Sept. 8, 2010 — Tank Designer Israel Tal Dies
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education (israeled.org), where you can find more details.