In preparation for Israel’s 65th birthday, I recently reread Leon Uris’ novel “Exodus” — and found it disturbing and unsettling in many ways.
Ehud Barak stepped down as Israeli defense minister at an official farewell event.
Esther Shawmut Friedman, an American volunteer who worked as a medic in the Haganah, died on March 7. She was 89.
When Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, granted a few hundred haredi Orthodox Jews an exemption from army service, it’s likely he never dreamed that 63 years later, tens of thousands of haredi Israelis would claim the exemption -- or that the issue would be among the most contentious in modern Israel.
At 4:00 in the afternoon, sixty-three years ago today, Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion took to the podium in the auditorium of the Tel Aviv Museum to make a bold and historic announcement. The preceding days had been filled with often difficult deliberations among Zionist leaders over whether to move ahead with it in the face of American opposition. Eventually, Ben-Gurion garnered enough support among his colleagues to carry the day. On May 14, the fifth of Iyar in the Hebrew calendar, he stood and declared with a sense of historical moment: “We hereby proclaim the establishment of the Jewish state in Palestine, to be known as the State of Israel.” For Ben-Gurion and fellow Zionists, this announcement brought to an end the millennial aspiration of “Jews…in every successive generation to re-establish themselves in their ancient homeland.”
Three years ago, the BBC decided to make a television documentary to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1956 Sinai campaign.
The filmmakers were soon stymied in their search for one top-secret document: the Protocol of Sevres, in which leaders of the three temporary allies coordinated their plans to seize the Suez Canal, five days before the actual attack on Oct. 29, 1956.