Yemeni Jews Secretly Flown to Israel

February 19

February 19, 2009 Ten of the fewer than 300 Jews living in Yemen arrive in Israel after being secretly airlifted through arrangements by the Jewish Agency amid threats from Al-Qaeda and other terrorists. The arrivals include Said Ben Yisrael, the leader of the Jewish community in Raydah, where most of Yemen’s remaining Jews live. The […]

Britain to Seek U.N. Help on Palestine

February 18

February 18, 1947 British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin announces that after a quarter-century of holding the mandate for Palestine, the British government will ask the United Nations to address the question of what to do about the territory, in which 1.2 million Arabs and 600,000 Jews seem locked in an intractable conflict. In addition to battling each other, the Arab […]

Musician Shmulik Kraus Dies

February 17

February 17, 2013 Shmulik Kraus dies from swine flu in Tel Aviv at age 77 after a long career as one of Israel’s most influential musicians. Kraus was born in Jerusalem on July 1, 1935, and taught tap dance in Haifa when he was young. After serving in Israel’s navy, he worked as a merchant […]

Children’s Author Miriam Roth Born

February 16

February 16, 1910 Miriam Roth, whose Hebrew writing elevates children’s literature in Israel, is born in the Slovakian region of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. She attends various Jewish schools, including one run by her father, and graduates from Brno University. She is active in the socialist-Zionist Hashomer Hatzair movement, and in 1931 she immigrates to Palestine […]

Netanyahu Visits Trump White House

February 15

February 15, 2017 During his first month in office, President Donald Trump welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House. It is Netanyahu’s first visit to Washington since his speech against the Iran nuclear deal before Congress in March 2015, when he was not invited to meet with President Barack Obama. Netanyahu met […]

Carter Proposes Aircraft Sale to Saudis

February 14

February 14, 1978 President Jimmy Carter announces a plan to sell advanced fighter jets to Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Coming three months after Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s visit to Israel, the proposal draws swift condemnation from the American Jewish community, particularly regarding the Saudi portion of the sale. Many American Jews already distrust Carter […]

Israel Announces It Owns 4 Dead Sea Scrolls

February 13

February 13, 1955 Prime Minister Moshe Sharett holds a news conference to announce that Israel has acquired four of the first seven Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in a cave at Qumran. Gen. Yigael Yadin and another Hebrew University faculty member have arranged the purchase for $250,000 the previous June in New York from representatives of […]

Israel’s First Winter Olympian

February 12

February 12, 1994 Figure skater Michael “Misha” Shmerkin becomes the first Israeli to participate in the Winter Olympics when he marches in the opening ceremonies in Lillehammer, Norway, after three days of travel: two by train and one by airplane. Shmerkin is the entire Israeli team. He takes the ice Feb. 17 and 19 in […]

Natan Sharansky Reaches Israel

February 11

February 11, 1986 After eight years in a Siberian labor camp, Jewish dissident Anatoly Shcharansky arrives in Israel using his new Hebrew name, Natan Sharansky, after being released to the U.S. ambassador in Berlin as part of a prisoner exchange. Born in 1948, Sharansky earned a degree in applied mathematics. He became a human rights […]

Netanyahu Wins Election by Finishing Second

February 10

February 10, 2009 In the election for the 18th Knesset, the centrist Kadima party of acting Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, the acting prime minister, wins the most seats with 28, defying polls that give the advantage to Likud. But Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu is in a better position to form a governing coalition around his […]

Soviet Embassy Bombed in Tel Aviv

February 9

February 9, 1953 The Soviet Union’s diplomatic outpost in Tel Aviv is bombed, leading the Soviets to break off diplomatic relations a few days later. One Soviet diplomat and the wives of two others are injured by the blast of 70 pounds of explosives in the garden, and the building is damaged. Brawls break out […]

Summit Declares Second Intifada Over

February 8

February 8, 2005 Israeli Prime Minster Ariel Sharon, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordanian King Abdullah II met at the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh to work toward ending the Second Intifada.  Also known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada, the Second Intifada is a deadly Palestinian uprising in its fifth […]