Some 30 years after it was founded and 26 after it released an “Open Message” from Beirut, Hizbollah remains a constant threat to Israel and an obstacle to peace efforts in the Middle East.
The terrorist group, formed with the backing of the Iranian Islamist revolutionaries the 1980s, began with the aim of pushing Israel out of Lebanon. But its 1985 manifesto also called for a continuous jihad until Israel was destroyed and for the creation of an Islamic republic in Lebanon.
It was the search for a stray goat that prompted one of the most remarkable findings in Jewish history.
Discovered by Bedouin shepherds in 1947, in caves in the Judean desert where they had been buried for 2,000 years, the Dead Sea Scrolls are believed to be the earliest example of biblical Jewish writings.
Dated back to the time of the Second Temple - during the Hasmonean and Herodian dynasties - the around 900 scrolls included apocryphal writings on fragments of parchment and leather. They were written in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic.
In 1947, The Soviet Union was one of 33 countries to vote in favour of the United Nation’s partition plan for Palestine. Almost immediately after Israel declared its independence on May 14 1948, the Soviet Union offered recognition, along with the United States and other Western powers.
It was not to last. The Soviet Union, as would almost all of its satellites, cut ties with Israel less than five years later.
For the next 35 years, the Soviets pursued largely pro-Arab policies and Israel was a pawn in a much wider game between the US and USSR.
Israel’s voting system is prone to inconclusive outcomes – unsurprising in a country brimming with different opinions and outlooks.
The 2009 vote was already beset by controversy, called as it was after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was forced to step down because of a criminal investigation.
The Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, who took over from his as party leader after winning primary elections, but announced in October that she had been unable to form a coalition, prompting President Shimon Peres to call the election.
In January 2009 it emerged that Pope Benedict had lifted the excommunication of a British bishop and known Holocaust denier.
The pope ordered Williamson to recant his views before the excommunication was lifted, but the issue provoked international outrage and threatened a rift in Jewish-Catholic relations.
The bishop, part of an extreme-traditionalist sect, had said: "I believe that the historical evidence is strongly against, is hugely against six million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler".
The Austrian-born thinker began his spiritual journey as an observant Jew under the tutelage of his Talmudic scholar grandfather. He became a philosopher as a young man, but continued to write about and address Hassidic values throughout his life.
When Zola’s J’Accuse letter was published on the front page of a French newspaper in January 1898 it was a remarkable act of bravery on its author’s part.
Written in protest at the French government’s treatment of Jewish artillery officer Alfred Dreyfus, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for treason, Zola was one of a group of intellectuals and artists who sought to secure his freedom.
The city now known as the Big Apple began life as a Dutch colonial settlement, taking the name New York in 1664. Chosen as the capital of New Netherland and given municipal rights on February 2 1653, it had a population of just 5,000 by 1700 but by the time of American independence that had grown to about 25,000.
There are now near to 19 million people in New York State; it is estimated that more than 1.6 million of them are Jewish. It wasn’t always that way; the first Jewish community arrived in 1654.
The Iranian revolution, which ended more than 50 years of the rule of the US-baked Pahlavi dynasty, started in January 1978, when disparate groups of religious scholars, students, nationalists and communists began demonstrating against the Shah.