Politician Moshe Feiglin Is Born

July 31

July 31, 1962 Right-wing activist and politician Moshe Feiglin is born in Haifa to a family who came to the Land of Israel during the First Aliyah late in the 19th century. Feiglin serves as a combat engineer in the Israel Defense Forces and fights in the First Lebanon War. He reaches the rank of […]

Yael Arad Wins Israel’s First Olympic Medal

July 30

July 30, 1992 Yael Arad at age 25 becomes the first Israeli to win an Olympic medal, taking the silver in judo in the half-middleweight (61-kilogram) class at the Summer Olympics in Barcelona. She dedicates her medal to the 11 Israeli victims of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre. Born in Tel Aviv, Arad began taking […]

Pregnancy Test Developer Zondek Is Born

July 29

July 29, 1891 Bernhard Zondek, the obstetrician-gynecologist who creates one of the first reliable pregnancy tests, is born in Wronke, Germany, now in Poland. Zondek moves to Berlin for his medical studies and earns his degree in 1919 at the age of 28. He works in obstetrics and gynecology in Berlin until 1933, when he […]

Opera Launched in Palestine

July 28

July 28, 1923 Mordechai Golinkin’s production of Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Traviata” marks the beginning of opera in Mandatory Palestine. Because Palestine has no opera house, the performance is in a movie theater. Golinkin, who wrote his thesis in Moscow on “The Vision of the Hebrew Art Temple of Opera Work in Palestine,” has arrived in […]

El Al Flight Is Shot Down

July 27

July 27, 1955 Bulgarian fighter jets shoot down El Al Flight 402 en route from London’s Heathrow Airport to Israel. The weekly flight is scheduled for two stops before reaching Lod Airport: Vienna, Austria, and Istanbul, Turkey. Between Vienna and Istanbul, the Lockheed Constellation aircraft veers off course into Bulgarian airspace. One theory is that […]

Writer Netiva Ben Yehuda Is Born

July 26

July 26, 1928 Netiva Ben Yehuda, a Palmach member, early Israeli feminist, acclaimed writer and media personality, is born in Tel Aviv to a father from Lithuania and a mother from Ukraine. She has two younger sisters. In 1947, Ben Yehuda joins the Haganah’s elite Palmach, which defends Jews in the Yishuv and smuggles in […]

Nightclub Owner Aris San Dies

July 25

July 25, 1992 Aris San, who popularized Greek music in Israel, mysteriously dies at age 52 while living in Budapest. His quick cremation and past connections to organized crime at his nightclubs contribute to conspiracy theories about his death.  Born in Kalamata, Greece, Aristides Saisanas followed a woman to Israel at age 17 and decided […]

Haredim Elected as Chief Rabbis

July 24

July 24, 2013 Haredi Rabbis Yitzhak Yosef and David Lau are elected to 10-year terms as Israel’s chief rabbis — Yosef for the Sephardim and Lau for the Ashkenazim. Each wins 68 of the 147 ballots cast at Jerusalem’s Leonardo Hotel by 150 eligible voters: 80 rabbis representing religious councils and 70 secular officials from […]

Knesset Enacts Tal Law

July 23

July 23, 2002 The Knesset votes 51-41 to approve the Tal Law, an effort to address the growing problem of Haredi Jews receiving exemptions from military service. The law, which expires after five years, allows yeshiva students to defer military service until age 22, when they must decide whether to take a year of vocational […]

Actress Gila Almagor Is Born

July 22

July 22, 1939 Gila Almagor, known as the “queen of the Israeli cinema and theater,” is born as Gila Alexandrowitz in Haifa four months after an Arab sniper killed her father, a policeman who immigrated from Germany. Her mother, Chaya, is institutionalized in 1954 after struggling to handle the realization that the Nazis killed all […]

Mossad Kills Wrong Man in Norway

July 21

July 21, 1973 A Mossad team targeting the terrorists behind the Munich Olympics massacre fatally shoots Moroccan waiter Ahmed Bouchiki while he walks home from a movie with his wife in Lillehammer, Norway. The mistaken assassination becomes known as the Lillehammer Affair. Incorrect intelligence led Israel to believe that Bouchiki was Ali Hassan Salameh, a […]

Jordan’s King Abdullah Assassinated

July 20

July 20, 1951 Abdullah I, the founding king of Jordan, is assassinated by a Palestinian nationalist at the Al Aqsa Mosque entrance in Jerusalem. The king’s bodyguards immediately shoot the assassin dead. Abdullah’s grandson, Hussein, succeeds him. Born in Mecca in 1882 to the Hashemites, who claim direct descent from the prophet Muhammad, Abdullah was […]