March 26, 1979 — Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty Is Signed
Sixteen months after Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s historic visit to Jerusalem and six months after the signing of the Camp David Accords, Sadat joins Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and U.S. President Jimmy Carter at the White House to sign the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty.
March 27, 1839 — Jews Are Forcibly Converted in Iran
A Shiite mob attacks the Jewish district of the Iranian city of Mashhad after alleged misconduct by a Jewish woman. The rioters kill 30 to 40 Jews, burn the synagogue, loot homes and abduct children. The entire community of nearly 2,400 is forced to convert to Islam in an event known as the Allahdad, although most of the converts continue to practice Judaism in secret. Attacks in 1891 and 1902 lead to further Jewish emigration from Mashhad.
March 28, 1932 — 1st Maccabiah Games Open
The first Maccabiah Games, the Jewish Olympics, open with athletes from 18 countries (some sources say 14 or 21) in Tel Aviv. The Maccabi World Organization, which has 40,000 athletes in 24 nations by 1930, grows out of an international federation of Zionist sports clubs established in 1903.
March 29, 2002 — Defensive Shield Is Launched
Israel calls up 30,000 military reservists and announces Operation Defensive Shield in response to a brutal month of terrorist attacks a year and a half into the Second Intifada. One of the worst attacks came two days earlier when a Hamas bomb killed 30 people at a Passover seder in Netanya. March 30, 1976 — 6 Israeli Arabs Killed in Land Protests
Protests over the planned government seizure of about 1,500 acres of Arab land in the Galilee turn into riots that result in the deaths of six Israeli Arabs, as well as injuries to Arab civilians and to soldiers and police. The activities on what becomes known as Land Day represent the first widespread protests by Israeli Arabs and are commemorated annually with mostly peaceful demonstrations against Israeli land-use policies.
March 31, 1979 — ‘Hallelujah’ Wins Eurovision
With Gali Atari and Milk & Honey singing “Hallelujah,” Israel wins the Eurovision Song Contest for the second consecutive year. The contest is in Jerusalem because Israel won in 1978 with “A-Ba-ni-bi” by Izhar Cohen and Alphabeta. “Hallelujah” becomes a huge hit on the European pop music charts. Israel declines to host Eurovision in 1980 because the Israel Broadcasting Authority is focusing on the conversion to color television.
April 1, 1948 — Arabs Block Food Convoy to Jerusalem
Nine Jews are killed and 17 others are wounded in an unsuccessful attempt to move a 60-truck convoy of food and other supplies to Jerusalem through Wadi Sarrar, even though Haganah patrols trying to clear the route reportedly kill 28 Arab fighters. It is the second time the convoy has failed. The hilly terrain around Jerusalem and strong fortifications such as Latrun complicate efforts to break an Arab siege that began at the end of November.
Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education.