February 24, 1942 — Soviet Sub Sinks Struma

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February 24: Jewish underground forces distributed this “wanted” poster for Harold MacMichael, the British high commissioner for Palestine, after the sinking of the Struma.

A Soviet submarine sinks the refugee transport SS Struma in the Black Sea in the mistaken belief that it is an enemy ship. Only one of the 769 Jewish refugees survives. The Struma, a converted cattle transport meant to carry only 100 passengers, originated in Romania and stopped at Istanbul, where the refugees were denied visas to Palestine or entry to Turkey. After 10 weeks in port, the broken-down ship was towed to sea Feb. 23 and sunk the next day.


February 25, 1928 — Tel Aviv Sees First Soccer Derby

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February 25: Revisionist Zionism leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky poses with a British Mandate-era Maccabi Tel Aviv team. Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Tel Aviv hold the first match in the city’s oldest soccer rivalry, a 3-0 home victory for Maccabi. Maccabi wins the rematch on Hapoel’s home field a week later, 2-1. Maccabi Tel Aviv, founded in 1906, is the first soccer powerhouse in British Mandatory Palestine. Hapoel Tel Aviv rises as a top team in the 1930s. Both teams have remained mainstays in the top tier of Israeli soccer.


February 26, 1973 — Kissinger, Egypt’s Ismail Secretly Meet

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February 26: National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger (left) speaks with President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State William Rogers (right) on Feb. 23, 1973, two days before secretly meeting with Egypt’s Hafez Ismail.

On the second day of secret meetings in Armonk, New York, Egyptian National Security Adviser Hafez Ismail tells his U.S. counterpart, Henry Kissinger, that Egypt is willing to negotiate directly with Israel through a U.S.-mediated, step-by-step process that trades territory for normalized relations — the type of incremental process that occurs to reach disengagement agreements after the Yom Kippur War eight months later.


February 27, 1928 — Ariel Sharon Is Born

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February 27: Ariel Sharon visits the Suez Canal in 1982.

Ariel Sharon, Israel’s 11th prime minister, is born in K’far Malal, near Hod Hasharon. He serves in the military from the War of Independence through the Yom Kippur War and oversees the first war in Lebanon as defense minister in 1982. He becomes prime minister as the Likud leader in 2001, disengages from Gaza in 2005, forms Kadima for the 2006 election, then suffers a stroke from which he never recovers.


February 28, 1942 — Justice Dorit Beinisch Is Born

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February 28: Justice Dorit Beinisch speaks at her swearing-in ceremony as the Supreme Court president Sept. 14, 2006. Avi Ohayon, Israeli Government Press Office.

Dorit Beinisch, the ninth president of Israel’s Supreme Court and the first woman to hold the post, is born in Tel Aviv. With legal degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Beinisch in 1967 goes to work for the State Attorney’s Office. She becomes Israel’s first female state attorney in 1989 and is appointed to the Supreme Court in 1995. She succeeds Aharon Barak as the court president in 2006 and remains in the position until 2012.


March 1, 1920 — Arab Raiders Attack Tel Hai

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March 1: Joseph Trumpeldor died leading the defense of Tel Hai and became a Zionist martyr.

In the first armed conflict between Arabs and Zionist settlers, an Arab militia attacks the Jewish agricultural community of Tel Hai on the border between British-controlled Palestine and French-controlled Syria in the Upper Galilee. The eight Jews killed in the battle include Joseph Trumpeldor, a co-founder of the Zion Mule Corps, who leads reinforcements rushing to Tel Hai from a nearby kibbutz, Kfar Giladi.


March 2, 1977 — First Woman Is Appointed to High Court

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March 2: Miriam Ben-Porat completed her term on the Supreme Court with her mandatory retirement in 1988. Ya’acov Sa’ar, Israeli Government Press Office.

Israeli President Ephraim Katzir appoints Miriam Ben-Porat and Shimon Asher to the Supreme Court. Ben-Porat becomes the first woman to serve on the highest judicial authority of any nation with a common law system. A native of what is now Belarus, she made aliyah in 1936; her parents and a brother were killed in the Holocaust. She became a lawyer in 1945 and first served as a judge on the Jerusalem District Court in 1958.


Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education.

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