Labor Politician Eliyahu Speiser Dies

November 12

November 12, 2009 Former Knesset member Eliyahu Speiser dies at age 79. Born in Haifa on March 23, 1930, Speiser was educated at the Hebrew Reali School and Hebrew University, where he earned a degree in bacteriology and served as the secretary of the student union. He also studied economics and law at the University […]

Air Force Founder Yisrael Amir Is Born

November 11

November 11, 1902 Yisrael Amir, the first commander in chief of the Israeli Air Force, is born in Vilna in the Russian Empire as Yisrael Zabludovsky. He makes aliyah in 1923 and that year joins the Haganah, the Jewish military force in Palestine. He completes the Haganah commanders course in 1926 and is put in […]

Hatikvah Officially Declared National Anthem

November 10

November 10, 2004 More than half a century after the founding of the state of Israel, the Knesset officially adopts “Hatikvah” (“The Hope”) as the national anthem. The song became the anthem of the Zionist movement in the 1930s and was popularly used as Israel’s anthem from the birth of the state because it symbolizes […]

Gen. Avraham Tamir Is Born

November 9

November 9, 1924 Avraham Tamir, a military strategic mastermind who rises to the rank of major general, is born. He is one of the first Israeli officials to meet with the PLO’s Yasser Arafat and shows support for the creation of an independent Palestinian state. After serving in the Haganah and the British army in […]

Yisrael Meir Friedman Ben-Shalom Is Born

November 8

November 8, 1923 Rabbi Yisrael Meir Friedman Ben-Shalom, a sixth-generation descendant of Rebbe Yisrael of Rizin, is born in Bohush, Romania, to a Hasidic and Zionist family. Friedman Ben-Shalom joins Hashomer Hatzair, the secular Zionist youth movement, while maintaining a religious life and studying Torah. His belief that a Jewish national home should be established […]

Hannah Senesh Dies

November 7

Hannah Senesh (Szenes), the poet and Haganah fighter who parachuted into Nazi-occupied Europe to rescue Jews, is executed by Hungarian firing squad in a Budapest prison courtyard.

Singer Zohar Argov Kills Himself

November 6

November 6, 1987 Zohar Argov, a popular singer among the Mizrahi and Mediterranean communities in Israel who was known as the “The King” but was haunted by drug addiction, hangs himself in jail at age 32 shortly after being accused of attempted rape. Argov doesn’t intend to die, a police investigator concludes, but is only […]

Meir Kahane Assassinated

November 5

November 5, 1990 Israeli politician Rabbi Meir Kahane, 58, is fatally shot by Egyptian-American El Sayyid Nosair in a Manhattan hotel where Kahane is addressing a crowd of mostly Orthodox Jews. Kahane was elected to the Knesset in 1984 as the head of the Kach party. After the Knesset enacted a Basic Law in 1985 […]

Syria, Egypt Sign Defense Treaty

November 4

November 4, 1966 Egypt and Syria sign a mutual defense treaty and create a joint military command. The move comes amid constant low-level violence on the Israeli-Syrian border, characterized by Syrian guerrilla raids and shelling and by retaliatory Israeli raids and airstrikes. American intelligence reports suggest that the Soviets pushed the defense treaty on their […]

Acre Bombarded

November 3

November 3, 1840 A coalition of Austrian, British and Ottoman forces commanded by Austrian Archduke Friedrich bombards the port city of Acre and drives out the Egyptian garrison. More than 1,100 Egyptians are killed in the brief battle. The battle is part of the Second Egyptian-Ottoman War across the eastern Mediterranean from 1839 to 1941 […]

Ben-Gurion Regains Premiership

November 2

November 2, 1955 Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, assumes the premiership again, replacing the man who succeeded him, Moshe Sharett. Ben-Gurion had retired from Israeli politics to live on a Negev kibbutz in 1953, but he returned as the defense minister Feb. 17, 1955, after the Lavon Affair, an Israeli mission that went wrong […]

Jewish Resistance Blows Up Rails Across Palestine

November 1

November 1, 1945 The newly formed Jewish Resistance Movement sets off explosions at more than 150 sites along the railway system of British Mandatory Palestine and blows up three British gunboats in the Jaffa and Haifa harbors in synchronized attacks known as the Night of the Trains. Palmach units carry out most of the sabotage, […]