You’ve read about Israel in the Bible. You keep reading about Israel in the news. Now it’s time you read some more.

Facts About Israel

The only country in the entire world where Jews dominate the population, Israel rings an instant bell to bible readers. Biblical evidence states that the first kingdom of Israel was established around the 11th century BCE. The Southwest Asian State of Israel comprises 21,642 sq km of land and a diverse population of 7.5 million. For a very long spell, the Land of Israel was intermittently ruled by Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Empires. The Jews retaliated against the Byzantine rule after enduring years of persecution by allying themselves with the Persian invaders. This led to the death of many Christians and demolition of several churches. The first Aliyah epitomizes the first huge wave of modern immigration where the Jews vacated Eastern Europe due to frequent pogroms. Palestine was declared a national home for the Jewish people during World War I which soon triggered upheavals to protect the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine. The day before the expiration of the British mandate, the Jewish agency proclaimed independence to the country and officially named it Israel. Here are a few fun and interesting facts bout Israel that you’d love to know!

Image: Paolo Massa@flickr

Interesting And Fun Facts About Israel

  • It was primarily the termination of the Zionist movement that consequently sparked the creation of Israel with the motive of forming a homeland for Jews scattered all over the world. The Nazi holocaust put pressure on the intensifying needs for a Jewish state, hence the establishment of Israel in 1948.
  • Kadima, Likud, Israel Beitenu, Labour, Shas, United Torah Judaism (UTJ), Meretz, National Union, are some of the prominent political parties of Israel.
  • President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been doing their best to govern this nation and maintain stability within it. During the election campaign, Mr Netanyahu stressed his longstanding opposition to handing back land occupied by Israel in return for peace. Mr Netanyahu has promised security measures for the perceived threat of Iran's nuclear program.
  • Israel has attained membership in international groups and organizations such as United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.
  • The Land of Israel was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in the 15th Century and this dominion lasted till the 20th Century.
  • The Jewish population of Palestine went up by 33% at the end of World War II.
  • The ongoing conflicts between Israel and Palestine engulf a massive blob of Israeli history. The ‘Palestine Liberation Organisation’ and Israel’s Arab neighbours have consistently been at loggerheads with each other. Due to this macabre animosity, several wars were fought involving Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
  • Computer software, military equipment, chemicals and agricultural products fall under the main exports of Israel.
  • Israel's press and broadcasters are many and varied, and account for differences in language, political viewpoints and religious outlook. Israel has 13 daily newspapers and at least 90 weeklies. All titles are privately-owned; many are available on the internet.
  • Arabic is the official language while Hebrew, English and Russian are widely spoken in this nation. Religions of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are prevalent in Israel.
  • According to the watchdog ‘Reporters Without Borders’, "the Israeli authorities are capable of both best and worst practices when it comes to respect for press freedom. Despite military censorship, its press still enjoys latitude that is unequalled in the region."
  • Jerusalem stands firmly as the capital city, although the UK locates it embassy in Tel Aviv.
  • In 1947, the British government withdrew from the Mandate of Palestine since it was almost impossible to arrive at an acceptable conclusion for both the Arabs and the Jews. The Partition Plan for Palestine (United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181) on November 29, 1947 which sought to divide the country into two states—one Arab and one Jewish was approved by the UN. Even though the Jewish community accepted the plan, the Arab League and Arab Higher Committee unfortunately rejected it.
  • Israel has a large IT industry and one of the world's most technologically-literate populations.

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