurring during normal tourist hours
► Palestinian riots become increasingly widespread
and violent after Sharon visit; in first 5 days after
visit, 47 Palestinians & 5 Israelis killed
► Clashes continue to grow in intensity (173
Palestinians & 30 Israelis killed from Nov-Dec 2000)
Palestinian showing bloodstained hands to mob after
lynching 2 IDF reservists
who accidentally stray into
Ramallah (Oct 12, 2000)
► Substantial evidence, including statements by
Palestinian gov’t and terrorist leaders, later emerges
of Palestinian violence being pre-planned by Arafat
“[the uprising] was carefully planned since the return of Arafat from the Camp David negotiations
rejecting the US conditions” – PA Communications Minister Imad Falouji (Dec 2000)
Camp David Summit: Aftermath
► Clinton invites Barak and Arafat to add’l negotiations
at White House (Dec 19-23, 2000) and presents
“Clinton Parameters” as guidelines for final
agreement; deal previously offered to Arafat improved
by increasing Palestinian control to 97% of West Bank
(incl. 1-3% land swap from Israel) and eliminating
Israeli security presence in Jordan Valley after 3yrs
► Barak and Israeli Cabinet formally accept
Parameters, with reservations that fall within them;
Arafat does not formally accept Parameters, and
places reservations that fall outside them (essentially
rejecting them)
► Israelis and Palestinians hold further talks at Taba,
Egypt (Jan 21-27, 2001), but fail to reach agreement
Map of Clinton Parameters
(illustrative; no formal map ► In Israeli election (Feb 6, 2001), Sharon defeats Barak
was presented)
in landslide (62% to 38%)
“I regret that in 2000 [Arafat] missed the opportunity to bring that nation into being and pray for the
day when the dreams of the Palestinian people for a state and a better life will be realized in a just
and lasting peace.” – Clinton statement after Arafat’s death (Nov 2004)
Second Intifada
► Palestinian terrorism skyrockets in 2001-2002, including
89 suicide attacks that kill 300+; largest attacks include:
Dolphinarium disco
Jun 1, 2001
Sbarro pizzeria
Aug 9, 2001
Egged bus #16
Dec 2, 2001
Seder at Park Hotel
Mar 27, 2002
Pool hall at Rishon Lezion May 7, 2002
Egged bus #830
Jun 5, 2002
Egged bus #32A
Jun 18, 2002
# Killed
► 1,050+ killed by Palestinian terrorism from 2001-2005
Hussam Abdo
► Most attacks carried out by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and AlAksa Martyrs’ Brigade (part of PLO’s Fatah party)
► Terrorism fueled by incitement in Palestinian media
14-yr old Palestinian
suicide bomber arrested
► Attacks subside after Israel launches Operation
at Israeli checkpoint
Defensive Shield (Mar 2002) and constructs security
(Mar 24, 2004)
fence to stop Palestinians from illegally entering Israel
Incitement by Palestinian Gov’t
During Second Intifada and beyond, Palestinian Authority gov’t-sponsored media
and schools glorify terrorism and demonize Jews
“The Prophet said: The Resurrection will not
take place until the Muslims fight the Jews,
and the Muslims kill them. Rejoice in Allah's
victory... Everything wants vengeance on
the Jews... these pigs on the face of the
earth. And the day of our victory, Allah
willing, will come.” – Ibrahim Mudayris,
most prominent religious authority on PA TV
(Oct 2004)
Cartoon of PM Sharon butchering
Palestinian baby – PA gov’t website
(Jun 2003)
“Your enemies seek life while you seek
death... Death is not bitter in the mouth of
the believers. These drops of blood that
gush from your bodies will be transformed
tomorrow into blazing red meteors that will
fall down upon the heads of your enemies.”
– PA textbook for 8th graders, in use since
Photo of child with weapons
– PA gov’t website
Image of dagger in Star of David
– shown hundreds of times on
PA TV (2001-2008)
Operation Defensive Shield (2002)
► Initially, Israel responds to Palestinian terrorism
with restraint; actions typically consist of
targeting terror leaders, imposing financial
sanctions on PA, destroying empty PA buildings
and restricting Palestinian entry into Israel
► At end of Mar 2002, a month in which Israel
suffers 15 suicide bombings culminating in
Park Hotel Seder massacre, PM Sharon
launches Operation Defensive Shield
IDF tanks surrounding
Arafat’s HQ
(Mar-Apr 2002)
“We must wage an uncompromising
fight against this terror, uproot these
weeds, and smash their infrastructure
because there is no compromise with
terror.” – PM Sharon speech to Israeli
public (Mar 31, 2002)
► During Apr 2002, IDF re-asserts control over
major Palestinian cities in West Bank,
kills/arrests thousands of terrorists and
destroys terror infrastructure (bomb labs,
weapons caches, etc.)
30 IDF soldiers and 240 Palestinians killed
► Operation reduces number of Palestinian
terrorist attacks by 70% from 1st half of 2002 to
2nd half
Gaza Disengagement (2005)
► Sharon, who was elected on pro-settlement
platform, announces plan to withdraw IDF from
and destroy all Gaza settlements (Dec 2003)
Synagogue in Netzarim
(Israeli settlement in Gaza)
before disengagement
“The fate of Netzarim [a settlement in
Gaza] is the fate of Negba [a southern
Israeli town] and Tel Aviv... Such an
evacuation would encourage terrorism
and bring pressure on us.” – PM Sharon
address to a Knesset committee
(Apr 23, 2002)
Sharon presents plan as “seizing diplomatic
initiative”, but is suspected of currying favor
with media / justice system to avoid
corruption charges
► In letter to Sharon supporting plan, Pres. Bush
says Pal. refugees should be re-settled in Pal.
State (not Israel), and it would be unrealistic for
Israel to withdraw to 1949 lines (Apr 2004)
► Sharon holds Likud Party referendum for
“disengagement plan” (May 2004); 65% vote
against, but Sharon proceeds with it anyway
► Sharon forms unity gov’t with Labor Party (Jan
2005); Knesset approves plan (Feb 2005),
which includes destruction of 4 settlements in
northern West Bank
Gaza Disengagement (2005)
► All Gaza settlements evacuated from Aug
15-22 and 4 settlements in northern West
Bank evacuated by Sep 22 (total of over
8,500 settlers evacuated)
► Following evacuation, Palestinians loot and
destroy synagogues and greenhouses that
IDF had left standing
IDF soldiers and a settler in Gaza
during disengagement
(Aug 2005)
► Gov’t mismanages compensation and resettlement of evacuees; as of Jun 2010,
70% of evacuees still live in temporary
► Following withdrawal, Hamas wins
parliamentary elections (Jan 2006) and
takes power in Gaza after violently
overthrowing Fatah (Jun 2007)
“If they fire a single rocket from Gaza, we will respond more strongly than ever.”
– PM Sharon, prior to the Gaza disengagement
Ariel Sharon
► Born Ariel Scheinermann, in Palestine Mandate (1928), to
Lithuanian parents; joins Zionist youth movement,
Hassadeh, at age 10 and Haganah at age 14
► Fights as company commander in War of Independence
(1948); severely injured in battle to break siege of
► Founds Unit 101 (1953), special commando unit that
raids Palestinian villages and neighboring Arab states in
retaliation for Palestinian fedayeen (terrorist) attacks
► Commands Paratroopers Brigade during Suez War
(1956), in which he carries out controversial operation to
seize strategic Mitla Pass in Sinai
Sharon as Haganah
(Feb 1948)
► In Six-Day War (1967), Sharon commands strongest
armored division; credited with winning breakthrough
Battle of Abu-Ageila that leads to Israel conquering Sinai
► Appointed Head of Southern Command (1969)
Ariel Sharon
► Retires from army (Aug 1973), but called back to
command armored division in Yom Kippur War (Oct
► In Yom Kippur War, Sharon leads crossing of Suez
Canal which leads to encirclement of Egypt’s Third
Army and Israeli victory against Egypt
Sharon and Dayan at
Suez Canal bridgehead
(Oct 1973)
“Everybody has to move, run
and grab as many hilltops as
they can to enlarge the
settlements, because everything
we take now will stay ours...
Everything we don't grab will go
to them.” – Sharon addressing
Tzomet Party meeting (1998)
► Plays key role in founding Likud Party (Jul 1973);
elected to Knesset (Dec 1973), but resigns a year
later and serves as security adviser to PM Rabin
► Elected to Knesset again after founding his own party
(1977), which he subsequently merges with Likud
► Strongly promotes expansion of Jewish settlements
in West Bank & Gaza
► Appointed Defense Minister (1981); helps renew
diplomatic relations w/African countries and
strengthen Israel’s defense ties w/other states
Ariel Sharon
► Serves as Defense Minister during Operation Peace for
Galilee (First Lebanon War), in which IDF destroys PLO’s
infrastructure in Lebanon
► However, Christian Phalangists’ killing of hundreds of
civilians at Sabra & Shatila refugee camps (Sep 1982)
leads to Israeli commission (Feb 1983), which finds IDF
indirectly responsible for the massacre and Sharon
responsible for ignoring danger of bloodshed
► Sharon resigns as Defense Minister after Israeli protestor
dies in anti-war demonstration (Feb 1983)
Sharon visiting
Temple Mount
(Sep 28, 2000)
Palestinians used
visit as pretext for
Second Intifada
► Serves in various gov’ts from 1983-1999; roles include
finalizing free trade agreement w/US (1985), managing
absorption of Jewish immigrants from USSR (1990-1992)
and leading negotiations with Palestinian Authority (1998)
► Becomes head of Likud Party (Sep 1999) and is elected
Prime Minister (Feb 2001) after commencement of
Second Intifada
Ariel Sharon
► Launches Operation Defensive Shield (Mar-Apr 2002)
and initiates construction of security fence close to 1949
lines in West Bank to quell Second Intifada
► In complete reversal of his election platform and prior
positions, Sharon announces plan to withdraw IDF and
demolish all settlements from Gaza (Dec 2003), as well as
demolish 4 settlements in northern West Bank;
“disengagement plan” carried out in Aug-Sep 2005
► Fierce opposition to disengagement plan by Likud Party
leads Sharon to found new party, Kadima (Nov 2005)
Ariel Sharon
(born Feb 26, 1928)
► Suffers two strokes (Dec 2005 & Jan 2006), leaving him
permanently incapacitated; dies in Jan 2014
► Legacy as brilliant military leader and proponent of forceful
action – whether in battle, in support of settlement
expansion or in support of settlement destruction
“I begin with the basic conviction that Jews and Arabs can live together... I know that we are
both inhabitants of this land, and although the state is Jewish, that does not mean that Arabs
should not be full citizens in every sense of the word.” – Sharon autobiography (2001)
Second Lebanon War (2006)
► During First Lebanon War, Iran & Syria back creation of Shi’ite
terrorist group, Hezbollah, in Lebanon
► At end of First Lebanon War, IDF withdraws to buffer zone in
southern Lebanon in order to protect northern Israel (1985)
► Hezbollah consistently attacks IDF over next 15 yrs, leading
PM Ehud Barak to unilaterally withdraw from buffer zone to
internationally recognized border w/Lebanon (May 2000)
Israel’s buffer zone
in S. Lebanon
► Hezbollah attacks continue; in Oct 2000, Hezbollah kills 3 IDF
soldiers and kidnaps 1 Israeli businessman, later ransoming
them for 430 Arab prisoners in Israeli jails (Jan 2004); Israel
responds in limited fashion to Oct 2000 attack
► Hezbollah also supports Second Intifada by financing and
smuggling weapons to Palestinian terrorist groups
“We really do see it as the government's obligation on the day after the withdrawal from Lebanon
to promise two things...the first that the IDF will really be deployed on the border, and anyone
that dares think to hurt us will get what he deserves with all our might.” – PM Barak (2000)
Second Lebanon War (2006)
► Hezbollah attacks IDF patrol in Israel, killing 3 and
kidnapping 2 soldiers (both later died), while firing
Katyusha rockets at N. Israel (Jul 12, 2006)
► Israel responds with artillery and air strikes; IAF
destroys virtually all of Hezbollah’s long-range
missiles within first 34 minutes of war
Ehud Goldwasser (left) and
Eldad Regev (right)
IDF soldiers kidnapped by
Hezbollah, sparking Second
Lebanon War (2006)
► Israel decides to pursue military campaign,
including ground offensive, targeting Hezbollah’s
infrastructure in S. Lebanon and HQ in Beirut
► Over next month, Hezbollah fires ~4,000 Katyusha
rockets at N. Israel, putting 1mm Israelis in bomb
shelters and causing 250k to flee southward
► UN passes Security Council Resolution 1701 (Aug
11, 2006); calls for ceasefire, deployment of UN
Both died in the attack, a fact
force in S. Lebanon and disarmament of Hezbollah
confirmed only when
Hezbollah exchanged their
corpses for Arab terrorists in ► In 2 days prior to Aug 14 ceasefire, IDF greatly
escalates ground offensive, but to little effect
Israeli jails (2008)
Second Lebanon War (2006)
► Total of 165 Israelis (incl. 44 civilians) killed; 500+
Hezbollah and 800+ Lebanese civilians killed
► War outcome widely seen as stalemate
Hassan Nasrallah
Leader of Hezbullah
during Second Lebanon
Hezbullah maintains steady rocket fire against
Israel, paralyzing north of country, but Israeli
economy rebounds quickly
Israel inflicts heavy losses on Hezbullah, but fails
to destroy / expel the group
War leads to years of quiet along Israel-Lebanon
border, but Resolution 1701 proves ineffective;
Hezbullah re-arms with far more missiles than it
had prior to war and gains control of gov’t (2011)
► IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz resigns after it emerges
that he sold stock hours before Israel’s counter-attack
(Jan 2007)
► Hezbollah exchanges corpses of 2 IDF soldiers it killed
that sparked the war for 5 Lebanese terrorists held in
Israeli jails and corpses of 199 terrorists (Jul 2008) 112
Bombing of Syrian Reactor (2007)
► In early 2000s, US & Israeli intelligence identify
military cooperation between Syria and North Korea
► Mossad covertly downloads data from laptop of
Syrian official visiting UK; data includes pictures and
blueprints of nuclear reactor being built with North
Korean assistance and Iranian financing at alKibar, a remote location in Syrian desert (Dec 2006)
Syrian nuclear reactor
before & after Israeli strike
(Sep 2007)
► IDF commandos covertly raid al-Kibar and collect soil
samples confirming nuclear activity (Aug 2007)
► PM Olmert requests that US attack reactor, but Pres.
Bush refuses and suggests diplomatic resolution
(Sep 2007)
► Hours later, IAF jets, assisted by ground commandos,
bomb and destroy reactor, killing dozens of Syrian
and North Korean personnel (Sep 6, 2007)
► Israel does not take credit for attack in order to
reduce odds of Syrian response
Operation Cast Lead (2008)
Surge in rocket fire post-disengagement
Gaza disengagement
(Aug 2005)
► Hamas and other terrorist groups
greatly escalate rocket attacks after
Israel’s Gaza disengagement (2005)
In 2005, monthly rate of rocket fire
rises ~30% after disengagement
► Major escalation of rocket fire in Dec
2008 leads IDF to initiate “Operation
Cast Lead” by launching waves of
airstrikes at Hamas targets (Dec 27,
2008), catching Hamas by surprise
► IDF launches limited ground invasion
(Jan 3); targets Hamas infrastructure
and personnel but does not attempt to
destroy or overthrow Hamas
“The Palestinian people… created a human shield
of women, children, the elderly and the Jihad
fighters…We desire death as you desire life.”
– Hamas leader Fathi Hamad on Al-Aqsa TV,
(Mar 2007)
► Israel announces unilateral ceasefire
(Jan 17) and Hamas follows suit (Jan
18); IDF withdraws forces from Gaza
(Jan 21)
Operation Cast Lead (2008)
► Hamas and other terrorist groups, operating out of
populated areas, fire 750+ rockets and mortars at
Israel during war, deliberately targeting civilians
► Total of 13 Israelis (incl. 3 civilians) killed; 700+
terrorists and ~300 Palestinian civilians killed
Hamas terrorists preparing
rocket launch against Israel
► Following end of war, UN establishes investigative
commission chaired by South African jurist Richard
Goldstone (Apr 2009); Goldstone Report
concludes that both Hamas and Israel committed
war crimes (Sep 2009), even though IDF went to
unprecedented lengths to alert Gaza civilians to
impending attacks and ceased fire on a daily basis
to deliver humanitarian supplies to Gaza
► Judge Goldstone later retracts portions of report
that accuse Israel of targeting civilians (Apr 2011)
“Mr. President, based on my knowledge and experience, I can say this: During Operation Cast
Lead, the IDF did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army
in the history of warfare.”
– Col. Richard Kemp, former commander of UK forces in Afghanistan, addressing UN (2009)
~2,000 years ago, Emperor Domitian constructed the Arch of Titus to celebrate the Roman Empire’s
suppression of the Jewish Rebellion (73 AD), resulting in the death, enslavement
and exile of hundreds of thousands of Jews
The Arch depicts Roman soldiers carrying away a Menorah after destroying the Temple in Jerusalem
In 1948, after Israel declared independence, Rome’s Chief Rabbi led the entire Jewish community
through the Arch – in the opposite direction of the triumphant Roman soldiers
As they walked through the Arch, some Jews likely noticed the graffiti etched below the soldiers,
which was added centuries after the Roman Empire collapsed and which states, in Hebrew:
'‫עם 'שראל ח‬
)The Nation of Israel Lives(

A Brief History of the Jewish State