Birth of Israel

Chaim Weizmann and how the Balfour Declaration was made in Manchester

By Josh Glancy, November 1, 2012

Ninety-five years ago, on November 2 1917, British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour wrote his famous letter to Lord Rothschild, expressing the support of the government for the “establishment in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish people”.

It was a major step towards the eventual founding of Israel.


Negev named as top travel spot by Lonely Planet

By Jennifer Lipman, October 26, 2012

Travel guide Lonely Planet has named the Negev desert as one of its top destinations of the year.

The Negev, which covers most of southern Israel, appears in second place on its annual list of ten top regions to visit. The desert area is in the company of Corsica, in France, Mustang in Nepal and the Palawan archipelago in the Philippines.


Leading British Zionist killed in Jerusalem crash

By Jennifer Lipman, October 22, 2012

One of the leading figures in British Zionist history has been killed in a car accident at the age of 97.

Jack Sklan, who had lived in Israel for nearly 40 years, was crossing King George Street not far from the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem on Shabbat morning when he was hit by a car.


If Miliband wills it, is it a dream?

By Rebecca Abrams, October 11, 2012

There are plenty of Jews in the upper echelons of the Conservative party but none of them were tempted this week to follow Ed Miliband's example and share their family histories with the nation. I was hoping we might get into a "my roots are better than your roots" contest, but it was not to be.


How IOC scotched Israel before 1948 London Olympics

By Jennifer Lipman, July 26, 2012

Since the last time the Olympic Games were staged in London, Israeli athletes have won seven medals.

This week, the team will not only be looking to improve on this record, they will also be savouring the first chance to compete at a London Games under a blue and white flag.


My part in the attack on the King David Hotel

By Simon Round, July 12, 2012

Sixty-six years ago, Miriam Issacaroff made an urgent call to her siblings in Tel Aviv, telling them she was sending her parents from Jerusalem to stay with them, asking them to keep them safe because "something big" was about to happen in the city.


Shamir: a colourless tough guy

By Colin Shindler, July 5, 2012

Yitzhak Shamir was the accidental prime minister. When Menachem Begin resigned in 1983, the mantle of responsibility fell on Shamir's shoulders. The colourless, uninspiring, 68-year-old was the stop-gap choice instead of the feared Ariel Sharon and the lightweight David Levy.


Shamir buried in Mount Herzl ceremony

By Jennifer Lipman, July 3, 2012

Israel's second-longest serving prime minister has been laid to rest in Jerusalem.

Yitzhak Shamir, who died on Shabbat, was 96.


Former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir mourned

By Jennifer Lipman, July 1, 2012

Yitzhak Shamir, who led Israel for two terms as prime minister, has died at the age of 96.

The statesman, who was 96, is to be buried on Monday. His body will lie in state at the Knesset until then.


How Israel's 1948 struggle inspired Nelson Mandela

By Simon Rocker, May 17, 2012

When Nelson Mandela was on the run from the South African authorities in the early 1960s, one of the safe houses he used belonged to a Jewish Communist called Wolfie Kodesh.

It was there that the great anti-apartheid leader read about other liberation struggles, among them The Revolt, Irgun head Menachem Begin's account of his war against the British in Palestine.