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†If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.


A bit about Israel

Israel Is Tiny

Israel Map (small)

Israel* is our home. The first thing you find out about Israel is that it is small:† a tiny little country at the eastern edge of the Mediterranean ocean, less than 8,000 square miles without the West bank and the Golan heights, maybe 10,000 square miles with them. The little map at right gives you an idea of the shape of Israel (in green). The purplish stuff there is Mediterranean.† Look at this map to see how small Israel is compared to different countries.

Israel is a country of big cities, impressive deserts, ancient ruins, and lush greenery. Perhaps that is not what you thought.

Israel: Galilee Israel: Tomb of Zecharia Israel: Tel Aviv Israel: Negev
Northern Israel Israel: Tomb
of Zechariah
Tel Aviv, Israel Israel: Negev Desert

People of Israel

The population of Israel is composed mostly of Jews and Arabs. Israel and the United States each have about 40% of the Jewish population of the world. That might sound like a lot, but Israel has only 5.7 million Jews, and a total population of about 7 million.

Tolerance in Israel

Israel is the only country in the Middle East that supports Western standards of religious tolerance. Christians of every denomination, Assyrians, Druze, Muslims, Jews† and others can all worship in freedom here. Bahai, condemned, persecuted and expelled from their native Iran, flourish in Israel.

Israel:Bahai shrine in Haifa Israel:Bahai shrine in Haifa
Israel:Bahai shrine in Haifa

Israel: Bahai Religious shrine and gardens in Haifa

More about Human Rights: Human rights in Iran and Israel† Human Rights in Israel and elsewhere

Israel: Which Side Are You On?

Presentation: A Tale of two Shrines

Geography of Israel

Israel is located at the east end of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bounded on the north by Lebanon, on the northeast by Syria, on the east and southeast by Jordan, on the southwest by Egypt, and on the west by the Mediterranean Sea. Prior to the Six Day War of June 1967, the area of Israel within the green line borders of the armistice lines of 1949 and 1950 was about 20,700 square kilometers, which included 445 square kilometers of inland water. Thus Israel was roughly the size of the state of New Jersey, stretching 424 kilometers from north to south. At its widest, Israel was about 114 kilometers wide, and at its narrowest, it measures about ten kilometers wide.. The area added to Israel after the† Six Day War† consists of "Judea and Samaria," which since 1948 have been known as† the West Bank, totaling 5,879 square kilometers, East Jerusalem, which was 6 square kilometers, was expanded to about† 70 square kilometers, and the Golan Heights in the north, with about 1,150 square kilometers. The Gaza Strip with 378 square kilometers, was given up in the 2005 disengagement. East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights were annexed by Israel, while the West Bank was not. The borders under Israeli jurisdiction are thus those of British Mandate Palestine plus the Golan. The Golan had originally been part of Palestine, but in a 1922 treaty, the British ceded it to the French, who had the Mandate for Syria.

No state had recognized the borders of the 1949 armistice lines prior to the Six Day War, but since that time, Arab states have claimed that this border, which they had explicitly rejected, was an international border that must be respected by Israel. Jerusalem was to have been internationalized according to UN resolution 181, but the Jordanians conquered East Jerusalem in 1948, and ethnically cleansed the Jewish population there. (see The Ethnic Cleansing of Jerusalem). In 1967, when Israel conquered East Jerusalem, it allowed the Arab population to stay, but also returned Jews to live in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem. Though they are sometimes called "Arab" Jerusalem, the Old City of Jerusalem had a large Jewish community until 1948, and East Jerusalem includes the site of the ancient Jewish temples, the Wailing Wall (a remnant of a retaining wall of the base of the temple), the Hebrew University and the Jewish Mt. of Olives cemetery. Until 1948, there were about 58 synagogues in the old city of Jerusalem. The Arabs of Jerusalem destroyed all but one.

Israel Topography

Israel is divided into four regions: the coastal Sharon plain, the central hills, the Jordan Rift Valley, and the Negev Desert. The Mediterranean coastal plain stretches from the Lebanese border in the north to Gaza in the south, interrupted only by Mount Carmel at Haifa Bay. It is about forty kilometers wide at Beersheva and narrows toward the north to about five kilometers wide at the Lebanese border. The region is fertile and humid and is known for its citrus and viniculture. The plain is traversed by several short streams. Two of these, the Yarkon and Kishon, have permanent water flows. Before the draining of the Huleh swamps, the northern area was malarial.

The central mountain ridge runs east of the coastal Sharon plain. In the north of this region lie the mountains and hills of Upper Galilee and Lower Galilee; farther to the south are the Samarian Hills with numerous small, fertile valleys; and south of Jerusalem are the mainly barren hills of Judea, including the "wilderness" (desert) of Judea in the West Bank. The central highlands average 610 meters in height and reach their highest elevation at Mount Meron, at 1,208 meters, in the Galilee near Zefat (Safad). Several valleys cut across the highlands roughly from east to west; the largest is the Yizrael or Jezreel Valley (also known as the Plain of Esdraelon), which stretches forty-eight kilometers from Haifa southeast to the valley of the Jordan River, and is nineteen kilometers across at its widest point.

East of the central highlands lies the Jordan Rift Valley, which is a small part of the 6,500-kilometer-long Syrian-East African Rift. The rift is an earthquake prone zone. In Israel the Rift Valley is dominated by the Jordan River, the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret), and the Dead Sea. The Jordan, Israel's largest river (322 kilometers long), originates in the Dan, Baniyas, and Hasbani rivers near Mount Hermon in the Anti-Lebanon Mountains and flows south through the drained Hula Basin into the freshwater Sea of Galilee. The Sea of Galilee has an area of 165 square kilometers and, depending on the season and rainfall, is at about 213 meters below sea level. With a capacity estimated at 3 billion cubic meters, it serves as the principal reservoir of the National Water Carrier. The Jordan River continues its course from the southern end of Lake Tiberias (forming the boundary between the West Bank and Jordan) to its terminus in the highly saline Dead Sea. The Dead Sea has an area of 1,020 square kilometers. At 399 meters below sea level, it is the lowest point in the world. South of the Dead Sea, the Rift Valley continues in the Nahal Ha Arava, a wadi with no permanent water flow, for 170 kilometers to the Gulf of Aqaba.

The Negev Desert comprises approximately 12,000 square kilometers, more than half of Israel's total land area. Geographically it is an extension of the Sinai Desert, forming a rough triangle with its base in the north near Beersheva, the Dead Sea, and the southern Judean Hills, and it has its apex in the southern tip of the country at Eilat. Topographically, it parallels the other regions of the country, with lowlands in the west, hills in the central portion, and the Nahal HaArava as its eastern border.

Climate of Israel

Israel has a Mediterranean-Levant climate with long, hot, dry summers and short, cool, rainy winters, as modified locally by altitude and latitude. It is probable that in ancient times, this area was cooler, rainier and more fertile.

January is usually the coldest month, with temperatures from 5 C to 10 C, and August is the hottest month at 18 C to 38 C. In summer, the skies are almost invariably cloudless. About 70 percent of the average rainfall in the country falls between November and March; June through August are often rainless. Rainfall is unevenly distributed, decreasing sharply as one moves southward. In the extreme south, rainfall averages less than 100 millimeters annually; in the extreme north, average annual rainfall is 1,128 millimeters. In most of the Negev it is about 200 millimeters annually, while in much of the Galilee it averages over 600 millimeters. Rainfall varies from season to season and from year to year, particularly in the Negev Desert. Precipitation is often concentrated in violent storms, causing erosion and flooding. During January and February, there may be snow at the higher elevations of the central highlands, including Jerusalem, and invariably in Mt. Hermon in the Golan. The areas of the country most cultivated are those that receive more than 300 millimeters of rainfall annually.† About 17%-30% of the land is estimated to be arable or cultivable. The complete of the national water carrier project made it possible to artificially irrigate larger sections of the country.

What do Israelis look like?

Israelis come in all shapes, sizes, colors and religions.

Jew Zionist immigrant to Israel

Israeli Mehereta


Israel Consul
Ismail Khaldi


New Immigrant


Azzam Azzam


Birth of Israel

Israel was born in blood and tears, as surrounding Arab nations, as well as the Arabs of Palestine, announced their intentions to to wipe out the state that was created by international law. Read more about Israel: Birth of a Nation

Israel Economy

Israel has one of the fastest growing and safest economies in the world -- despite competition from hot Asia giants and Arab petrodollar countries. Israel had the fastest growing GNP (8%) of any Western country in the fourth quarter of 2006. Warren Buffet, head of the legendary Berkshire Hathaway investment firm, wrote that he had never seen a a business operation as well run as the Israeli Iscar precision tool and die plant. Buffet put his money where his mouth is, buying a huge share of the privately owned business. In 2006, the Israeli high-tech exports totaled $14.1 billion, up 20% over 2005. Israel means business. Israeli currency has appreciated considerably against the dollar - a good way to beat inflation.

Israeli business is not Just diamonds and oranges any more

Only about 15% of Israeli exports are accounted for by the diamond industry, and an additional 82% are non-diamond manufacturing exports, of which about 40-50% is high tech.† Agricultural goods, including Israeli citrus fruit, Israeli invented fruits, out of season vegetables and Israeli flowers available through FTD, account for a very small part of Israeli exports. Israel exports computer and telecom software and hardware, medical equipment and drugs, precision tools, military equipment and many other goods and services.

Israel Economy Comparison

Comparisons with our neighbors - some of whom have oil, and all of whom have more land resources per capita, cheaper labor and no security threats from their Arab neighbors - are invidious.

Israel and Middle East Economies

Country Per Capita GDP*
Egypt $4,400
Israel $22,300
Jordan $4,800
Lebanon $5,300
Syria $3,400

* Above figures are Purchasing Power Equivalent adjusted for 2006 according to CIA figures.

According to the above data, Israel has about 5 times the per capita product of any of its neighbors. But that's not the whole story. Since those figures were announced, IMF recalculated Israeli GDP because of the appreciation in value of Israeli currency. The new figures give Israel a per capita GDP of about $27,000 in 2006, and $31,767 in 2007, about the same as that of France and Germany! (Source )† In 2006, for the first time in its history, Israel had a net positive balance of payments.†

Doing business with Israel has a database of Israeli export firms, and The Israel Export Institute has a catalogue of exporters, and offers business matching and other services. Israel Investment Promotion Center† provides information about investment opportunities and† The Israel High Tech & Investment Report is a (partly free) monthly newsletter highlighting developments in technical industries.

You can also invest in Israeli firms that are traded on the Nasdaq and other exchanges. A listing of Israeli stocks traded on major US exchanges (AMEX, Nasdaq, NYSE) is here

Technology in Israel

Israel is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. Israel has more engineers per capita than any other country. We are fourth in the world in granted biotechnology patents. Not bad for a country of about seven million. Israeli-designed computer chips power your cell phones. Israeli developed firewalls protect your computer on the Internet - and your bank account. Israel pioneered voice over IP telephony, voice mail and unified messaging.

Some Israeli accomplishments

Cool facts about Israel

Cool facts about Israel updated

An Israeli company has developed a device that helps nurses locate hard-to-find veins.

An Israeli system to help dyslexic readers is being used throughout the US and Europe.

Hawaiian singer Don Ho underwent an Israeli-developed stem cell treatment to strengthen his heart.

The Israeli-developed Ex-Press shunt is providing relief for glaucoma sufferers.

Israeli scientists developed the first fully computerized, no-radiation, diagnostic instrumentation for breast cancer.

An Israeli company developed a computerized system for ensuring proper administration of medications, thus removing human error from medical treatment. Every year in U.S. hospitals 7,000 patients die from treatment errors.

Israel's Given Imaging developed the first ingestible video camera, so small it fits inside a pill. Used the view the small intestine from the inside, the camera helps doctors diagnose cancer and digestive disorders. Over 65,000 patients worldwide have swallowed the M2A capsule, the incredible 'camera in a capsule' technology.

Researchers in Israel developed a new device that directly helps the heart pump blood, an innovation with the potential to save lives among those with congestive heart failure. The new device is synchronized with the heart's mechanical operations through a sophisticated system of sensors.

A new acne treatment developed in Israel, the ClearLight device, produces a high-intensity, ultraviolet-light-free, narrow-band blue light that causes acne bacteria to self-destruct - all without damaging surroundings skin or tissue.

Israeli researchers are playing an important role in identifying a defective gene that causes a rare and usually fatal disease in Arab infants.

Israeli stem-cell technology is being used in the U.S. to regenerate heart tissue.

An Israeli company has developed a device that could enable millions of American diabetics to painlessly inject themselves with insulin.

An Israeli medical delegation from the 'Save a Child's Heart' project recently spent two weeks in China performing open heart surgery on children.

Scientists in Israel have used strands of DNA to create tiny transistors that can literally build themselves.

A week-old Iraqi infant underwent an emergency operation in Israel to correct a congenital heart defect.

An Israeli has invented a 'bone glue' that will reduce the need for bone transplants and heal bone defects caused by cancer.

Israeli scientists have created a DNA nano-computer that not only detects cancer, but also releases drugs to treat the disease.

Clinical trials of a specially designed trainer which alleviates knee-joint pain in osteoarthritis. Its designers are Israeli and plan to set up a treatment centre in the UK.

RSA cryptography and Intel Pentium chips are Israeli innovations.

An Israeli company has developed a simple blood test that distinguishes between mild and more severe cases of Multiple Sclerosis. So, if you know anyone suffering from MS, tell them to ignore the Israeli patent that may, more accurately, diagnose their symptoms.

An Israeli-made device helps restore the use of paralyzed hands. This device electrically stimulates the hand muscles, providing hope to millions of stroke sufferers and victims of spinal injuries. If you wish to remove this hope of a better quality of life to these people, go ahead and boycott Israel.

Young children with breathing problems will soon be sleeping more soundly, thanks to a new Israeli device called the Child Hood. This innovation replaces the inhalation mask with an improved drug delivery system that provides relief for child and parent.

A researcher at Israel's Ben Gurion University has succeeded in creating human monoclonal antibodies which can neutralize the highly contagious smallpox virus without inducing the dangerous side effects of the existing vaccine.

Two Israelis received the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Doctors Ciechanover and Hershko's research and discovery of one of the human cells most important cyclical processes will lead the way to DNA repair, control of newly produced proteins, and immune defense systems.

For women who undergo hysterectomies each year for the treatment of uterine fibroids, the development in Israel of the Ex Ablate 2000 System is a welcome breakthrough, offering a noninvasive alternative to surgery.

Israel is developing a nose drop that will provide a five year flu vaccine.

Voice mail technology was developed in Israel.

Chat technology for the AOL Instant Messenger ICQ was developed in 1996 in Israel by four young Israeli whiz kids.

Cell phone technology was also developed in Israel by MOTOROLA. Most of the latest technology in your mobile phone was developed by Israeli engineers.

Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world.

Israel produces more scientific papers per capita - 109 per 10,000 - than any other nation.

Israel has the highest number of startup companies per rata. In absolute terms, the highest number, except the US. Israel has a ratio of patents filed.

Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies outside of Silicon Valley. Israel is ranked #2 in the world for venture capital funds, behind the USA.

Israel has the second highest rate of publication of new books per capita in the world.

Relative to population, Israel is the largest immigrant absorbing nation on earth. These immigrants come in search of democracy, religious freedom or expression, economic opportunity, and quality of life.

Israel is the only country in the world which had a net gain in the number of trees last year, and Israel is the only country that had more trees in 2000 than it did in 1900.

Thinking of an Israel Boycott?† Think Again!

In the Middle East, Israel is an economic, social and technological giant with a per capita GDP greater than that of oil rich Saudi Arabia, the highest literacy rate in the Middle East and the lowest infant mortality rate.

The Land of Israel as it once was

It wasn't always like this. One hundred years ago, when my grandfathers came here, Israel was a land of sand, swamps, barchash flies, malaria, trachoma and typhus. Infant mortality rates were staggering. Almost everyone was poor.

Rehovot, 1912 Rishon Letzion, 1912 Haifa, 1912 Petah Tiqva, 1912

Some more photos of the land of Israel in 1912 are here:

Land of Israel-Palestine 1912-Photo Exhibit

History of Israel

Israel is one of the newer countries in the world and one of the oldest. Back then (3,000 years ago) it was called Judea and then Judea split and became "Israel and Judea." and then it became some other things. Click the link for† a timeline of the history of Israel under various names. Here are† Maps of Israel that show the evolution of Israel through history.

The land called Israel, Palestine, and Canaan, has been settled continuously for tens of thousands of years. Paleontologists have found fossils of Homo Erectus, Neanderthal and transitional types between Neanderthal and modern man. Archeologists have found hybrid Emer wheat at Jericho dating from before 8,000 B.C.E.† That makes it one of the oldest sites of agricultural activity in the world. The land formed a bridge between the powerful kingdom of ancient Egypt in the South, and the Hittites, Assyrians and others to the north. These peoples rivaled each other for control of this tiny strip of land, which was relatively unprotected. Amorites, Canaanites, and other Semitic peoples related to the Phoenicians of Tyre entered the area about 2000 B.C. The area became known as the Land of Canaan, but their city states were variously subject to Egypt or to the Hittite Kingdom. The first and only national sovereignty in the land was that of the the Jewish people.

The archeological record seems to show that the Jewish people evolved out of native Cana'anite peoples and invading tribes. Some time between about 1800 and 1500 B.C., it is thought that a Semitic people called Hebrews (hapiru) left Mesopotamia and settled in Canaan. Another people who came about this time were the Philistines, peoples of the sea who are thought to have arrived from Mycenae, or to be part of the ancient Greek peoples that also settled Mycenae.

According to the Bible, Moses led the children of Israel ("Bnei Israel" in Hebrew) or a portion of them, out of Egypt. Under Joshua, they conquered the tribes and city states of Canaan. Based on biblical traditions, it is estimated that king David conquered Jerusalem about 1000 B.C.E. and established an Israelite kingdom over much of Canaan including parts of Transjordan. The kingdom was divided into Judea in the south and Israel in the north following the death of David's son, Solomon. Jerusalem remained the center of Jewish sovereignty and of Jewish worship whenever the Jews exercised sovereignty over the country in the subsequent period, up to the Jewish revolt in 133 AD.

Archeological evidence that corroborates the biblical account goes back to at least 700 B.C.E. The Old Testament recounts that king Hezekiah built an aqueduct or tunnel to bring water to the city of Jerusalem, in order to prepare for an Assyrian siege on Jerusalem. Hezekiah's Tunnel was found by archeologists, and with it an inscription in ancient Hebrew, marking the spot where two teams of tunnel diggers met 2,700 years ago.†

The Assyrians conquered Israel in 722 or 721 B.C. The Babylonians conquered Judea around 586 B.C. They destroyed Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem, and exiled a large number of Jews. About 50 years later, the Persian king Cyrus conquered Babylonia. He allowed a group of Jews† to rebuild Jerusalem and settle in it. However, a large number of Jews remained in Babylon, forming the first Jewish Diaspora. After the reestablishment of a Jewish state or Persian ruled Jewish protectorate, the† exiles maintained contact with authorities there. The Persians ruled the land from about 530 to 331 B.C. Alexander the Great then conquered the Persian Empire. After his death in 323 B.C., his generals divided the empire. One of the generals, Seleucus, founded a dynasty that gained control of much of the land about 200 B.C. At first, the new rulers, called Seleucids, allowed the practice of Judaism. But later, one of the kings, Antiochus IV, tried to prohibit it. In 167 B.C., the Jews revolted under the leadership of the Maccabees and either drove the Seleucids out of Palestine or at least established a large degree of autonomy, forming a kingdom with its capital in Jerusalem. The kingdom received Roman "protection" when Judah Maccabee was made a "friend of the Roman senate and people" in 164 B.C. according to the records of Roman historians.

Israel: Roman and Ottoman Rule

About 61 B.C., Roman troops under Pompei invaded Judea and sacked Jerusalem in support of King Herod. Judea had become a client state of Rome. Initially it was ruled by the Herodian dynasty. The land was divided into districts of Judea, Galilee, Peraea and a small trans-Jordanian section, each of which eventually came under direct Roman control. The Romans called the large central area of the land, which included Jerusalem, Judea. Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, Judea, in the early years of Roman rule. Roman rulers put down Jewish revolts in about A.D. 70 and A.D. 132. In A.D. 135, the Romans drove the Jews out of Jerusalem. The Romans named the area Palaestina, at about this time. The name Palaestina, which became "Palestine" in English, is derived from Herodotus, who used the term Palaistine Syria to refer to the entire southern part of Syria, meaning "Philistine Syria." Most of the Jews who continued to practice their religion fled or were forcibly exiled from Palestine, eventually forming a second Jewish Diaspora. However, Jewish communities continued to exist in Galilee, the northernmost part of the land of Israel, and probably in Gaza in the south and Yavne along the coast. The land was governed by the Roman Empire until the fourth century A.D. (300's) and then by the Byzantine Empire. In time, Christianity spread to most of the inhabitants. The population consisted of Jewish converts to Christianity and paganism, peoples imported by the Romans, and others who had probably inhabited the land of Israel continuously.

During the seventh century (A.D. 600's), Muslim Arab armies moved north from Arabia to conquer most of the Middle East, including the land of Israel. Jerusalem was conquered about 638 by the Caliph Umar (Omar) who gave his protection to its inhabitants. Muslim powers controlled the region until the early 1900's. The rulers allowed Christians and Jews to keep their religions. However, most of the local population gradually accepted Islam and the Arab-Islamic culture of their rulers. Jerusalem became holy to Muslims as the site where, according to tradition, Muhammed ascended to heaven after a miraculous overnight ride on his horse Al-Buraq. The al-Aqsa mosque was built on the site generally regarded as the area of the Jewish temples. For a brief time, under Arab rule, the land was called "Filastin." However, the Arab empire soon fell apart. The land was divided among number of districts, an anonymous area within various Muslim Turkish empires at different times, with administrative borders redrawn to suit the convenience of different rulers.

The Seljuk Turks conquered Jerusalem in 1071, but their rule† lasted less than 30 years. Initially they were replaced by the Fatimid rulers of Egypt. The Fatimids took advantage of the Seljuk struggles with the Christian crusaders. They made an alliance with the crusaders in 1098 and captured Jerusalem, Jaffa and other parts of the land.

The Crusaders, however, broke the alliance and invaded the land of Israel about a year later. They captured Jaffa and Jerusalem in 1099, slaughtered many Jewish and Muslim defenders and forbade Jews to live in Jerusalem. Under the Crusaders, the land of Israel was called "The Kingdom of Jerusalem." They held the city until 1187. In that year, the Muslim ruler Saladin conquered Jerusalem. The Crusaders then held a smaller and smaller area along the coast, under treaty with Saladin. However, they broke the treaty with Saladin and later treaties. Crusade after crusade tried unsuccessfully to recapture Jerusalem. .

The crusaders left forever when the Muslims captured Acre in 1291. During the post-crusade period, crusaders often raided the coast. To deny the crusaders any gains from these raids, the Muslims pulled their people back from the coasts and destroyed coastal towns and farms. This depopulated and impoverished the coastal regions† for hundreds of years.

In the mid-1200's, Mamelukes, based in Egypt, established an empire that in time included the area of the land of Israel. Arab-speaking Muslims made up most of the population. Beginning in the late 1300's, Jews from Spain and other Mediterranean lands settled in Jerusalem and other parts of the land. The Ottoman Empire defeated the Mamelukes in 1517, and all of the land became part of the Ottoman Empire. The Turkish Sultan invited Jews fleeing the Spanish Catholic inquisition to settle in the Turkish empire, including Tiberias, Jerusalem, Safed and Hebron in the land of Israel.

In 1798, Napoleon entered the land. The war with Napoleon and poor administration by Egyptian and Ottoman rulers, reduced the population. Arabs and Jews fled to safer and more prosperous lands. Subsequent reorganization and opening of the Turkish Empire to foreigners restored some order. The Turks also allowed the beginnings of Jewish settlement under various Zionist and proto-Zionist movements. Both Arab and Jewish population increased. By 1880, about 24,000 Jews were living in the land of Israel, out of a population of about 400,000. At about that time, the Ottoman government imposed severe restrictions on Jewish immigration and land purchase. These were evaded in various ways by Jews seeking to return to our homeland. The Ottomans also invited Muslims from various parts of the empire to settle in the land, and groups from Bosnia and Cherkessia settled in Abu Ghosh and Acre.

In 1917, the British conquered the land from the Turks and were given a mandate to turn the land into a "national home for the Jewish people.

Modern Israel

Modern Israel came into being on May 14, 1948. Israel was immediately invaded by the armies of neighboring states. In the Israel War of Independence a population of about 650,000 Jews faced hundreds of millions of Arabs. The Jews had better organization and more determination and won the war.

Wars of Israel

Since the War of Independence, Israel has fought several wars in addition to dealing with constant terror attacks:

1956 - Sinai Campaign

1967- Six day war

1970-71 - War of Attrition

1973 - Yom Kippur War

1982 - Israel-Lebanon War

2000-† "Inifadeh:" Israeli War with Palestinian Terrorists

2006 - Second Israel-Lebanon War

At one time, peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors seemed to be an impossible dream, but in 1979, Israel signed a peace treaty with Egypt, until then its most active foe, and in 1994, Israel signed a peace treaty with Jordan.†

Click the link for a history of Zionism and the modern State of Israel.

Videos about Israel

Birth of a Nation - (There are several versions of this video. in YouTube. This film has been removed and replaced because of bogus copyright complaints. If the links below do not work, consult YouTube Search - Latest versions updated February 2, 2010)

Israel Birth of a Nation - Part 1 (Partition)

Israel Birth of a Nation - Part 2 (Gush Etzion, Tirat Tzvi, Ben Yehuda Street bombing, Jewish Agency bombing, the war of the roads, Bab el Wad, Ha'apalah,)

Israel Birth of a Nation - Part 3 (April 1948 - Operation Nachshon, Dir Yassin, Hadassah Hospital convoy massacre, Safed, Tiberias, Haifa) - Note - some details of the battle dates are probably incorrect in the film.

Israel Birth of a Nation - Part 4 (Battle of Gesher, Jaffa, San Simon, Declaration of the State and the Arab invasion, Battle of Degania)

Israel Birth of a Nation - Part 5 (Iraqi attack on Gesher, Battle of Yad Mordechai, Fall of the Old city of Jerusalem and Esther Cailingold's story)

Israel Birth of a Nation - Part 6 (Battles of Latrun, "Burma" Road, Mishmar Hayarden, Truce, Altalena)- The number of Jewish casualties at Latrun that is given is exaggerated.

Israel Birth of a Nation - Part 7 (Altalena, Jenin, Lod, Ramleh, Negba, Assassination of Folke Bernadotte, Beersheba, Liberation of Yad Mordechai, Operation Hiram)†

Israel - Birth of a Nation - Part 8 (Operation Horev, Battle of Nitzana, Downing of British planes, Israeli withdrawal from Sinai, Rhodes armistice, First Knesset Session, Operation Uvda - Conquest of Eilat)

Israel Birth of a Nation - Part 9 After the war - Immigration, building an army. Life in Israel 1949.

Israel Birth of a Nation - Part 10 After the war - Aftermath of the war, summation.

Cool facts about Israel

Cool facts about Israel updated

*Isra-el means "he fought with God." The Old Testament mentions the change in Jacob's name twice. In the first instance, it is the angel who wrestled with Jacob who gives him the name:†

GENESIS 32:28† And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel, for† as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.

In the second instance, God gives him the name:

GENESIS 35:10† And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be† called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name† Israel.

Traditionally, it is thought that the name comes from the incident in which Jacob wrestled with an angel.

No, it is not spelled "Isreal."

Note: This Israel page is still under development. More to come.

External Israel Links

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Zionism - Definition and Brief History - A balanced article that covers the definitions and history of Zionism as well as opposition to Zionism and criticisms by Arabs,† Jewish anti-Zionists.

Labor Zionism - Early History and Critique - Contribution of Labor Zionism to the creation of Israel, and problems of Labor Zionism in a changing reality.

Israel-Palestina - (Dutch) Middle East Conflict, Israel, Palestine,Zionism... IsraŽl-Palestina Informatie -gids IsraŽl, Zionisme, Palestijnen en†Midden-Oosten conflict... Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a European perspective - Dutch and English.

Life in Israel - Israel: like this, as if. - A Web log about life in Israel

History of Israel at Ministry of foreign Affairs

Arabs for Israel

MidEastWeb- Middle East

Israeli Palestinian Conflict - History

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Peace with Realism

Standing With Israel

Look Israel

MACHAL in Israel's Wars

MACHAL in Israel's War of Independence

MACHAL in illegal immigration to Palestine and Virtual Museum of Israel War of Independence

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