Oct. 16, 1986
Terrorists Capture Flier Ron Arad
Ron Arad, 28, the navigator of an F-4 Phantom II, is captured by the Shia terrorist group Amal after bailing out over Lebanon, and he is never seen in Israel again. Amal demands $3 million and the release of 200 Lebanese and 450 Palestinians for Arad, and the negotiations fall apart. He instead is sold to the Iranians for $300,000 in December 1987. He is rumored to be executed in 1992. Reports in 2016 indicate that he was tortured to death in 1988.
Oct. 17, 1973
Oil Is Weaponized Against Israel’s Allies
Arab oil ministers cut exports by 5% and recommend an embargo of Israel’s allies in response to the U.S. airlift to Israel during the Yom Kippur War. When President Richard Nixon asks Congress for $2.2 billion in emergency aid to Israel on Oct. 19, Libya announces an oil embargo against the United States, and the remaining oil-exporting Arab states join the embargo. The price of oil quadruples by the embargo’s end in March 1974.
Oct. 18, 1988
Court Upholds Ban on Kach
Israel’s Supreme Court upholds the Central Election Committee’s ban of the Kach party from the election for the 12th Knesset. Kach violates Section 7A of Basic Law: The Knesset, which bars parties whose object is inciting or engaging in racism. Section 7A was enacted after the court reversed a ban on Kach in 1984. Meir Kahane in 1971 founded Kach, which advocates stripping the citizenship of non-Jews and annexing all occupied territories.
Oct. 19, 1959
Politician Nir Barkat Is Born
Nir Barkat is born in Jerusalem, which he serves as mayor from 2008 to 2018. He founds BRM, which specializes in anti-virus software, in 1988, and the company becomes an incubator for tech companies such as Check Point and Backweb. He loses the 2003 mayoral election to Uri Lupolianski, then reverses the results in 2008 and wins re-election in 2013. After two terms as mayor, Barkat joins the Likud party and is elected to the Knesset.
Oct. 20, 2013
Buses Are Attacked Over Women of the Wall Ads
Haredi men hurl rocks at and slash the tires of buses bearing ads promoting female worship at the Western Wall. The ads, depicting women with prayer shawls and Torahs, are posted by Women of the Wall, a group of mostly religiously observant Jews who believe that women should be allowed to pray at the Western Wall with the same access and rights as men. In 2014, WOW members bring a miniature Torah to the Wall for the first bat mitzvah there.
Oct. 21, 1967
Warship Eilat Is Sunk
The destroyer INS Eilat is sunk on a routine patrol in the Mediterranean in international waters off Port Said, Egypt, by two Soviet-made missiles launched by Egyptian missile boats in the harbor. The ship is almost cut in half and sinks within minutes. Of the 199-man crew, 47 sailors are killed, and more than 100 others are wounded. The Eilat originally was the HMS Zealous, a World War II British destroyer that Israel bought in 1955.
Oct. 22, 1979
High Court Rules Against Settlement
On an appeal by Arab landowners, the Israeli Supreme Court rules that the Gush Emunim settlement of Elon Moreh must be dismantled for lack of evidence that it was established for security reasons. It is the first time the high court has ruled against Jewish settlers in nine years of such cases. The settlers are given 30 days to evacuate, and the military government must cover the trial costs of the Arab villagers of Rujeib who filed the appeal.
– Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education (israeled.org), where you can find more details.