April 7, 1977 — Maccabi Tel Aviv Wins European Title
Maccabi Tel Aviv, whose international basketball success has made it Israel’s sports ambassadors, wins its first European championship by defeating the two-time defending champions, Mobilgirgi Varese of Italy, by one point. Just as celebrated is Maccabi’s semifinal upset over the Soviet team CSKA Moscow, 91-79, in a game played in a Belgian village because the Soviet Union has not had diplomatic ties with Israel since the June 1967 war.
April 8, 1929 — Palestine Exhibition Opens
The fourth Palestine and Near East Exhibition opens in Tel Aviv to showcase the commercial and industrial activity of the Yishuv, the Jewish area of settlement. The almost-annual economic fairs began in 1924; they give way to what in 1932 becomes the Levant Fair or Orient Fair (Yerid Hamizrach). The growth of the fair leads to the construction of a permanent fairground in 1934. The 1929 fair also celebrates Tel Aviv’s 20th anniversary.
April 9, 1973 — Israeli Commandos Raid Beirut
Ehud Barak leads Sayeret Matkal commandos in a successful seaborne raid on Beirut to kill three PLO officials connected to the Munich Olympics massacre of September 1972: Mohammed Yousef al-Najjar (Abu Yousef), Kamal Adwan and Kamal Nasser. At the same time, a paratrooper team attacks the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine headquarters, killing dozens of PFLP militants, and other teams hit smaller PLO sites.
April 10, 2002 — Suicide Bomber Kills Eight on Haifa Bus
Eight passengers on a commuter bus in Haifa, including the 18-year-old niece of Israel’s U.N. ambassador, are killed in a suicide bombing claimed by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The attack comes on the eve of a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and is part of a surge in Second Intifada violence after an Israeli military offensive in the West Bank, which itself is a response to deadly attacks around Passover.
April 11, 1909 — Tel Aviv is Founded
Sixty-six families gather on the dunes outside Jaffa on the Mediterranean coast to claim their lots in the new neighborhood of Ahuzat Bayit (“Homestead”), marking the founding of the first modern Jewish city, Tel Aviv. The goal is to escape the overcrowding and rising rents of Jaffa. To assign the properties, Akiva Arieh Weiss writes the family names on 66 white seashells and the lot numbers on 66 gray shells, then pairs them at random.
April 12, 1951 — Knesset Creates Yom HaShoah
The Knesset passes a resolution establishing the 27th of Nisan as Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day. The date, suggested by Holocaust survivor Rabbi Mordechai Nurock, was chosen because of its proximity to the start of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Because of a desire in Israel to focus on resistance, the commemoration originally is called Yom HaZikaron l’Shoah v’Mered HaGetaot (Holocaust and Ghetto Revolt Memorial Day).
April 13, 1971 — Black Panthers Meet with Meir
Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir meets with leaders of the Black Panthers, a Mizrahi activist group unaffiliated with the U.S. group. Israel’s Black Panthers protest the social injustice and discrimination felt by non-Ashkenazi Jews. A threat to hold a hunger strike at the Western Wall won them the meeting with Meir, who later calls them “not nice people” after a protest by 6,000 Black Panthers in Jerusalem results in clashes with the police.
Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education.