Today in Israeli History
June 9, 1856 — Labor Advocate A.D. Gordon is Born
Aharon David (A.D.) Gordon is born into a religious family in Ukraine. He joins the Zionist Hovevei Zion movement as a young man and moves to Ottoman Palestine in 1903 at age 47. Although previously an office worker, he becomes a farmworker and is one of the founders of the Jewish labor movement Hapoel Hatzair. He is a proponent of Jews working the land to rebuild the Jewish homeland and renew the Jewish people.
June 10, 1964 — National Water Carrier Begins Pumping
Israel’s National Water Carrier begins pumping water out of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) for drinking and agriculture in the center and south of the state. The 81-mile-long system of pipes, canals, tunnels, reservoirs and pumping stations can carry up to 19 million gallons per hour. Integrated with most of the water systems in Israel, the National Water Carrier crosses all types of terrain through a variety of elevations.
June 11, 1945 — Haganah Founder Eliyahu Golomb Dies
Eliyahu Golomb, who organized Jewish defenses in pre-state Palestine, dies at age 52. A native of Belarus, Golomb immigrated to Ottoman Palestine in 1909. He helped found the Haganah military organization in 1920 and traveled to Europe to purchase weapons in 1922. He established field units in response to rising Arab violence in the 1930s. He advocated retaliatory attacks against Arab militants but opposed violence against civilians.
June 12, 1948 — Jews in Tripoli Face Riots
A mob attacks the Jewish Quarter in Tripoli, Libya, while North African Arabs are passing through the city on their way to join the armies fighting against Israel’s independence. In the two days of riots, 14 Jews are killed, and 300 lose their homes. Rioters are heard shouting, “If we cannot go to Palestine to fight Jews, let’s fight them here.” Jewish defense groups formed after riots in November 1945 help prevent higher casualties.
June 13, 1947 — Diplomat Elyakim Rubinstein is Born
Elyakim Rubinstein is born in Tel Aviv. He works as a legal adviser to the Defense and Foreign ministries in the mid-1970s, then joins the Israeli delegation to Egyptian peace talks from 1977 through 1979. He chairs the Israeli delegation to the 1991 Madrid peace conference and to the talks that produce the 1994 treaty with Jordan. He is a judge and the attorney general before serving on the Supreme Court from 2004 to 2017.
June 14, 1985 — TWA Flight 847 is Hijacked
Two Lebanese terrorists hijack TWA Flight 847, carrying 139 passengers and eight crew members, between Athens and Rome and force the 727 to fly to Beirut. The plane then flies to Algiers, back to Beirut, back to Algiers and again to Beirut over two days. The terrorists kill a U.S. Navy diver and separate possible Jews from the other hostages. They demand the release of 783 prisoners, mostly Lebanese Shiites held by Israel and its allies.
June 15, 1970 — Refuseniks are Arrested Before Stealing Plane
A plot to steal a commercial aircraft to escape the Soviet Union is foiled when 12 dissidents are arrested at Leningrad’s Smolnoye Airport just before boarding a 12-seat aircraft. Four others are arrested in Priozersk, where the plane is supposed to stop before flying to Sweden. All but two of the 16 are refuseniks, Jews denied the opportunity to emigrate. Their court cases propel the international movement to free Soviet Jewry.
Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education (israeled.org), where you can find more details.