When news broke that Israeli fighters, flying at dusk from a Negev airbase and crossing Jordanian and Saudi air space, had destroyed Iraq's Osirak reactor, the perceived nuclear threat from Saddam Hussein appeared to have been lifted.
When a bomb exploded on the Boeing 747 that was flying between London and New York, all 259 people – passengers and crew – were killed. The terrorist attack was so-named because 11 others died in the Scottish town of Lockerbie when sections of the plane crashed there.
When the Coalition government came to power in May it faced an unprecedented budget deficit of over more than £150 billion, at a time when Britain seemed to be on the verge of sinking back into recession.
Among his many talents, Yehuda Avner was always good at taking notes. As adviser and speech-writer to five Israeli Prime Ministers there was a lot to take down - there were the discussions about policy, meetings with great statesmen and all those jocular off-the-record comments.
The Palestine Liberation Organisation provoked a spat between newly-elected prime minister Margaret Thatcher and Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington, according to papers just released by the National Archive.
The papers also show her unswerving commitment to Israel and recognition of its position as the West’s
primary ally in the region, even at such an early stage in her leadership.