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Timeline of Jewish History: Modern Israel & the Diaspora

(1950 - 1959)

Click on a Year: 1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953 | 1954 | 1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1959
Other Periods: 1940's | 1960's | 1970's | 1980's | 1990's | 2000's | 2010's

As American Jews move to the suburbs, they build new synagogues. Joining a synagogue becomes the chief expression of Jewish identity. In 1930, a mere 20 percent of American Jewish families belong to a synagogue; by 1960, nearly 60 percent do.
January 16
Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg recognize Isael de jure
January 23
Knesset by 60-2 vote, establishes Jerusalem as Israel's capital
April 4
UN Trusteeship Council approves statute for the internationalization of Jerusalem.
April 24
Jordan annexes West Bank, including East Jerusalem
April 28
Britain recognizes Israel de jure
The Knesset moves from Tel Aviv to King George St. in Jerusalem.
May 25
U.S., Britain and France issue Tripartite Declaration on Middle East
June 17
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen initial Collective Security Pact, calling on them to assist an Arab state under attack.
July 5
The Law of Return is enacted
November 14
First nationwide municipal elections after independence
The West Bank unites with Jordan.
May 19
Operation Ezra and Nehemiah brings Iraqi Jews to Israel
Fifty-fifty deal between Aramco and Saudi Arabia.
Trans-Arabian Pipeline completed from Eastern Province oil fields to Mediterranean coast.

April 12
Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Rememberence Day established on 27th of month of Nissan
May 18
Security Council calls on Israel to halt Huleh drainage project pending arrangements to be fixed by the Mixed Armistice Commission. Fighting erupts between Israel and Syria in demilitarized zone.
July 20
King Abdullah of Jordan is assassinated at the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on suspicion of planning peace talks with Israel.
July 30
Elections held for the Second Knesset
September 1
Security Council calls on Egypt to end its blockade of Suez Canal to shipping to and from Israel. Egypt refuses to comply
September 13
Palestine Conciliation Commission opens another round of talks in Paris with Israeli and Arab delegations
September 28
Israel offers non-agression pacts to Arab states, calls for direct negotiations and offers compensation for Arab refugee's property
The Hula Valley reclamation program begins turning swamps into arable lands.
Egged bus transport cooperative is founded.
October 7
David Ben-Gurion presents his government to the Knesset
November 21
Palestine Conciliation Commission announces failure of the talks
December 24
Libya proclaims independence
Mossadegh nationalizes Anglo-Iranian in Iran (first postwar oil crisis)
Safaniya field, world's largest off shore oil field, discovered in Saudi Arabia.

Operation Coresh brings Iranian Jews to Israel.
The Israel Atomic Energy Commission is established.
January 1
Seven armed terrorists attacked and killed a 19-year-old girl in her home in Beit Yisrael in Jerusalem
January 7
Knesset summoned to approve broader negotiations with West Germany: Menachem Begin leads stormy demonstration against negotiations
January 9
Knesset supports negotations by 61-50
May 13
The first graduating class of physicians is awarded degrees at Hebrew University.
July 23
Free Officers carry out Coup d'etat in Egypt; oust King Farouk
July 28
Egypt proclaimed Republic
August 11
Hussein proclaimed Crown Prince following illness of King Talal. Council of regents appointed
August 12-13
Yiddish writers and other Jewish cultural figures are executed in the Soviet Union on “Night of the Murdered Poets” on orders from Joseph Stalin in the basement of the Lubyanka prison in Moscow.
August 18
Ben-Gurion welcomes Egyptian revolution in Knesset
September 10
Israel and West Germany sign Reparations Agreement in Luxembourg
November 9
President Chaim Weizman dies
December 8
Yitzchak Ben-Tzvi sworn in as President, after Albert Einstein declines a request from Ben-Gurion to serve.
Israel participates in its first Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland.

The Academy for Hebrew Language and the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) are founded.
Egyptian republic proclaimed, Nasser takes over: 1953, 1954
The Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Authority is established.
February 12
USSR breaks diplomatic relations with Israel
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are executed for conspiring to deliver U.S. atomic bomb secrets to the U.S.S.R.
May 13
U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles visits Israel
June 7
A youngster was killed and three others were wounded in shooting attacks on residential areas in southern Jerusalem.
June 9
Terrorists killed a resident of Lod, after throwing hand grenades and spraying gunfire in all directions. On the same night, another group of terrorists attacked a house in Hadera.
June 11
Terrorists attacked a young couple in their home in Kfar Hess and shot them to death.
July 20
Relations with USSR restored
Unit 101, an IDF special force unit, is founded and commanded by Ariel Sharon to combat ongoing terror attacks by Arab fedayeen.
August 19
Mossadegh falls, Shah returns in Iran.
September 2
Israel starts work on Jordan River project. Syria complains to Security Council
October 15
President Eisenhower appoints Ambassador Eric Johnston to help establish regional water development project based on Jordan River
October 20-28
U.S. halts economic aid to Israel until it halts work on the Jordan River project. Israel complies and aid resumed
December 7
Ben-Gurion resigns as Prime Minister and is replaced by Moshe Sharett as Prime Minister and Pinchas Lavon as Defense Minister

Yad Vashem Holocaust museum opens.
Stern College for Women, the first liberal arts women's college under Jewish auspices, opens in New York City.
The founding of the Conference of Major Jewish Organizations indicates a galvanization of Jewish lobby in the U.S.
January 1
“Katzner trial” opens in Jerusalem District Court. (Malkiel Greenwald was accused of libelling Dr. Rudolf Kastner regarding his alleged collaboration with Adolf Eichmann in Hungary, in 1944).
January 22
USSR vetoes Western draft resolutions at Security Council permitting Israel to resume work on River Jordan project.
March 17
Terrorists ambushed a bus traveling from Eilat to Tel Aviv at Maale Akrabim, opening fire at short range. The terrorists boarded the bus, and shot each passenger, one by one, murdering 11.
March 20
USSR vetoes Western draft resolution at Security Council calling on Egypt to comply with 1951 resolution on Suez Canal
April 17
Colonel Nasser becomes Prime Minister of Egypt
Eleven Jews are arrested in Egypt on suspicion of planting bombs around Cairo. Two are hanged. Though Israel denies involvement, it is later learned Israeli Defense Minister Pinhas Lavon was behind the spy ring; Lavon is forced to resign over the operation, which becomes known as the “Lavon Affair.”
September 28
Egypt seizes Israeli ship “Bat Galim” at Port Said.
October 6
Israel offers at the UN non-aggression pact with Arab states

Soviet bloc begins first arms sales to Egypt and Syria.
January 2
Two hikers killed by terrorists in the Judean Desert
February 17
Lavon resigns as Defense Minister amidst controvery over espionage scandal involving Israeli agents who were executed in Egypt
February 21
Ben-Gurion returns to government as Defense Minister after Lavon's resignation.
February 24
Baghdad Pact signed between Turkey and Iraq.
Development town of Dimona is founded in the Negev by 36 immigrant families from Morocco and Tunisia.
February 28
Following intensified raids into Israel, IDF raids Egyptian military installations in Gaza
March 24

One young woman killed and 18 wounded when terrorists threw hand grenades and opened fire on a crowded wedding celebration in Patish

Israel excluded from participation in Bandung Conference of Asian and African nations
Bar Ilan University, with its emphasis on Jewish heritage studies, opens in Ramat Gan.
June 22
Dr. Israel Kastner, a Hungarian Jew, was found guilty by a district court of collaboration with the Nazis; the decision was eventually appealed and overturned for lack of evidence
July 26
Elections for the Third Knesset, Ben-Gurion again becomes Prime Minister
July 27
Bulgarian fighter pilots down an El Al civilian airline, killing 58 people
September 27
Egyptian-Czechoslovak arms deal announced
October 11
Arab League rejects Eric Johnston's Jordan River plan
October 18
Premier Sharett applies to U.S. for permission to purchase arms
October 20
Egypt and Syria sign mutual defence treaty
November 2
Ben-Gurion again becomes Israel's Prime Minister
Nasser objects to terms of Western offer to finance the building of the Aswan Dam.
December 6
Israel protests to Security Council, in note dated 22 November, continued Egyptian attacks from Gaza Strip
December 26
Cairo announces beginning of implementation of defence pacts with Syria and Saudi Arabia

Sudan & Tunisia gain independence, as well as Pakistan Republic.
Israel begins laying on oil pipeline from Eilat to Ashkelon.
Oil discovered in Algeria and Nigeria.
January 18
Nasser announces new constitution for Egypt and pledges to re-conquer Palestine
January 25
Ambassador Eban requests permission from Secretary Dulles to acquire arms in the U.S.
March 12
Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia announce plans to coordinate their defense

UN Secretary General tours Middle East in an effort to reestablish armistice. Cease-fire achieved between Israel and Egypt on 19 April and with Jordan on 26 April

April 7
One young woman killed when terrorists threw 3 hand grenades into her house in Ashkelon.
Two killed when terrorists opened fire on a car at Kibbutz Givat Chaim.
April 11
Three children and one youth worker killed, and five injured, when terrorists opened fire on a synagogue full of children and teenagers in Shafrir (Kfar Chabad).
April 29
Egyptians killed 21-year-old Ro'i Rottenberg from Nahal Oz
May 6
Jordan and Egypt announce plans to unify their forces
May 9
Dulles tells NATO in Paris that the U.S. would not sell arms to Israel directly in order to avoid U.S.-USSR confrontation in the Middle East
May 31
Syria and Jordan sign military agreement
France delivers arms to Israel under secret agreement with tacit U.S. approval
June 24
Nasser elected President of Egypt
July 20
U.S. refuses aid and credits for Egypt Aswan High Dam, Britain adopts similiar position
July 26
Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal.
September 12
Terrorists killed three Druze guards in Ein Ofarim.
September 23
Four archaeologists killed and 16 wounded when terrorists opened fire from a Jordanian position at Kibbutz Ramat Rachel.
September 24
Terrorists killed a girl in the fields of the farming community of Aminadav, near Jerusalem.
October 4
Five Israeli workers killed in Sdom.
October 8
Egypt and USSR reject proposals for international supervision of Suez Canal
October 9
Two workers were killed in an orchard of the Neve Hadasah youth village.
October 25
Egypt, Syria and Jordan announce establishment of unified military command for “war of destruction against Israel.”
October 29
Sinai Campaign launched with Great Britain and France
Kfar Kassem massacre of 47 Arab civilians violating a curfew
November 2
General Assembly calls for cease-fire in Egypt, withdrawal of foreign troops, restoration of freedom of navigation
Tel Aviv University is opened.
November 4-5
End of Sinai Campaign. Gaza Strip and Sinai occupied. During the campaign, thousands of Jews are expelled from Egypt and come to Israel.
November 5
General Assembly establishes United Nations Emergency Force
November 6
Israel completes occupation of Sinai save for strip along Suez Canal
November 7
General Assembly calls on Britain, France and Israel to withdraw from Sinai and Suez Canal zone, President Eisenhower demands Israeli compliance. Premier Bulganin threatens Israel
November 8
Terrorists opened fire on a train, attacked cars and blew up wells, in the north and center of Israel. six Israelis were wounded
December 21
Last British and French troops leave Egypt
December 24
Beginning of Israeli forces withdrawal from Sinai

France helps Israel create nuclear research program in Dimona; a nuclear reactor is constructed.
National telephone dialing between Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa is introduced.
January 5
Eisenhower Doctrine unveiled “to deter Communist aggression in the Middle East area.”
January 22
Israel withdraws to mandatory border with Egypt, holds land strip to Sharm el-Sheikh and Gaza Strip
U.S. pressure on Israel to withdraw from Gaza and Sharm el-Sheikh. General Assembly considers sanctions against Israel
February 18
Two civilians killed by terrorist landmines near Nir Yitzhak.
February 28
U.S.-Israel understanding on freedom of navigation and UN administration for Gaza Strip
March 1
Foreign Minister Meir announces to General Assembly Israel's readiness to withdraw from all Egyptian territories
March 6
Israel withdraws from Sinai and Gaza. UN forces (UNEF) along border
March 8
A shepherd from Kibbutz Beit Govrin was killed by terrorists in a field near the kibbutz
March 10
IDF withdraws to armistice lines
March 11
Egypt re-appoints military governor for Gaza
March 15
Egypt announces Israel not permitted to navigate through newly reopened Suez Canal
April 14
Eilat-Beersheba oil pipeline inaugurated
April 16
Two guards at Kibbutz Mesilot are killed by terrorists who infiltrated from Jordan.
May 20
A terrorist opened fire on a truck in the Arava region, killing a worker.
May 29
One killed and two wounded when their vehicle struck a landmine in Kibbutz Kisufim.
Ben-Gurion announces in Knesset Israel's acceptance of “Eisenhower's Doctrine.”
Serious border clashes on Israel-Syria border
Arab boycott of all firms selling goods in Israel.
United States attains world's largest Jewish population.
August 23
Two guards of the Israeli Mekorot water company killed are killed in Kibbutz Beit Govrin.
October 29
Mentally deranged man throws a hand grenade into the Knesset. Five ministers are injured
October 31
Huleh swamp drainage project completed
Israel completes Huleh reclamation project
December 21
A member of Kibbutz Gadot was killed in the kibbutz fields.

The first supermarket opens in Tel Aviv on Ben-Yehuda Street.
The Givat Ram campus of the Hebrew University opens in Jerusalem.
Immigration from Eastern Europe starts to grow, primarily from Romania.
January 15
Supreme Court verdict in Kastner trial
February 1
United Arabic Republic established through merger of Egypt and Syria.
February 11
Terrorists killed a resident of Moshav Yanov near Kfar Yona.
February 14
Jordan and Iraq form Arab Federation
March 8
Yemen joins United Arab Republic
March 20
Syria fires at Israeli workers engaged in widening Jordan River bed
The Knesset passes the first Basic Law to established and define the electoral system.
April 5
Terrorists lying in ambush shot and killed two people in Tel Lachish.
May 26
Four Israeli police officers and a UN officer killed in a Jordanian attack on Mt. Scopus in Jerusalem.
July 14
Iraqi monarchy is overthrown in revolution, King killed. Civil war in Lebanon. Jordan and Lebanon appeal for U.S. military aid.
July 15
U.S. marines land in Beirut; British paratroopers land in Jordan
August 2
Arab Federation dissolved by Hussein
August 4
First International Bible Quiz held in Jerusalem
October 25
U.S. ends its military intervention in Lebanon
November 7
Syrian artillery shell Israeli settlements in Huleh Valley
November 17
Ambassador Eban again proclaims Israel's readiness to compensate Arab refugees even before peace settlement.
Syrian terrorists killed the wife of the British air attache in Israel, who was staying at the guesthouse of the Italian Convent on the Mt. of the Beatitudes.
December 3
A shepherd killed and 31 civilians wounded in an artillery attack on Kibbutz Gonen.

Heichal Shlomo - seat of the Chief Rabbinate - is inaugurated.
The Carmelit subway is inaugurated in Haifa.
The USSR officially declares it will not allow Soviet Jews to immigrate to Israel.
Fatah is established by Yasser Arafat and associates.
January 23
A shepherd from Kibbutz Lehavot Habashan was killed.
February 1
Three civilians killed by a terrorist landmine at Moshav Zavdiel.
February 26
Egypt detains Liberian Ship Captain Manolis in Suez Canal with cargo from Israel to Ceylon and Malaya.
March 13
Egypt detains German ship Lialot in Suez Canal with Israeli cargo to Malaya and Phillipines.
March 24
Iraq withdraws from Baghdad Pact. Pact is re-named CENTO on August 18.
April 15
A guard was killed at Kibbutz Ramat Rahel.
April 27
Two hikers shot and killed at close range at Masada.
May 21
Egypt detains Danish ship Inge Toft, confiscates cargo destined from Israel to Hong Kong and Japan
September 6
Bedouin terrorists killed a paratroop reconnaissance officer near Nitzana.
September 8
Bedouins opened fire on an army bivouac in the Negev, killing an IDF officer, Captain Yair Peled.
October 3
A shepherd from Kibbutz Heftziba was killed near Kibbutz Yad Hana.
October 5
Egypt tells UN that Israel will be permitted to use Suez Canal after Palestine refugee problem is settled
November 3
Elections for the Fourth Knesset
December 19
Egypt detains Greek ship Astypalea in Suez Canal. Nasser disavows previous promises to UN Secretary General to allow passage of Israeli cargo on non-Israeli ships.
A series of riots with an ethnic-socio-economic basis takes places in a Haifa suburb, Wadi Salib.

The Navy's first submarine, the Tanin (crocodile), arrives in Haifa.

Habima is declared the national theater of Israel.