Sept. 8, 2010 — Tank Designer Israel Tal Dies

Maj. Gen. Israel Tal is best known for leading the committee that developed Israel’s Merkava tank.

Former Israeli armor commander Maj. Gen. Israel Tal, who led the 1970 committee that designed and developed the Merkava (Chariot) tank, dies at 85. Born in Palestine in 1924, Tal served in the British army’s Jewish Brigade in World War II and was renowned as a military strategist. The Merkava, the first Israeli-made tank, was deployed in 1979 as part of an effort to become less reliant on foreign arms suppliers.

Sept. 9, 1993 — PLO, Israel Recognize Each Other

President Bill Clinton brings Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat together for a handshake outside the White House on Sept. 13, 1993.

Four days before the White House signing ceremony for the self-rule agreement of the Oslo Accords, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Yasser Arafat and Israel’s Yitzhak Rabin exchange letters formally recognizing each other’s existence. The PLO agrees to renounce terrorism and accepts Israel’s right to exist in peace and security. Israel agrees to recognize the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinian people.

Sept. 10, 1956 — Archaeologist Eilat Mazar Is Born

Archaeologist Eilat Mazar holds a jar fragment from the 10th century B.C.E. with a Canaanite inscription, the oldest alphabetical text found in Jerusalem. By Oria Tadmor, courtesy of Eilat Mazar.

Eilat Mazar, a third-generation archaeologist, is born. Her best-known work involves Jerusalem’s City of David, including remnants of what she believes to be King David’s palace and a portion of the city walls from the Second Temple period. Her dig near the Temple Mount in July 2013 uncovers a jar from the 10th century B.C.E. with a Canaanite inscription that is the earliest alphabetical text found in Jerusalem.

Sept. 11, 1921 — Moshav Nahalal Is Founded

Designed by architect Richard Kaufman, Moshav Nahalal is laid out in concentric circles, with public buildings in the center, homes in the next ring, and gardens and fields in the outer circle.

Moshav Nahalal, an agricultural settlement combining a kibbutz’s communal principles with private land ownership, is founded in the northwestern Jezreel Valley between Haifa and Afula by 80 families who came to the Land of Israel during the Second Aliyah (1904 to 1914). Both the principles of Nahalal and its layout, designed by Richard Kaufman in concentric circles, serve as models for other moshavim.

Sept. 12, 2009 — Israeli Film Wins Golden Lion

“Lebanon” is the first Israeli film to win the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival.

An Israeli film wins the Golden Lion (introduced in 1949) at the Venice International Film Festival for the first time. “Lebanon,” written and directed by Samuel Maoz, follows a tank brigade operating during the First Lebanon War. It does not win Israel’s equivalent of the Oscar for best picture and thus is not the nation’s Academy Award nominee for best foreign language film. That honor goes to “Ajami.”

Sept. 13, 1993 — PLO, Israel Sign Oslo Accords

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres signs the Oslo Accords on Sept. 13, 1993, while (from left) Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, U.S. President Bill Clinton, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher and PLO official Mahmoud Abbas look on. By Avi Ohayon, Israeli Government Press Office.

President Bill Clinton holds a White House signing ceremony for the Oslo Accords, a set of agreements between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, at the conclusion of which Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat famously shake hands. The agreement envisions a five-year process toward Palestinian self-rule and builds on the framework of the 1978 Camp David Accords.

Sept. 14, 1948 — Palmach Is Integrated Into IDF

Yitzhak Rabin, as a Palmach commander, joins David Ben-Gurion and Yigal Allon on a tour of the Negev during the War of Independence.

Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion announces after a meeting with dozens of Palmach leaders that the elite strike force is being dismantled as an independent unit and integrated into the Israel Defense Forces. The move is part of a policy of depoliticizing the military that also applies to the Irgun and Lehi. Yitzhak Rabin, a Palmach commander, writes in his memoirs about his ambivalence over the move.

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