Let's see the advances of a tiny country in just 66 years
Israel Today is a thriving country. This was not always the case throughout Israel history, which started almost four thousand years ago. The Land of Israel saw the Kingdoms of Saul, David and Jonathan.
This Land saw how the Jews were exiled many times and always came back. Now since 1948 with the establishment of the State of Israel, a new independent Jewish State raised from the ruins left by all conquerors that came and left. Israel Today is here to stay.
Israel has super modern highways all over the country
Israel is located on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, bordered by Lebanon on the north, Syria on the northeast, Jordan on the east, Egypt on the South and west and the waters of the Mediterranean on the west.
The form of the country is long and narrow. The length from Metula to Eilat is 470 Km and the width on its widest point is 135 Km. Compared to the United States it is about the size of New Jersey.
Going from north to south in Israel today you may see so many different landscapes that look as if you are traveling through a whole continent. From verdant mountains to fertile valleys, to dry and bare hills, to a point that is the lowest one on Planet Earth, and finally a desert with craters and formations that are awe inspiring.
Aerial view of Tel Aviv Metropolitan area with 3 million inhabitants
With permission of the lovely State of Florida, I’ll call Israel another Sunshine State. The sun shines practically year round and unfortunately for us it rains very little, about 50-70 cm in the north and about 2.5 cm in the south deserts.
In Israel Today the rain can be expected between November and April only. Summers are dry and there is no chance of any rain. Summers are quite hot and winters are mild with the exception of the far north and Golan Heights that could be very cold and snowy.
Jerusalem is in the center of the country but because it is 800 above sea level it experiences very cold and sometimes snowy winters.
Water in Israel Today
Israel has been a pioneer in water usage due to its scarcity in the whole country. In the 1960’s a project called National Water carrier in Hebrew Hamobil Haartzi, was built to bring waters from the north to the center and south of the country.
It has also engaged in projects of cloud seeding, recycling of sewage water and desalination of seawater. I think that this last one should be the one to try the hardest due to the unlimited amount of water from the sea.
Flora and Fauna of Israel
Due to the variety of its geography, Israel Today is home to over 500 kinds of birds, about 200 mammal and reptile species and 2,600 plant types of which 15 are endemic to Israel. Israel has built about 1,000 sq. Km of National Parks. There are 65 of them scattered around the country.
The Israeli Knesset building stands proud on a hill in Jerusalem
Israel is a melting pot of Jews that came from every corner of the world bringing with them their customs, cultures and traditions. Immigration of Jews to Israel is an ongoing venture. They come to settle from very different origins like Russia and Ethiopia. All of them are here to feel the Independence and to contribute to the realization of the Dream of our ancestors.
Total Population is about 8,000,000 millions of which around 75 % are Jews and 25% non-Jews most of them Arabs.
About 90% of Israel’s inhabitants live in some 200 urban centers, some of which are located on ancient historical sites. About 5% are members of unique rural cooperative settlements - the Kibbutzim and the Moshavim.
The flag is white with a blue Magen David or David Star centered between two equal horizontal blue bands near the top and bottom edges of the flag. The basic design resembles a Tallit or Jewish prayer shawl and the Magen David is a Jewish symbol dating back to medieval times.
Folklore Dances are an important part of Israel Culture
The Kibbutz Ramat Yohanan Dance Festival
As mentioned above, Israel Culture is a mélange of many cultures of people living side by side. They express themselves through the arts which is a varied as the people. Also the unlimited flow of information via satellite and Cable TV has made of the Israeli culture a special one encompassing the people’s origin and the International influence.
Israel has more newspapers by the number of people than many countries in the developed world. Theaters in all cities, concerts all the time, various local TV channels plus the hundreds of Cable TV. Internet is top of many priorities. Everyone knows that when it comes to technology Israel is on top of the game.
The two official languages are Hebrew and Arabic. English, Spanish, French and German are widely spoken and let’s not forget Yiddish, the language brought by Jews from Eastern Europe that is still spoken by many.
For such a small country the wildlife in Israel is extensive
Shown here a Scimitar Horned Oryx in the Negev Desert
Main Israeli Cities
Jerusalem is indisputable Capital of Israel and has been the center of Jewish Life throughout history since it was the Capital of King David’s Kingdom 3,000 years ago.
There are many Israeli cities; the major ones are Tel Aviv-Yafo, Haifa, Beer Sheba, Ashdod, Rishon Lezion, Petach Tikva and many small towns and villages.
Israel is based on democratic principles with a Knesset (parliament) which is the Legislative branch; a Prime Minister and his cabinet, the executive and a set or courts, the judicial branch. The President is the official Head of State.
Education and Science
Education is mandatory and free from age 5 to 18. Infants and toddlers in a great majority attend some kind of preschool program. There are many universities in the big cities and many vocational schools all over the country.
The White and Blue Flag of Israel
with the Star of David
The National health Insurance Law provides for a basket of medical services provided by four health organizations. The law applies to all residents of Israel, regardless of nationality.
Life expectancy is 82.2 years for women and 78.5 years for men; the infant mortality rate is 3.9 per 1,000 live births. The ratio of physicians to population and the number of specialists compare favorably with those in most developed countries.
GDP USD $207 billion (USD $28,400 per capita) Exports, goods and services USD $48 billion Imports, goods and services USD $58 billion
When I first came to Israel, more than fifty years ago, it was an agricultural country. But despite the advances achieved in agriculture that are still used worldwide, the country is now an Industrial one and like we say playing in the High Leagues.
The developments are mostly in the fields of High Tech, including medical and agricultural technology, computer hardware and software, solar energy, food processing and chemicals. Big companies like Microsoft, Intel, IBM and many more have a big presence in Israel.
Agriculture is still an important section of Israel Today Economy
The fields of Moshav Tsofit
Agriculture in Israel Today
Israel produces about 93% of its own requirements in food only supplemented by the import of grain, oil seeds, coffee, sugar, cocoa and meat. I exports a large variety or agricultural products mainly to Europe.
With the advantage of the Free Trade Agreement with Europe (1975) and another one with the United States (1985) Israel exports most it good to these two areas. Nevertheless Israel exports and imports from countries in all six continents.
Israel Today is a dream came true. This is after 64 years of constantly having to defend itself from the neighbors that without any hesitation seek its destruction. Only God knows what could be if we are left to live in peace with our neighbors. Life could be different for all parties involved in the Middle East.
Thank you note; Some information of this article on Israel Today was provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel and The CIA World Fact book.
hamobil haartzi by ariel palmon
israel dances by mtve
tel aviv aerial by deror avi
israel flag n/a
israeli knesset by adiel lo
wildlife by chetrit
All courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
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