June 14, 2009 — Netanyahu Outlines Demilitarized Palestinian State

In a 30-minute speech Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lays out his vision for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He avoids specifics about borders or Jerusalem but makes five key points: Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state; the creation of a demilitarized Palestinian state; a refugee resolution that does not include Palestinian refugees moving into Israel; Palestinian economic development; and an end to new Israeli settlements. 

June 15, 1949 — Knesset Updated on Israel’s Frontiers

Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett speaks to the Knesset about the status of Israel’s borders after armistice agreements have been signed with Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan (a deal with Syria is still more than a month away). Sharett says Israel is ready to negotiate borders as part of an overall peace agreement, but it intends to keep the territory gained during its War of Independence, including the Negev, the western Galilee and part of the coastal plain.

June 16, 1947 — Bronislaw Huberman Dies

Violinist Bronislaw Huberman, one of the greatest Jewish musicians ever, dies at his home in Switzerland at age 64.  He founded the Palestine Symphony Orchestra with his own money in the 1930s. He won the liberation of 90 Jewish musicians living in danger in Europe and brought them to Palestine to be part of the orchestra, which today is the Israel Philharmonic.

June 17, 1939 — St. Louis Returns to Europe

The SS St. Louis, carrying more than 900 Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria, completes its crossing of the Atlantic back to Europe after its passengers were denied admission to Cuba or the United States. The ship left Hamburg on May 13 with 938 passengers, all of whom had landing permits for Havana, but Cuba gave in to anti-Semitic pressure and changed the rules, admitting only 28. Negotiations during the return voyage gain the refugees admission to Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands and France, but 254 of them are killed in the Holocaust.

June 18, 1890 — Avraham Granovsky Is Born

Avraham Granovsky (Granot after making aliyah in 1922) is born in what is now Moldova in the Russian Empire. He begins working for the Jewish National Fund in 1919 in The Hague and continues after settling in Jerusalem. He leads the purchase of thousands of dunams (quarter-acres) of land, helping define the future borders of the state. He becomes JNF director-general in 1940 and invests in new settlements, including in the Negev, and plants millions of trees. He signs the Declaration of Independence and serves in the first Knesset. He dies July 5, 1962.

June 19, 1967 — LBJ Outlines 5 Principles for Peace

Speaking two weeks after the start of the Six-Day War, President Lyndon B. Johnson focuses on the Middle East for most of a foreign policy address at the State Department and lays out five principles for regional peace: the right of all nations to live in peace; justice for the refugees; the preservation of maritime rights; the end of the regional arms race; and the need for recognizable borders. He does not demand that Israel withdraw from recently captured territory.

June 20, 1948 — Altalena Arrives

The Altalena, a ship operated by the Irgun militia, reaches the coast at Kfar Vitkin from France with 900 immigrants and a large cargo of weapons. Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, who formed a unified army in May to replace the various Jewish militias, demands that Irgun head Menachem Begin hand over the weapons. After landing the immigrants, the ship leaves for Tel Aviv with the weapons. When Begin ignores an ultimatum June 22, Israel shells and sinks the Altalena, killing 16 crew members.

Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education. 


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