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Timeline of Jewish History: Modern Israel & the Diaspora

(1946 - 1949)

Click on a Year: 1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1949
Other Periods: 1950's | 1960's | 1970's | 1980's | 1990's | 2000's | 2010's

July 4
Mob attack against Jewish survivors in Kielce, Poland. Following a ritual murder accusation, a Polish mob kill more than 40 Jews and wound dozens of others. This attack sparks a second mass migration of Jews from Poland and Eastern Europe to DP camps in Germany, Austria and Italy.
August 1
The IMT passes judgment on the major Nazi war criminals on trial in Nuremberg. Eighteen were convicted, and three were acquitted. Eleven of the defendants were sentenced to death.
October 16
In accordance with the sentences handed down after the convictions, ten defendants are executed by hanging. One defendant, Hermann Goering, escapes the hangman by committing suicide in his cell.

April 2
Britain requests special session of the General Assembly to consider future government of Palestine.
May 15
General Assembly establishes a Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP).
July 11
The Exodus 1947 ship carrying 4,500 Jewish refugees sails for British-administered Palestine from southern France, despite British restrictions on Jewish immigration. The British intercept the ship and force it to proceed to Haifa in Palestine and then the French port of Port-de-Bouc, where it lay anchor for more than a month.
August 31
UNSCOP issues majority report recommending partition of Palestine with an internationalised Jerusalem; minority report recommended federal scheme
September 8
Ultimately, the British take the refugees from the Exodus 1947 to Hamburg, Germany, and forcibly return them to DP camps. The fate of the Exodus 1947 dramatized the plight of Holocaust survivors in the DP camps and increased international pressure on Great Britain to allow free Jewish immigration to Palestine.
September 29
Arab Higher Committee formally rejects UNSCOP plan.
October 2
Jewish Agency formally accepts UNSCOP partition plan.
November 29
As the postwar Jewish refugee crisis escalates and relations between Jews and Arabs deteriorate, the British government decides to submit the status of Palestine to the United Nations. In a special seccion on this date, the United Nations General Assembly voted to partition Palestine into two new states, one Jewish and the other Arab. The decision was accepted by the Jewish leadership but rejected by the Arab ledership.UN approves partition plan by a vote of 33-13 with 10 abstentions to create a Jewish and Arab state.
November 30

Arab mobs attack Jewish quarters in Jerusalem and Arab irregulars begin operations against Jewish cities and settlements.

March 19
U.S. proposes suspension of partition plan and calls for a special session of the General Assembly to discuss trusteeship for Palestine.
April 1
Security Council calls for truce in Palestine and special session of the General Assembly to reconsider future of Palestine.
May 13
The Arabs of Jaffa surrender to the Haganah forces
May 14
Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel (May 14). U.S. recognizes Israel de facto. David Ben-Gurion announces the establishment of the State of Israel in Tel Aviv and declares that Jewish immigration into the new state would be unrestricted. Between 1948 and 1951, almost 700,000 Jews immigrate to Israel, including more than two-thirds of the Jewish DPs in Europe.
End of British Mandate. Arab armies invade Israel.
President Harry S. Truman recognizes the State of Israel within its first hour of existence.
May 17
USSR recognizes Israel.
May 19
Jerusalem is cut off by Arab forces.
War of Independence (May 1948-July 1949).
May 20
General Assembly Committee appoints Count Folke Bernadotte as mediator for Palestine.
Brandeis University is founded in the U.S. as first nonsectarian, Jewish-sponsored, institution of higher education.
May 28
Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem falls to the Jordanian Arab Legion.
May 31
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) formed.
Congress passes the Displaced Persons Act, authorizing 200,000 DPs to enter the United States in 1949 and 1950. Though at first the law's stipulations made it unfavorable to Jewish DPs, Congress amended the bill, and by 1952, thousands of DPs enter the United States. An estimated 80,000 Jewish DPs immigrated to the United States with the aid of American Jewish agencies between 1945 and 1952.
June 1
First convoy reaches Jerusalem along “Burma Road.”
June 11
First cease-fire proclaimed - Four week truce commences.
June 22
Altalena fired upon and sunk off the coast of Tel-Aviv.
July 8
Arab League refuses to renew truce; fighting resumed and Israel gained on all fronts.
July 9
First cease-fire end.
July 21
Second cease-fire proclaimed.
August 14
Arab countries reject Israeli peace proposals .
August 17
First Israeli coin minted.
September 17
UN mediator Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte murdered in Jerusalem by Lehi fighters. Succeeded by Dr. Bunche.
September 20
Bernadotte Plan published by UN.
September 27
The first batch of Spitfire planes is shipped from Checkoslovakia to Israel. These planes would play a pivotal role in Israel's War of Independence.
October 15
Second cease-fire ends.
October 15
Fighting breaks out in Negev; the Egyptian army driven south.
October 19
Security Council orders an immediate cease-fire.
October 22
Israel and Egypt agree to cease-fire.
November 8
First census indicates 712,000 Jewish residents, and 69,000 Arab residents in the State of Israel.
November 16
Security Council calls for armistice talks.
November 18
Israel accepts call for armistice.
December 11
General Assembly establishes Palestine Conciliation Commission, reaffirms decision on Jerusalem and calls for repatriation or resettlement of refugees.
December 17
Beginning of “Operation Magic Carpet” to bring Yemenite Jews to Israel.
November 22
Fighting breaks out in Negev. Egyptian forces driven beyond mandatory borders, but retain the Gaza Strip.
Mass immigration from Europe and Arab countries: 1948-52.

January 7
Fighting ends in Sinai. Israeli forces withdraw from Sinai following British ultimatum and U.S. pressure.
January 13
Israeli and Egyptian delegations meet in Rhodes for armistice talks, chaired by Dr. Bunche. Armistice agreements begin with Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon.
Jerusalem is declared the capitol of Israel and is divided under Israeli and Jordanian rule.
January 21
First Knesset (parliament) elected. Ben Gurion heads the Labor led coalition.
January 30
Britain, New Zealand and the Netherlands recognize Israel de facto. Australia and Chile recognize Israel de jure.
U.S. recognizes Israel de jure.
February 1
Israel ends military governorship in Jerusalem.
Chaim Weizmann is elected Israel's first president. First meeting of the First Knesset.
February 24
Armistice agreement signed with Egypt.
March 9
David Ben-Gurion presents first government to the Knesset.
March 23
Armistice agreement signed with Lebanon.
April 3
Armistice agreement signed with Jordan.
April 25
Trans-Jordan becomes The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
First round of Israel-Arab talks in Lausanne under auspices of Palestine Conciliation Commission.
The Weizmann Institute is inaugurated in Rehovot.
May 11
Israel admitted to United Nations as 59th member.
July 20
Armistice agreement signed with Syria.
Second round of Israel-Arab talks in Lausanne is deadlocked.
August 17
Theodor Herzl's remains are brought to Israel and interred on Mt. Herzl, the newly created Israeli official cemetary.
August 25
Birthdate of Jewish rock Legend Gene Simmons.
November 9
Professor Yigal Yadin appointed second IDF Chief-of-General Staff.
December 9
General Assembly votes for internationalization of Jerusalem under Trusteeship Council administration.
December 13
Government decides to hold its Knesset sessions in Jerusalem and declares Jerusalem to be Israel's capital.
Umm Rashrash, today Eilat, is captured by the IDF.