Jewish Agency for Israel
Jewish History & Culture





















































































































































































Chairman of the Jewish Agency: Arie Dulzin.

Immigration from the Soviet Union has almost ceased as a result of restrictions imposed by the Soviets.

10,000 Ethiopian refugees are in the camps in the Sudan. On their journey to these camps, across rough country and constantly best by brigands as well as hunger, over 2,000 die. The Israeli government, confronted with this death toll, and the possibility of it rising still further, decides to abandon the policy of gradual, phased immigration, and to set up a massive airlift. Within a two-month period, starting in mid-November 1984, more than 6,500 Ethiopian Jews are flown to Israel. The planes are chartered in Belgium. The airlift is code-named "Operation Moses".

The Israel Education Fund is established for the construction of secondary school buildings, libraries, cultural and social centers, nurseries and other community facilities.

New immigrants in 1984: 19,981


January 14: Major Saad Haddad, commander of the Israeli-supported Christian militia in southern Lebanon dies of cancer.

January 16: A series of price rises is approved by the government and restrictions imposed on acquiring foreign currency.

January 27: An attempt by Jews to perpetrate violence at the Temple Mount is thwarted by the police.

January: The Israeli police arrest Yona Avrushmi and accuse him of having thrown the grenade which killed Emil Gruenzweig at the 1983 Peace Now rally in Jerusalem.

January: West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl criticizes the Arab refusal to recognize Israel and Israel's West Bank settlements. His country supports Palestinian self-determination and the security of all Middle East nations.

January: The Levinson affair emerges during the month when a sum of 400,000 Dollar is discovered to have been withdrawn fraudulently from the Bank HaPoalim in Israel and in its branches abroad, possibly by the former chairman of its board, Yaakov Levinson.

February 1: Bezeq, a telecommunications company, begins operations, taking over management of the country's telephone system from the government.

A law banning smoking in public places takes effect.

February 9: The Karp Report is finally released. (See 25 May 1982.)

February 23: Yaakov Levinson, former chairman of the Bank HaPoalim, commits suicide while under investigation.

February: The Reagan administration provides funds for continued research and development of the Lavi project which contemplates the Israeli manufacture of an advanced jet fighter aircraft.

March 4: A third national daily afternoon newspaper starts up - Hadashot ("News").

Fifteen IDF soldiers are wounded in two terrorist incidents in Lebanon.

March 5 : Lebanon formally abrogates its 17 May 1983 agreement with Israel to which the US was a signatory. The US suggests to Israel that the Lebanese government of Amir Gemayel could not survive unless it succumbed to Syrian pressure to renege on the agreement.

March 22: The Knesset votes to advance elections, 61 to 58. A single MK does not arrive for the vote: Begin.

April 2 : Three Arab gunmen open fire on passersby near Jerusalem's main intersection, wounding 48, 1 of whom later dies.

April 4: Major General Antoine Lahad takes over Haddad's command.

April 12-13 : Arab terrorists hijack an Israeli passenger bus going from Tel Aviv to Ashkelon. It is overtaken and stormed by Israeli troops and the terrorists are killed. Israeli press reports accuse the troops of killing some of the terrorists after retaking the bus. An investigatory commission confirms that two of the terrorists were killed during the retaking and two afterward by blows to the head, presumably by Israeli security forces.

April: Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir leads race in the Likud camp as the candidate for the post of prime minister in the next elections, topping Ariel Sharon by a vote of 56% to 42% in internal party elections.

April: Israeli security forces arrest a number of Jews and accuse them of planting bombs beneath six Arab-owned buses in the Jerusalem area. 27 Jews are indicted and accused of forming an organization to perpetrate violent acts against Arabs.

May 1: Three members of the Israeli-Lebanese Liaison Commission in Beirut are kidnapped by Syrians while traveling south of Tripoli.

May 3: An internal vote in the Likud for the party lineup in the next Knesset results in Moshe Arens in first place and David Levy in second, with Ariel Sharon in ninth.

May 16: The Alignment announces its election lineup: Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Navon, and Yitzhak Rabin.

May 23: The Jewish underground is charged, among other things, with murder, attempted murder, membership in a terror organization, acts of violence against Arab mayors, and planting explosives in Arab buses.

May 28: The commission of inquiry investigating the Bus 300 hijack affair - the Zore'a Commission - finds that the two terrorists captured alive were beaten to death thereafter. At the end of August 1985, Brig. Gen. Yitzhak Mordechai will be cleared by the commission of the charde of killing the Palestinian terrorists, but is brought to trial by the army's judge advocate general. He will be cleared once again.

May: US President Ronald Reagan declares his opposition to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan's bill calling for moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. "Jerusalem has to be part of the negotiations if we're going to have peace talks."

May: Israel announces the resumption of diplomatic relations with Sri Lanka, which were suspended for 14 years.

June 17:The Central Elections Commission disqualifies Rabbi Meir Kahane's party (Kach) for racial incitement; and the Progressive List for Peace for undermining the basic tenets of the State of Israel.

June: Yitzhak Rabin, Labor candidate for defense minister in the upcoming national elections, criticizing Likud's Lebanese policy, alleges that Lebanon is under Syrian control and there are about 20,000 terrorists in Lebanon, including Shiite Khomeinists. He calls for a staged Israeli withdrawal, with the UN interim force and Antoine Lahad's southern Lebanon army taking its place.

July 23 : Israel holds national elections for the 11th Knesset. The Alignment wins 44 seats; Likud, 41 seats; see more results.

August 4: The four major banks - Leumi, HaPoalim, Discount, and Mizrahi - and their directors are charged with violating the law of restricted business trade practice by regulating their stocks.

August 9: A new currency note of 5,000 shekels is issued.

August 12: The popular Kaveret ("Beehive") rock group reunites and performs at Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park for a mass audience of hundreds of thousands.

September 5: The 11th Knesset convenes, chaired temporarily by the oldest member of the house, Abba Eban.

September 4-6: The Likud and the Alignment work out differences over the formation of a unity government.

September 6: The US vetoes a UN Security Council resolution calling on Israel to remove restrictions and obstacles imposed on civilians traveling through Israeli-occupied southern Lebanon. The US calls the resolution unbalanced.

September 9: A split in the Alignment occurs when Mapam, opposed to a unity government, breaks away after 15 years of partnership. MK Yossi Sarid leaves for the same reason and joins the Civil Rights Movement. Ezer Weizmann and the Yahad movement that he heads join the Alignment.

September 14: A national unity government is installed, with Shimon Peres as prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir as minister of foreign affairs, and Yitzhak Rabin as minister of defense. It is agreed that at the end of the first half of the 50-month term, Shamir will replace Peres as prime minister. Rabin will be defense minister for the entire period.

September 16: Benjamin Netanyahu is named ambassador to the UN.

September 17 : In an effort to curb inflation, the new unity government trims its budget, devalues the shekel, increases the prices of subsidized basic commodities, and imposes a freeze on all goods and services.

September: Jordan resumes diplomatic relations with Egypt. Syria warns that King Hussein risks assassination for this move and for contemplating peace negotiations with Israel.

September: President Ronald Reagan asserts his administration strengthened ties with Israel in three ways: (1) upgraded and formalized strategic cooperation, (2) increased economic assistance from 1981 to 1984, including a changeover from loans to grants, and (3) began negotiations for a free trade area between Israel and the US.

October 2: Tight restrictions are placed on the import of luxury goods such as high-priced cars and large refrigerators.

October 21: Attacks on the IDF continue in Lebanon. Israel's 600th fatality of the Lebanese War, Allon Tzur, is brought home for burial.

October 22: Two Israeli students are murdered by an Arab terrorist near the Cremisan monastery on the border between Beit Jala and Jerusalem.

October 28: The government approves an evacuation from Lebanon on condition that the IDF will have freedom of movement in a narrow strip north of the international Lebanese-Israeli border.

An Israeli soldier on leave fires a Lau missile at an Arab bus in East Jerusalem, killing one passenger and wounding 10.

November 2: The government, the Histadrut, and the manufacturers sign a three-month package deal aimed at braking inflation and stabilizing economy. Prices are frozen.

November 8: Israel and Lebanon hold talks on the military level in Nakura regarding an IDF withdrawal from Lebanon.

November 13: Ariel Sharon's libel suit against Time magazine, which accused him of being responsible for the massacre at Sabra and Shatila by encouraging the Gemayel family to take revenge against the Palestinians after the murder of Bashir Gemayel, comes up for trial in New York.

November 27: Introduction of a new currency bill of 10,000 shekels.

November: At the invitation of King Hussein, Yasser Arafat's National Council meets in Amman, Jordan. The meeting marks a reconciliation of Hussein with Arafat. Hussein addresses the meeting and calls upon the PLO to abandon an armed struggle against Israel and to join him in seeking a negotiated settlement on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 242.

December 25: The Knesset decides to restrict the freedom of movement of MK Meir Kahane to preclude any anti-Arab incitement by him.

December: Efforts to curb the inflation and restore economic viability begin to bear fruit as December's rise in the consumer price index is only 3.7%. For the year, the inflation rate is 444.9%; the standard of living declines by 7.5%; and unemployment is about 7% at the end of the year.

The Shas Party (Sephardi Torah Guardians) is founded. It represents the Sephardi Orthodox population. Many members and supporters are of Morrocan origin. Former Sephardi chief rabbi, Ovadia Yosef, becomes the spiritual leader of Shas.

The Tel Aviv Museum holds a retrospective exhibition of the works of Nahum Gutman, a leading Israeli painter and illustrator.

Joshua Sobol, Israeli playwright, writes "Ghetto", which depicts life in the Vilna ghetto under Nazi occupation through the development of a theater group there.

The Diaspora Museum exhibits "The Story of the Jews in Hungary" and "The Jews of Germany from Roman Times to the Weimar Republic."




July: While attending a meeting in Leningrad, Ephraim Katzir, former president of Israel and a distinguished scientist, is detained, interrogated, and expelled from the country by the KGB for attempting to meet refuseniks.

David S. Wyman, US historian, writes "The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust, 1941-1945", in which he calls the indifference of President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the plight of the European Jewry "the worst failure of his Presidency."

Soviet attacks against Israel and Zionism continue. Typical is the publication of a 330,000-copy edition of Boris Kravtsov's "Flight from the Ghetto", a supposed report of a Soviet Jew who emigrated first to Israel and then to the US before returning to the Soviet Union.

The French Ministry of Cultural Affairs declares synagogues in Nancy, Mulhouse, Soultz, Colmar, and Guebwiller to be monuments of national historical importance. The designation means they cannot be altered and are eligible for government assistance toward restoration.

In "Hitler and the Final Solution" British historian Gerald Fleming demonstrates that Adolf Hitler was determined to exterminate the Jews as early as the 1920s and that there were statements from Heinrich Himmler and other Nazi officials that Hitler initiated the "final solution". Fleming is rebutting David Irving's theory that Hitler was not involved.

"Heritage: Civilization of the Jews", a nine-part portrayal of Jewish history, is televised over the US Public Broadcasting System. Narrated by Abba Eban, it is seen by millions. The series describes the writing down of the Bible as a human process, which results in criticism from Orthodox Jewish circles.

Mesorah Publications, in New York, publishes "The Complete Art Scroll Siddur". Mesorah is identified with right-wing Orthodoxy. The Rabbinical Council of America, representing modern Orthodoxy, later adopts this siddur as its official prayer book, replacing the one edited by Rabbi David de Sola Pool. The council added an introduction and inserted the prayer for the State of Israel, which was omitted by the non-Zionist editors. Mesorah publications and Bible commentaries have a wide readership.

Isaac Bashevis Singer publishes in English "Love and Exile: A Memoir". Consisting of three previously published books, "A Little Boy in Search of God", "A Young Man in Search of Love", and "Lost in America", and a new autobiographical introduction, "The Beginning", it is a memoir of his youth in Poland, his emigration to America, and his many loves in both places.

The Jewish Museum in New York exhibits "The Jewish Heritage in American Folk Art" and a painting by Larry Rivers (1923-2002), US painter, "Larry Rivers' History of Matzah: The Story of the Jewish People". It is a triptych covering 4,000 years if Jewish history, with over 60 scenes and pieces of text, set against the tab background of the matzah.

Cesar Milstein, a citizen of both Argentina and Great Britain and affiliated with the Cambridge Medical Research Council, is awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for discovering a method for producing antibodies of unprecedented purity.




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12 Nov 2007 / 2 Kislev 5768 0