July 22, 1946 — King David Hotel Is Bombed
The militant Jewish organization Irgun bombs Jerusalem’s King David Hotel, the British administrative headquarters in Palestine, as part of a violent campaign to drive the British out of the Land of Israel. Despite warnings called in to the hotel and to the Palestine Post, the King David is not evacuated, and 91 people are killed, including 41 Arabs, 28 Britons and 17 Jews. David Ben-Gurion is among those who condemn the bombing.
July 23, 2002 — Knesset Enacts Tal Law on Haredi Draft
On a 51-41 vote, the Knesset approves the Tal Law, an effort to address the growing problem of Haredi yeshiva students receiving exemptions from military service. The law allows Haredim to defer service until age 22, when they must choose vocational training and 16 months in the military or a year of civilian service. The Supreme Court rules the law unconstitutional in 2012, and the issue of ultra-Orthodox military service remains unresolved.
July 24, 2013 — Sons of Former Chief Rabbis Win the Positions
Haredi Rabbis Yitzhak Yosef and David Lau are elected to 10-year terms as Israel’s chief rabbis — Yosef for the Sephardim and Lau for the Ashkenazim. Each wins 68 of the 147 ballots cast. Yosef’s father, Ovadia Yosef, was chief rabbi from 1973 to 1983. Lau’s father, Yisrael Meir Lau, was chief rabbi from 1993 to 2003. The religious Zionists back the runners-up, Shmuel Eliyahu and David Stav, in a bid to reform the rabbinate.
July 25, 1973 — Gold Medalist Leibovitch Is Born
Keren Leibovitch, considered Israel’s greatest Paralympian, is born in Hod Hasharon near Tel Aviv. Leibovitch does not swim competitively until after she is paralyzed from the waist down in an accident while training to be an Israel Defense Forces officer at 18. A coach spots Leibovitch’s potential when she swims during rehabilitation, and she goes on to win four gold medals, two silvers and a bronze in Paralympic swimming in 2000 and 2004.
July 26, 1967 — Allon Presents West Bank Plan
Yigal Allon, a government member and retired general, presents a strategic proposal for Israel’s retention of the Jordan Valley after capturing the West Bank in June 1967. The Allon Plan calls for a series of settlements and military installations as a buffer against an attack from east of the Jordan River. The plan includes peace with the Arabs, Israeli security, a Jewish majority in the State of Israel and the opportunity for Palestinian independence.
July 27, 1955 — El Al Flight Is Shot Down
Bulgarian fighter jets shoot down El Al Flight 402 en route from London’s Heathrow Airport to Israel.
The weekly flight includes stops in Vienna, Austria, and Istanbul, Turkey, and the Lockheed Constellation veers off course between those cities into Bulgarian airspace. Two MiG-15s trail Flight 402 for almost 120 miles, then shoot it down just before it reaches the Greek border. All 51 passengers and seven crew members are killed.
July 28, 1845 — Reform Rabbinical Conference Ends
A two-week assembly in Frankfurt-am-Main of Reform rabbis ends after the 31 rabbis unanimously agree to remove all prayers calling for a return to Israel. The implication is that Judaism is a religion, not a nationality. The rabbis, who decided in a previous assembly that most of the service could be conducted in German instead of Hebrew, see the Diaspora as an essential part of Jews’ mission to spread God’s message worldwide.
Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education.