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Timeline

3000-2000 BC
Semitic Amorite clans populate Canaan (Israel).  Towns of Hazor, Megiddo, Bet Shean, Jerusalem and Hebron are first fortified.  In neighboring Egypt, the pyramids are erected.

 

1700-1550 BC
Abram, following God's direction, arrives in Israel from Ur (present-day southern Iraq), and settles in Hebron.  His concubine, Hagar, gives birth to his first son Ishmael, who is to become Moslem patriarch and father of the Arabs.  Abram's barren wife Sarah, in advanced old age, gives birth to Isaac.  God tests Abram's devotion, and Abram prepares to sacrifice Isaac atop Mount Moriah in Jerusalem.  God amends his name to "Abraham" (in Hebrew, "father of the people") and promises this land to "Abraham and his seed forever."  At God's direction, Abraham circumcises himself, Ishmael and Isaac. Isaac marries Rebecca and has twin sons Esau and Jacob.  Jacob steals his brother's birthright, God changes Jacob's name to Israel, and, with Leah and Rachel, has twelve sons: Ruben, Simon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naftali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph and Benjamin, who become the "Twelve Tribes of Israel."  In Bethlehem, Rachel dies in childbirth (of Benjamin).  The jealous brothers sell Joseph into slavery in Egypt.  Famine in Canaan brings the entire family, "The Children of Israel," to Egypt also.  The Children of Israel remain some 300 years in Egypt, at some point becoming slaves.

 

1250-1200
BC The Exodus of the "Children of Israel" from Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Ramses II.  (Possibly the Exodus coincides with the giant volcanic eruption of the Greek island of Santorini, which destroyed Crete's Minoan civilization and whose force created a tidal wave...the latter may have been the "Red Sea" which drowned the Egyptian army pursuing the departing Israelites. The Children of Israel, led by Moses, wander 40 years in the Sinai and Negev deserts.  At Mount Sinai they receive the Ten Commandments and build the Ark of the Covenant.

 

1200-1025 BC
Now led by Joshua, the new generation of Israelites - "which has not known slavery" - crosses into Canaan from the east bank of the Jordan River (today's Jordan) and conquers Jericho.  The Israelites occupy much of their "promised land" and settle geographically by tribe.  Jerusalem and the coastal plain remain in the hands of Canaanite tribes and invading Philistines.  The Children of Israel, led by "judges" Deborah, Gideon etc. fight continuously with the Philistines (in later centuries, the word "Philistine" is the root of the Romans' name for the country: "Palestine").

 

1025-1007
BC The last "judge," Samuel, anoints Saul, King of Israel.  King Saul and his son Prince Jonathan lead the Israelites in battle against the Philistines.  During a battle with the Philistines in the Valley of Elah (not far from today's Rehovot), a shepherd from Bethlehem, David, kills the Philistine giant, Goliath.  Jonathan and David become close comrades and David weeps when Jonathan dies in battle.

 

1006 BCE
King Saul dies in battle and David is elected next King of Israel.

 

1004-966 BC
King David captures Jerusalem from Jebusite tribes and makes it his capital.  He brings the Ark of the Covenant, containing the Ten Commandments, to Mount Moriah (the same mount where Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac.  David captures the Jezreel Valley from the Philistines, defeats the Edomites and occupies the Negev and Arava Valleys.  He defeats the Ammonites and Arameans and occupies their capitals, Amman and Damascus.

 

965-929 BC
David's son Solomon succeeds him as King of Israel.  Israel enters economic boom and country is secured with massive fortresses at Hazor and Megiddo.  In 953, at God's direction, Solomon builds the Temple on Jerusalem's Mount Moriah to house the Ark of the Covenant.  Israeli ships trade from Eilat south to Yemen and East Africa (Ophir), and the Queen of Sheba visits Solomon in Jerusalem (their supposed liaison produces a son whose descendants are the Ethiopian monarchs, known into the 20th century CE as "the Lions of Judah").

 

928 BC
Solomon dies - and the Kingdom of Israel splits in half, ruled by Solomon's two sons: King Jeroboam ruling the Kingdom of Israel, Rehoboam ruling the Kingdom of Judah.

 

928-597 BC
350 years of power plays between Israel and Judah, and with the surrounding Arameans, Assyrians and Babylonians.

 

597-587 BC
Babylonian emperor Nebuchadnezzar conquers Jerusalem, and exiles the Israelite ruling class to Babylon (Iraq).  In 587, the Temple is destroyed.

 

538 BC
King Cyrus of Persia (Iran) defeats Babylon (Iraq) and permits the Jews to return home.

 

520 BC
Construction begins on the second Temple in Jerusalem, under Nehemiah.

 

519-333 BCE
Two centuries of relative calm, governed by a succession of rulers descended from David.

 

332 BC
Macedonian king, Alexander the Great, conquers Israel. "Hellenization," the influence of Greek art, culture, religion and way of life begins to take hold. 

 

312-199 BC
Egyptian king Ptolemy captures Jerusalem.  More than a century of Hellenization, consolidation and prosperity follows.  Jewish traders begin to move to Mediterranean cities, such as Alexandria, Carthage, Athens, Sardis and Rome.

 

198 BC
Greek Seleucids, ruled by King Antiochus III take over Israel.  Hellenization intensifies, and, under King Antiochus IV, causes conflict with Jews.

 

167 BC
Antiochus suspends Jewish worship in the Temple.  Judah "the Maccabee", son of Mattathias, a Hasmonean priest in Modiin (near today's Ben Gurion Airport), leads the Macabee revolt against Antiochus.

 

164 BC
Judah the Maccabee rededicates the Temple (Chanukah) and the Judean Hasmonean dynasty rules Israel for a century.

 

63 BC
The Romans capture Jerusalem.

 

37 BC
The Romans install Herod as king, and, to ingratiate himself with the populous, he commences a massive building program in Hebron, Herodion, Jerusalem and Masada.  He expands and beautifies the Temple.  To honor Roman emperor Caesar Augustus, he builds a city called Caesarea, on the Mediterranean.

 

c.6 BC
Herod orders a census and Jews travel to their tribal hometowns for counting.  Miriam, a woman from Nazareth, travels to Bethlehem, capital of the Benjamin tribe, gives birth to a son in a stable and names him Joshua.

 

-------------------------------------------------BC/CE --------------------------------------------                                           

c.24
Jesus of Nazareth, begins preaching in the Galilee and attracts a significant following.

 

c.26
Romans appoint Pontius Pilate Procurator (governor) of Judea.

 

c.25
As Jesus's preaching gains more and more followers - and as he is now presenting himself as Messiah"- the Romans order his arrest on the eve of Passover.  Jesus and his chief followers (his disciples) celebrate Seder (his "last supper") on Mount Zion.  He is arrested, condemned to death by Pontius Pilate and crucified, the standard form of Roman execution.

 

37  
Agrippa I, Herod's grandson, becomes King of Judea.  He persecutes the followers of Jesus of Nazareth.  Jesus's followers spread the "good news" of the events of his life (in Greek, good news translates as "gospel") and gradually break away from Judaism, characterizing themselves as followers of "Christ", or "Christians".  Yeshua is now referred to by the Greek name, "Jesus," and his mother, Miriam, as "Mary."

 

44  
When Agrippa dies, Judea loses any semblance of independence and becomes a full Roman province. 

 

66  
The Romans have no patience for Judaism or any traditions other than those of Rome and the Jewish revolt begins.

 

70  
The Romans capture Jerusalem, destroy the Temple and start the expulsion of Jews from the land of Israel.

 

73  
Almost a thousand Jewish zealots atop Masada defy a Roman siege for three years.  Finally, on the point of Roman victory, they commit mass suicide.  A few Jews still remain in Galilee and Yavne, but most of Israel's Jews commence their journey into the diaspora.

 

130
Roman emperor Hadrian forbids circumcision in the empire.

 

132
Israeli Jews, led by Simon Bar Kochba rise up against Roman rule.

 

135
The Romans put down the Bar Kochba revolt, and, in retaliation, raze Jerusalem and rename it Aelia Capitolina.  The revolt ends with a Masada-like mass suicide at Gamla on the Golan.

 

138
After Hadrian's death, practice of Judaism is again permitted - and Tiberias, in the Galilee, becomes seat of the Sanhedrin and much of the Talmud is composed here.

 

324
The Roman Empire becomes the Byzantine Empire and moves its capital from Rome to Byzantium (later called Constantinople, then Istanbul).  Byzantine Emperor Constantine declares Christianity official religion of the empire, and sends his mother, Queen Helena, to Israel to identify the sites associated with Jesus' life.  She orders churches (Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Basilica of the Nativity etc.) to be constructed.

 

325-633   
Jewish presence in Israel wanes further. Jews are permitted to enter Jerusalem only one day a year: Tisha b'Av (the anniversary of the temples' destruction).  They gather to pray at the only remnant of the Temple, the Temple Mount's western retaining wall;  their anguished prayers over the temple's destruction leads non-Jews to refer to it as the "wailing wall."

 

571-632   
In 571, Mohammed is born in Medina (now Saudi Arabia), declaring himself a descendant of the line of Abraham and Ishmael, and "that there is no god but Allah."  Mohammed teaches respect for followers of the other two faiths tracing from Abraham (Judaism and Christianity). The faith he engenders creates a massive religious momentum among the Semitic people called Arabs - and "Muhammadanism" or "Islam" sweeps the Middle East and land of Israel. 

 

640
The Arabs capture Jerusalem.  As Muslims revere Jerusalem's Mount Moriah (the rock where Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac and where the temples were located) as the location from which Mohammed leapt to heaven astride his horse, Al-Burak, the Dome of the Rock is built on the Temple Mount, probably directly over the former Temples’ Holy of Holies.  The Al-Aksa Mosque is created by converting and expanding a Byzantine church..

 

1055
Turkish Moslems (Seljuks) conquer Israel - and start vicious attacks on non-Moslems, particularly Christian pilgrims visiting the sites associated with Jesus' life.

 

1095
Pope Urban II calls for Christians to take up arms against the Moslems, and eject them from Christianity's "holy land."  Christian armies "crusade" through Europe towards Israel - slaughtering "non-believing" Jews and Muslims in their path.

 

1099
The Crusaders capture Jerusalem, slaughter its Jews and Moslems, convert the Dome of the Rock into a church and reconstruct the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

 

1100-1186
The Crusaders build massive castles and fortresses throughout the country.

 

1187
Saladin, Sultan of Egypt, captures Jerusalem, defeats the Crusaders and ejects them from Israel.

 

1188-1290
Six subsequent crusades result in continued bloodshed.

 

1191
England's King Richard I (the Lion-hearted) recaptures Acre (Akko) and makes it capital of the Crusader kingdom.

 

1291
The Muslim Mamelukes capture Acre, and end Crusader rule forever.

 

1492
Spain expels the Jews.  Most flee to Turkey, the Balkans and northern Africa, but some reach Israel, settling mostly in Safed and Tiberias.

 

1517
The Ottoman Turks capture Jerusalem and, under Sultan Suleiman (Solomon) II, known as "Suleiman the Magnificent," embark on a massive building program of the present-day walls of Jerusalem.

 

1518-1917
The Ottomans rule Israel, which gradually becomes an unimportant backwater of the empire.  Jews return to Jerusalem, which, by the 1840's has a Jewish majority.

 

1860-1914
Persecution in Russia encourages massive Jewish immigration to western Europe and the United States - but some turn to Zion and the first waves of immigrants arrive to rebuild the Jewish homeland, some funded by the Rothschilds. Jewish settlements and towns are founded throughout Israel in Petah Tikva, Rishon le Zion, Rosh Pinna, Zichron Yaacov, Rehovot and beyond Jerusalem's old city walls.

 

1881
Eliezer Ben Yehuda, a Russian-Jewish educator, moves to Israel, and works on his life work, the updating of Hebrew, a "dead" language used only for prayer.  His children are permitted to hear only Hebrew, the first in twenty centuries to do so.  Ben Yehuda, initially considered demented and a heretic by orthodox Jerusalemites, prevails, and, within 40 years an entire country is speaking Ben Yehuda's reborn Hebrew, and, within 60 years, speaking it with a recognizable Israeli accent.

 

1895
Traumatized by the anti-Semitism engendered by the Dreyfus trial, Paris correspondent of a Vienna newspaper, Theodor Herzl, decides that political Zionism is the only solution for Jewish survival.  His pamphlet "Der Judenstaat" (The State of the Jews) receives enormous acclaim.  In Hebrew the pamphlet is published with the title "Tel Aviv" (hill of spring).

 

1897
At the first Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, Herzl writes, "today I founded the Jewish state.  If I were to say this today, I would be greeted with universal laughter.  But, in five years, certainly in 50, it will come true."

 

1909
Jews move out of "Arab" Jaffa and found an adjacent garden city to be called, in Herzl's honor, "Tel Aviv".

 

1910
The first cooperative agricultural settlement, "kibbutz" is founded at Degania near the Sea of Galilee.

 

1914-1918
The Great War (World War I).

 

1916
France and Britain sign secret accords with Arabs, dividing the soon-to-be conquered Ottoman lands of the Middle East into spheres of influence.  Israel, known now as "Palestine," falls into the British sphere.

 

1917
Britain issues its Balfour Declaration, promising to "establish a Jewish national home in Palestine."

 

1918
The British capture Jerusalem and all of Palestine. 

 

1920
The newly created League of Nations grants Great Britain a mandate to govern Palestine, a territory covering present-day Israel and Jordan, and to implement the Balfour Declaration.  The first British High Commissioner for Palestine, Lord Herbert Samuel, a Jew and a Zionist, arrives in Jerusalem.

 

1922
The British partition Palestine into two, creating the Arab Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan (present-day Jordan) on the east of the River Jordan, retaining the land on the western bank of the Jordan as the enclave for Balfour’s “Jewish National Home,” retaining the name, "Palestine." Eliezer Ben Yehuda dies in Jerusalem, euphoric that Palestine, now part of the "decent" British Empire, and governed by a Jewish High Commissioner, has become the Jewish state of his (and Herzl's) dream.

 

1923-1933
Increased immigration to Palestine of European Jews, and as Palestine prospers, of Arabs from outside Palestine.

 

1925
Hebrew University founded on Jerusalem's Mount Scopus.

 

1929
Zionist Movement creates "The Jewish Agency for Palestine" to oversee Zionist development and immigration.  Arabs riot to protest increased Jewish immigration, and, in Hebron, murder Jews and destroy its Jewish community.  

 

1933-1938
As Hitler comes to power in Germany, German Jews flood to Palestine.

 

1936-1939
Increasing Arab riots against Jewish immigration.

 

1937-1938
British investigative commissions recommend partitioning Palestine into separate yet cooperating Jewish and Arab states.

 

1939
Britain formally reneges on the Balfour Declaration, restricts Zionist activity in Palestine, and reduces Jewish immigration to Palestine to 15,000 per year for 5 years.

 

1939-1945
World War II:  Britain's closure of Palestine effectively traps European Jewry: by 1945, more than six million are murdered.

 

1944
The British permit Jewish Palestinians to fight as a cohesive "Jewish Brigade" within the British army.

 

1945-6
President Truman asks Britain to permit 100,000 Holocaust survivors to enter Palestine: Britain says “no.” Some survivors attempt to reach Palestine - but many are thwarted by the British and re-interned on Cyprus; most remain in European camps.  Zionist splinter groups commence terrorist activity against the British military.  British military headquarters in the King David Hotel is blown up.

 

1947
Britain renounces its mandate to govern Palestine and asks the United Nations seek a solution.  U.N. commission proposes partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states with Jerusalem internationalized: though unhappy with the borders, the Jewish Agency accepts the plan, the Arabs reject it.  On November 29, 50 years and 59 days after Herzl's diary entry that "within 50 years, it will be true," the General Assembly of the United Nations votes to create a Jewish State in Palestine.  Palestine is wracked with civil war: the British either remain aloof or tilt to the Arabs.

 

1948
The independent State of Israel is declared by David Ben Gurion on May 14, promising full equality to non-Jewish Israelis, and is invaded by Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.  Holocaust survivors flood to Israel.  Fighting continues throughout the year, but Israel survives.
1949
Israel and its neighbors sign armistice agreements: Jerusalem is divided into Jordanian and Israeli sectors, with Israeli Jerusalem designated Israel’s capital. Israel retains more land than the original U.N. proposal and Egypt and Jordan annex what was to have been Arab Palestine.  Jordanians destroy the Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem and forbid Jews to enter.  Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann becomes first president of Israel.

 

1948-1951
Years of drastic austerity as over one million immigrants - Holocaust survivors and Jews fleeing Arab countries - arrive in Israel and are absorbed.  To seek investment and assist economy, Israel creates Israel Bonds for sale in U.S.A.  Israel signs reparations agreement with the infant Federal Republic of Germany.  Arab Palestinians who have fled Israel are not absorbed by neighboring countries and are encouraged to fester in refugee camps.
1953-56
Terrorist attacks on Israel multiply, particularly across Jordanian and Egyptian borders.  Egypt bars Israeli ships from the "international" Suez Canal and Straits of Tiran.

 

1956
Israel - to open the Straits of Tiran, and to end terrorist attacks - joins Britain and France in invasion of Egypt; Israel occupies Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula, opening straits and permitting development of Eilat as Israel's port to Asia.

 

1957
Under U.S. pressure, Israel withdraws, turning Gaza and the Straits of Tiran over to the U.N.

 

1958
Tenth anniversary of the State of Israel, population now two million.

 

1964
Pope Paul VI visits the Holy Land, the first journey outside Italy made by a pope in half a millennium.  The Pope spends ten hours visiting Mount Zion and Christian holy places in the Galilee.

 

1967
Skirmishes with Syria intensify and Egypt orders U.N. out of Straits of Tiran, threatening to destroy Israel; despite Israeli pleas, the great powers and the U.N. remain on the sidelines and, ultimately cornered, Israel launches a pre-emptive strike against Egypt.  Jordan, at Egypt’s urging, attacks Israel and, in counter-attack, Israel occupies the West Bank of the Jordan and reunites Jerusalem.  Within six days, Israel controls 4 times its original territory, including the Gaza Strip, Sinai and the Golan Heights.  Israel annexes all of Jerusalem vowing it will never again be divided.  Most Israelis believe the other territories will be exchanged for peace, but, in August, the Arab League in Khartoum vows "no peace, no recognition, no negotiations with Israel."  USSR and Eastern bloc, break diplomatic relations with Israel.

 

1967-1973
Israel enjoys economic boom.  Strategic settlements are set up in the West Bank, Golan and Sinai.

 

1969
Golda Meir becomes Prime Minister of Israel, the third woman in the world to hold this position.      

 

1972
Arab terrorists massacre Israel's team at the Munich Olympic Games.

 

1973
Egypt and Syria launch mammoth surprise attack on Israel on Yom Kippur.  Despite massive early losses, Israel resupplied by the U.S., rebounds, almost reaching Damascus and Cairo. 

 

1974-1977
U.S. brokered disengagement agreements separate armies, largely reinstate the 1967 borders and permit reopening of the Suez Canal.

 

1977
Labor party, in power since 1948, loses election to Likud Party, led by Menachem Begin.  Jewish settlement in West Bank intensifies.  Egyptian President Sadat recognizes Israel, visits Jerusalem and calls for peace talks.

 

1979
Egypt and Israel sign Camp David Accords after peace negotiations brokered by President Carter. Israel withdraws from Sinai and dismantles settlements.

 

1981
Israel annexes the Golan Heights.  Israel is condemned by the U.N. for an "unprovoked" attack on an Iraqi nuclear weapons plant.

 

1982
To protect settlements near the northern border, Israel's "Peace for the Galilee" operation in south Lebanon, evolves into a full-scale invasion of Lebanon.  Israel later withdraws from most of Lebanon and is replaced by the U.N.

 

1984
Operation Moses rescues 8,000 Ethiopian Jews from Sudan and brings them to Israel.

 

1989
The Soviet Union disintegrates into independent countries.  Massive emigration follows of Jews to Israel:  by 1995 some 560,000 formerly Soviet Jews become Israeli citizens, swelling the country's population by ten percent.  In the wake of the USSR collapse, over the next few years there is a massive change in Israel's former political isolation - and Israel forges diplomatic relations with a host of formerly unfriendly countries, including India, China, Sri Lanka, many African countries and the former Soviet republics and satellites.

 

1990
Iraq invades Kuwait: the Gulf Crisis commences in August.

 

1991
The U.N. authorizes coalition war against Iraq.  Although not part of the coalition, Iraqi missiles are launched at Israel, causing few injuries. In the fall, the first-ever peace talks between Israel and Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinians are convened in Madrid, auguring a promising break in the historic and general Arab antipathy towards Israel's basic right to exist.

 

1993
Israel's Prime and Foreign Ministers and the Palestine Liberation Organization's chairman sign the "Washington Declaration" on the White House Lawn - Palestine Autonomy will be set-up in the Gaza Strip and in Jericho.  Israeli leaders continue to Morocco to thank publicly Morocco's King Hassan for assisting in the peace process.

 

1994
Jordan's King Hussein and Israel's Prime Minister Rabin agree on the White House lawn that their countries will shortly reach a full peace accord; two new border crossings opened: one near the Sea of Galilee, one near Eilat.  Six months later in the Arava Valley on the Israel-Jordan border, the agreement is signed, witnessed by President Clinton. Tunisia and Morocco open low-level diplomatic relations with Israel.  Israel's Prime Minister visits Persian Gulf state of Oman.

 

1995
Peace negotiations with Syria continue - and seem to intensify.  Israel and PLO continue to negotiate framework of Israeli withdrawal from the remainder of the West Bank.  Celebrations of JERUSALEM 3000 commence, a cultural commemoration of the three thousandth anniversary of King David proclaiming Jerusalem Israel's capital.  A vast project, NAZARETH2000, begins, designed to improve and upgrade tourism facilities in Nazareth in time for the expected surge of tourists and visitors for the Millennium.  A record 2.5 million tourists visit Israel, an all-time record.  In November, Prime Minister Rabin is assassinated.

 

1996
Terrorist attacks in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in February and March shock Israelis.  Binyamin Netanyahu elected Prime Minister in May and new government affirms the peace process will continue.  Opening of a second doorway from the 2,000 year-old Western Wall Tunnel used as a pretext by Palestinians to vent disappointment with pace of the peace process.  Binyamin Netanyahu and Yasir Arafat meet at the White House and in Israel, and agree to work together to keep the peace process on track.  Talks proceed on Israel's withdrawal from most of Hebron, with an agreement signed in early 1997. 

 

1998
Israel celebrates its 50th Anniversary.  Israel wins the prestigious Eurovision Song Contest. Israel and Palestinians sign the Wye Plantation accords furthering Israel’s withdrawal from areas of the West Bank.  Israel’s Ministry of Tourism moves into high gear to prepare for Millennium tourism, positioning itself as “The Official Destination of the Millennium.”

 

1999
King Hussein of Jordan dies and is succeeded by his son, Abdullah:  largest foreign delegation at King’s funeral is from Israel.  In May, political change sweeps Israel as Ehud Barak is elected Prime Minister.  Peace talks commence in Washington with Syria.  Tourism to Israel breaks the previous record set in 1995.

 

2000
Peace talks with Syrians and Palestinians continue, falter, and start again. Mauretania, a member of the Arab League, accords Israel full diplomatic recognition. Pope John-Paul II visits Israel in March, the first official visit to the State of Israel by a pontiff.  The visit is full of symbolic and spiritual moments:  two of the most poignant are the memorial service at Yad Vashem Museum and Memorial of the Holocaust, and the Pope’s dramatic visit to the Western Wall where, replicating age-old Jewish custom, he places a letter of apology for centuries of Christian anti-Semitism. At summer talks at Camp David and throughout the fall in the Middle East, Palestinians reject an American-brokered compromise that would both formalize a Palestinian state and also divide Jerusalem politically enabling it to be capital of both Israel and the new Palestinian state.  The plan would also keep the Temple Mount - holy to Jews as the site of the two ancient Temples - under Muslim control. Many Israelis and much of the world is staggered that Israel would make so unprecedented an offer, and even more staggered that the offer is rejected. Palestinians begin what came to be known as the “Al Aqsa Intifada,” with widespread civil disturbances in the West Bank and Gaza.  Life (and conditions for tourists) in Israel-proper continues largely unchanged.

 

2001
Ehud Barak calls for new elections. Ariel Sharon is elected Prime Minister and forms a National Unity Government combining parties from the right and left.
On September 11, the whole world changes as radical Islamic terrorists fly aircraft into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. On September 13, an El Al Boeing 747 to Tel Aviv is the first flight given clearance to take off from New York’s Newark International Airport after a 48+ hour closure of U.S. airspace.

 

2003
Israel’s first astronaut Ilan Ramon, is a crewmember abroad the ill-fated U.S. space shuttle Columbia.

 

2004
Yasir Arafat dies and is succeeded by Mahmoud Abbas.

 

2005
Israel unilaterally withdraws from Gaza.

 

2007
Israel marks the 40th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.

 

2008
Operation Cast Lead, a 3 week IDF campaign, is launched in response to the constant firing of Qassam rockets and mortar fire from the Gaza Strip by Hamas militants on Israeli civilians in Sderot and other southern communities.

 

2009       
Omri Casspi become the first Israeli to play in the NBA league. Netanyahu meets US President Barack Obama at the White House, where they discuss the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and Israel's settlements in the West Bank. While Obama says that a two state solution is a priority, Netanyahu refuses to support the creation of a Palestinian Arab state. Netanyahu says Israel has the right to continue settlements, whereas Obama calls for settlement growth to be frozen. Ten days later Netanyahu endorses, for the first time, a "Demilitarized Palestinian State,” after two months of refusing to commit to anything other than a self-ruling autonomy when coming into office.

 

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...How blessed is the man in whose heart are the highways to Zion : Psalm 84:5

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