This Week in Israeli History: Faisal–Weizmann Agreement, Karine A Affair and the Father of Krav Maga

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Faisal–Weizmann Agreement
On January 3, 1919, Chaim Weizmann and Emir Faisal (son of the Sharif of Mecca and leader of the Arab armed revolt against the Turks) signed an agreement of mutual respect and collaboration between the Jewish and Arab national movements.
Acting on behalf of the Sharif of Mecca and the Zionist Organization respectively, Faisal and Weizmann aimed to solve the growing tensions between the Zionist and Arab national movements that were each promised Ottoman lands by the British.
On the basis of the “racial kinship and ancient bonds existing between the Arabs and the Jewish people,” the agreement laid out terms to establish both a Jewish and Arab state in the Middle East. Faisal agreed to recognize the Balfour Declaration and to encourage Jewish immigration to Palestine on a large scale, and Weizmann agreed to assist with the economic development of an Arab State.
The agreement, however, never came to fruition. After the League of Nations divided the formerly Ottoman-controlled Middle East into mandates, Faisal repudiated the agreement and it was never implemented.
Karine A Affair
On January 3, 2002, Israeli commandos seized the Karine A, a Palestinian Authority (PA) owned and crewed ship that was loaded with over 50 tons of weapons.
The weapons were packed in special floating devices that were planned to be dropped off on the Gaza coast for smaller ships to pick them up and transport them to the PA. The ship was boarded some 500 kilometers off the shores of Israel and was taken over by Shayetet 13 commandos in mere minutes.
Although Yasser Arafat denied connection with the ship, his close aide and Chief PA Financial Officer Fuad Shubaki was discovered to be the mastermind and organizer of the ship. Shubaki was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in jail.
Imi Sde-Or - Father of Krav Maga
Krav Maga was invented by Hungarian born Jew, Imi Sde-Or, as a response to anti-Semitic riots that raged in Budapest in the late 1930's. A champion wrestler, boxer, and gymnast, Sde-Or (originally Lichtenfeld) gathered a group of Jewish boxers and took to the streets of Budapest where they defended the Jewish community.
During that time Sde-Or honed his skills as a fighter, developing practical methods and new techniques of fighting. Krav Maga (lit. contact combat) specializes in the neutralization and simultaneous counter of attacks, as well as the ability to quickly and efficiently defend oneself in any situation.
In 1942 Sde-Or immigrated to Mandatory Palestine and joined the Haganah where he trained soldiers in the arts of Krav Maga and physical fitness. When the state was declared in 1948, he was appointed Chief Instructor for Physical Fitness and Krav Maga at the IDF School of Combat Fitness. He served in the IDF for sixteen years, during which he fine-tuned Krav Maga and established it as the leading self-defense technique of the military.
After retiring from the military Imi continued teaching Krav Maga to civilians and law enforcement units, and in 1978 established the Israeli Krav Maga Association. Imi passed away on January 9, 1998 at the age of 87.