1882- Leon Pinsker’s Auto-emancipation calling for the establishment of a Jewish national center is published and members of the Bilu movement begin to arrive in Israel, representing the first Zionist group of pioneers.
1885 – Nathan Birnbaum creates the term Zionist while writing a pamphlet for the Hovevei Zion Movement.
1890 – The Hebrew Language Committee is established as part of Eliezer Ben Yehuda’s effort to re-establish the Hebrew language.
1891 – Ahad Ha’am visits Eretz Yisrael and calls for the establishment of a Jewish cultural center in the Holy Land.
1896 – Theodore Herzl writes the Jewish State and declares that the problem of anti-semitism can only be solved with the establishment of a Jewish national homeland.
1897 – The first Zionist Congress meets and adopts the Basle Program for the establishment of a Jewish national home in Israel.
1909- Tel Aviv, the first all Jewish city in modern times, is established.
1915-17- NILU is active assisting the British in fighting against Turkish rule in Israel until its members are captured by the Ottoman Turkish authorities.
1917 – Balfour Declaration – After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, British Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour declares: “His Majesty’s Government views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”
1920 – San Remo Peace Conference establishes the British Mandate for Palestine.
1921 – Anti-Jewish riots erupt, resulting in the death of 47 Jews and many more were wounded.
1922 – British Mandate – After World War One, the League of Nations affirms the establishment of two distinct entities in the territory both east and west of the Jordan River, one Arab and one Jewish. 78 percent of the original Mandate is then lopped off to create the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which is closed to Jewish settlement. However, the League of Nations ingrained into international law the right of Jews to settle and create a Jewish national home in all areas west of the Jordan River. Nevertheless, the Churchill White Paper is published, thus limiting Jewish immigration.
1925- The Hebrew University of Jerusalem at Mount Scopus is established.
1929 – Arab riots – Arabs protest the growing Jewish presence in Palestine, murdering 133 Jews in Hebron and elsewhere, and pressuring the British to impose restrictions on Jewish prayer at the Western Wall.
1936-39 – Arab riots- The Great Arab Revolt breaks out, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of Jews.
1937 – Peel Commission – The British Peel Commission recommends that all the future Jewish state be confined to a tiny sliver of land along the Mediterranean coast and a small piece abutting the Sea of Galilee.
1939 – Immigration Quotas – In order to appease the Arabs following the Great Arab Revolt, another British “White Paper” severely restricts Jewish immigration to the Holy Land to a token number for five years, even to the point of turning away boatloads of Jews fleeing Hitler.
1942- 770 Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis aboard the Struma perish at sea because the British refused them entry into Israel.
1944 – The Jewish Brigade, fighting under the British flag, is parachuted into Nazi-controlled Europe in order to assist resistance groups fighting against the Nazis. Two of its members, Hannah Szenes and Perez Goldstein, are captured, tortured and executed by the Nazis.
1947 – 4500 Jewish refugees who boarded the Exodus ship are barred entry into Israel by the British and sent back to Europe. That same year, the U.N. Partition Plan is announced. On November 29, 1947, the U.N. authorizes Resolution 181, calling for separate Arab and Jewish states west of the Jordan River. The plan is accepted by Israel, but rejected by the Arab League.
1948 – War of Independence – On May 15, 1948, following Ben-Gurion’s Declaration of Independence, the armies of five Arab states join local Arab militias to invade Israel, with the goal of aborting the newly-declared state. Jordan conquers and annexes the “West Bank” (the lands heretofore called “Judea and Samaria” on all British mandate maps), expelling all Jews from the Old City of Jerusalem, and destroying 57 synagogues and Mount of Olives tombstones. One percent of the Israeli Jewish population is killed in the war.
1949 – Refugee Issue – In the ensuing war, approximately 600,000 Arabs flee Israel as refugees. In the war’s aftermath, approximately 850,000 Jewish refugees flee from Arab countries, when massacres, arrests, and ostracism made life impossible. The Jewish refugees are integrated into Israeli life; the Arab refugees are placed in squalid camps by their Arab hosts, supported by the UNWRA.
1950 – The Knesset passes the Law of Return and gives Jews living around the world the right to immigrate to Israel, the sole Jewish homeland.
1953 – Yad Vashem is established to remember the victims of the Holocaust.
1956 – Suez War – After Egypt blockades Israel’s shipping and Nasser assumes command of the Syrian and Jordanian armies, Israel attacks Egypt and captures the Gaza Strip and much of the Sinai. International pressure forces Israel to withdraw without obtaining any concessions.
1962 – Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann, who was one of the main people responsible for the Final Solution that resulted in the slaughter of six million Jews, was executed after being tried in Israel.
1964 – Palestine Liberation Organization – While Jordan and Egypt hold the “territories,” the PLO forms with the goal of annihilating the State of Israel through violence and terror. In the ensuing years, a rash of airplane hijackings, bombings and the Munich Olympic Massacre bring the Palestinians media attention.
1965 – The Israel Museum is established as the country’s national museum.
1967 – Six Day War – Egyptian President Nasser closes the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, and Syrian Defense Minister Hafez Assad declares that “the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation.” Israel responds with a preemptive strike and captures the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria, Gaza Strip, and Sinai Peninsula. Israel immediately offers to return the conquered land in exchange for peace. Meeting in Khartoum, the Arab League issues the infamous three noes: “No peace with Israel. No negotiations with Israel. No recognition of Israel.”
1969-70- War of Attrition- tensions along the Israeli-Egyptian border.
1972 – The Munich Olympic Massacre occurs, resulting in the slaughter of 11 Israeli athletes.
1973 – Yom Kippur War – On the holiest day of the Jewish year, Egypt and Syria launch a surprise attack. In the Golan, 180 Israeli tanks face an onslaught of 1,400 Syrian tanks. Along the Suez Canal, 500 Israeli soldiers are attacked by 80,000 Egyptians. Israel suffers heavy casualties, but wins the war.
1976 – Operation Entebbe was launched to free the over 100 Israeli hostages held at the Entebbe International Airport. Israel succeeded to rescue most of the passengers.
1978 – Camp David Accords – Egyptian President Anwar Sadat meets with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to negotiate a settlement. Israel agrees to return the entire Sinai Peninsula – constituting 80 percent of Israel’s land mass – in exchange for normalization of relations with Egypt. That same year, Operation Litani is launched in response to cross-border attacks from Lebanon.
1980 – Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel is passed by the Knesset, thus annexing all of Jerusalem to be part of Israel.
1981 – The Golan Heights Law is passed by the Knesset, thus annexing the Golan Heights to be part of Israel.
1982 – Operation Peace for the Galilee is launched against PLO strongholds in Lebanon, resulting in the creation of an Israeli security zone in Southern Lebanon.
1984- Some 7,000 Ethiopian Jews made Aliyah to Israel.
1987- The Palestinians launch the First Intifada, which results in over a hundred Israeli deaths and over a thousand Israeli wounded.
1989 – The mass immigration of Soviet Jewry to Israel begins.
1991 – Israel is attacked by Iraqi Scud Missiles during the Gulf War.
1993 – Oslo Accords – Following a historic handshake between Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn, the Oslo accords call for Israeli recognition of the PLO, and a Palestinian commitment to cease violence and terror.
1994 – Peace with Jordan – King Hussein reverses decades of belligerence and signs a formal peace treaty with Israel. The treaty involves minor border changes, and includes a guaranteed supply of water by Israel to Jordan.
2000 – Palestinian Violence—Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offers 95 percent of the territories, including eastern Jerusalem, for the creation of a Palestinian state. Yasser Arafat refuses, and Palestinians launch thousands of violent attacks against Israeli targets. Six months after the violence begins, Ariel Sharon comes to power in a landslide victory. Over 1,000 Israelis would be murdered during the Second Intifada that erupted and many more would be wounded. According to Suha Arafat, Arafat’s wife, the Second Intifada was pre-planned. Israel withdraws from Southern Lebanon this same year, a move which also didn’t result in peace.
2003 – Road Map – The international Quartet proposes a road map for peace, calling for an end to Palestinian violence and a limiting of Israeli settlement activity, as a precursor to an independent Palestinian state. Israeli and Palestinian leaders accept the road map in principle, triggering a new round of diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict. However, it doesn’t result in bringing about peace. The Second Intifada continued until Yasser Arafat passed away and Abbas declared its end in 2005, although sporadic violence would continue even after that point.
2005- Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in the hopes of getting peace. Palestinian Terrorists begin almost continuous campaign of deadly missile attacks from Gaza.
2006- The Second Lebanon War was launched in response to Hezbollah abducting two Israeli soldiers.
2008-9- Operation Cast Lead was launched in response to qassam rockets being constantly aimed at Israeli communities from Gaza.
2010 – Israel raided the Mavi Marmara ship after she illegally attempted to break the siege on Gaza. The Turkish flotilla passengers engaged in violent actions against Israeli soldiers who lawfully attempted to take the ship.
2011 – Estimated 3,000 Egyptians storm the Israeli Embassy in Cairo. Israeli diplomatic staff barely escaped with their lives.
2012 – Operation Pillar of Defense was launched in response to qassam rocket attacks from Gaza.