1917 - Balfour Declaration - After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, British Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour declares: "His Majesty's Government views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."
1922 - British Mandate - After World War One, the League of Nations affirms the British Mandate to create two distinct entities in the territory both east and west of the Jordan River, one Arab and one Jewish. 78 percent of the original Mandate is then lopped off to create the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which is closed to Jewish settlement.
1929 - Arab riots - Arabs protest the growing Jewish presence in Palestine, murdering 133 Jews in Hebron and elsewhere, and pressuring the British to impose restrictions on Jewish prayer at the Western Wall.
1937 - Peel Commission - The British Peel Commission recommends that all the future Jewish state be confined to a tiny sliver of land along the Mediterranean coast and a small piece abutting the Sea of Galilee.
1939 - Immigration Quotas - In order to appease the Arabs, a British "White Paper" severely restricts Jewish immigration to the Holy Land to a token number for five years, even to the point of turning away boatloads of Jews fleeing Hitler.
1947 - U.N. Partition Plan - On November 29, 1947, the U.N. authorizes Resolution 181, calling for separate Arab and Jewish states west of the Jordan River. The plan is accepted by Israel, but rejected by the Arab League.
1948 - War of Independence - On May 15, 1948, following Ben-Gurion's Declaration of Independence, the armies of five Arab states join local Arab militias to invade Israel, with the goal of aborting the newly-declared state. Jordan conquers and annexes the "West Bank" (the lands heretofore called "Judea and Samaria" on all British mandate maps), expelling all Jews from the Old City of Jerusalem, and destroying 57 synagogues and Mount of Olives tombstones. One percent of the Israeli Jewish population is killed in the war.
1949 - Refugee Issue - In the ensuing war, approximately 650,000 Arabs flee Israel as refugees. In the war's aftermath, approximately 600,000 Jewish refugees flee from Arab countries, when massacres, arrests, and ostracism made life impossible. The Jewish refugees are integrated into Israeli life; the Arab refugees are placed in squalid camps by their Arab hosts, supported by the UNWRA.
1956 - Suez War - After Egypt blockades Israel's shipping and Nasser assumes command of the Syrian and Jordanian armies, Israel attacks Egypt and captures the Gaza Strip and much of the Sinai. International pressure forces Israel to withdraw without obtaining any concessions.
1964 - Palestine Liberation Organization - While Jordan and Egypt hold the "territories," the PLO forms with the goal of annihilating the State of Israel through violence and terror. In the ensuing years, a rash of airplane hijackings, bombings and the Munich Olympic Massacre bring the Palestinians media attention.
1967 - Six Day War - Egyptian President Nasser closes the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, and Syrian Defense Minister Hafez Assad declares that "the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation." Israel responds with a pre-emptive strike and captures the Golan Heights, West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Sinai Peninsula. Israel immediately offers to return the conquered land in exchange for peace. Meeting in Khartoum, the Arab League issues the infamous three noes: "No peace with Israel. No negotiations with Israel. No recognition of Israel."
1973 - Yom Kippur War - On the holiest day of the Jewish year, Egypt and Syria launch a surprise attack. In the Golan, 180 Israeli tanks face an onslaught of 1,400 Syrian tanks. Along the Suez Canal, 500 Israeli soldiers are attacked by 80,000 Egyptians. Israel suffers heavy casualties, but wins the war.
1978 - Camp David Accords - Egyptian President Anwar Sadat meets with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to negotiate a settlement. Israel agrees to return the entire Sinai Peninsula - constituting 80 percent of Israel's land mass - in exchange for normalization of relations with Egypt.
1993 - Oslo Accords - Following a historic handshake between Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn, the Oslo accords call for Israeli recognition of the PLO, and a Palestinian commitment to cease violence and terror.
1994 - Peace with Jordan - King Hussein reverses decades of belligerence and signs a formal peace treaty with Israel. The treaty involves minor border changes, and includes a guaranteed supply of water by Israel to Jordan.
2000 - Palestinian Violence Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offers 95 percent of the territories, including eastern Jerusalem, for the creation of a Palestinian state. Yasser Arafat refuses, and Palestinians launch thousands of violent attacks against Israeli targets. Six months after the violence begins, Ariel Sharon comes to power in a landslide victory.
2003 - Road Map - The international Quartet proposes a road map for peace, calling for an end to Palestinian violence and a limiting of Israeli settlement activity, as a precursor to an independent Palestinian state. Israeli and Palestinian leaders accept the road map in principle, triggering a new round of diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict.