Jan. 24, 1941 — Nobel Laureate Dan Shechtman Born

Dan Shechtman, Israel’s 10th Nobel Prize winner, is born in Tel Aviv. Trained at the Technion, where he teaches, he is on sabbatical at Johns Hopkins University when he discovers by studying the diffraction of X-rays through crystals that some crystals grow without a repeating pattern. He publishes his findings on “quasicrystals” in 1984, and, despite scientific ridicule, he is proved correct and wins the Nobel in chemistry in 2011.

Jan. 25, 1956 — Eban, Dulles Discuss Arms Deal

Abba Eban, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, and John Foster Dulles, the U.S. secretary of state, discuss a proposal for a $50 million weapons sale in response to Egypt’s agreement to obtain $80 million in arms from the Soviet Union. But the idea for the first major U.S. arms deal with Israel goes nowhere under President Dwight Eisenhower, who in 1960 says Israel receives enough weaponry from France and Britain.

Jan. 26, 2006 — Hamas Wins Parliamentary Elections

Hamas wins 76 of the 132 seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council during elections in which 77% of eligible voters cast ballots. Fatah, the party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, wins 43 seats. Although Fatah’s corruption and Hamas’ provision of social services are the believed to be the main reasons for the results, Hamas’ recognition as a terrorist organization and its rejection of Israel’s existence stand in the way of the peace process.

Jan. 27, 2006 — First U.N. Holocaust Remembrance Day

The first U.N.-recognized International Holocaust Remembrance Day is held on the 61st anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The president of the U.N. General Assembly, Jan Eliasson, says the commemoration should be “a unifying historic warning around which we must rally, not only to recall the grievous crimes committed in human history, but also to reaffirm our unfaltering resolve to prevent the recurrence of such crimes.”

Jan. 28, 1996 — Dumping of Donated Ethiopian Blood Sparks Riots 

About 10,000 Ethiopian Jews demonstrate outside Prime Minister Shimon Peres’ office to protest the government’s decision to accept blood donations from thousands of Ethiopian Israelis, only to throw away the blood for fear of spreading the AIDS virus. The disposal builds on feelings of humiliation and discrimination. When police deploy water cannons and tear gas, the protest turns into a riot, injuring several officers and damaging many cars.

Jan. 29, 2004 — Israel Swaps Prisoners for Man, 3 Bodies

Israel frees more than 430 Arab prisoners to win the release of an Israeli businessman abducted in Dubai in October 2000 and the bodies of three Israeli soldiers captured the same month along the Lebanese border by Hezbollah and killed in captivity. The Palestinian Authority and Hezbollah celebrate the exchange. Israelis are divided, in part because the swap happens the same day as a bus bombing in Jerusalem.

Jan. 30, 1958 — U.S. Commits to Baghdad Pact

During a meeting in Ankara, Turkey, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles says the United States is committed to the defense of the Baghdad Pact nations: the Muslim-majority states of Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Turkey, plus the United Kingdom. Dulles’ statement is seen as an extension of the Eisenhower Doctrine, under which any Middle Eastern country threatened by a Communist regime can seek U.S. economic aid.

Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education.


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