Facts
Typography

(Sources: MFA & Wikipedia)

Israel is both a land and a people. The history of the Jewish people and its roots in the Land of Israel, spans some 35-centuries. In this land, its cultural, national and religious identity was formed; here, its physical presence has been maintained and unbroken throughout the centuries, even after the majority was forced into exile. With the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Jewish independence - lost almost 2,000 years earlier - was reestablished.

Politics and Government

Israel operates under a parliamentary system as a democratic republic with universal suffrage. The President of Israel is the head of state, the duties of which are limited and largely ceremonial. A Parliament Member supported by a majority in Parliament becomes the Prime Minister - usually the chairman of the largest party. The Prime Minister is the head of government and head of the Cabinet. Israel is governed by a 120-member parliament, known as the Knesset. Membership of the Knesset is based on proportional representation of political parties,with a 2% electoral threshold, which commonly results in coalition governments.
Parliamentary elections are scheduled every four years, but unstable coalitions or a no-confidence vote by the Knesset often dissolves governments earlier. "The average life span of an Israeli government is 22 months. The peace process, the role of religion in the state, and political scandals have caused coalitions to break apart or produced early elections."
The Basic Laws of Israel function as an unwritten constitution. In 2003, the Knesset began to draft an official constitution based on these laws.

Location


Israel is located in the Middle East, along the eastern coastline of the Mediterranean Sea, bordered by Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. It lies at the junction of three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa.

Geography

Long and narrow in shape, the country is about 290 miles (470 km.) in length and 85 miles (135 km.) in width at its widest point.

Although small in size, Israel encompasses the varied topographical features of an entire continent, ranging from forested highlands and fertile green valleys to mountainous deserts, and from the coastal plain to the semitropical Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth. Approximately half of the country's land area is semi-arid.

Climate

Israel's climate is characterized by much sunshine, with a rainy season from November to April. Total annual precipitation ranges from 20-30 inches (50-70 cm.) in the north to about an inch (2.5 cm.) in the far south. Regional climatic conditions vary considerably: hot, humid summers and mild, wet winters on the coastal plain; dry, warm summers and moderately cold winters, with rain and occasional light snow, in the hill regions; hot, dry summers and pleasant winters in the Jordan Valley; and semi-arid conditions, with warm to hot days and cool nights, in the south.

Flora and Fauna

The rich variety of Israel's plant and animal life reflects its geographical location as well as its varied topography and climate. Over 500 kinds of birds, some 200 mammal and reptile species, and 2,600 plant types (150 of which are endemic to Israel) are found within its borders. Over 150 nature reserves and 65 national parks, encompassing nearly 400 square miles (almost 1,000 sq. km.) have been established throughout the country.

Water

The scarcity of water in the region has generated intense efforts to maximize use of the available supply and to seek new resources. In the 1960s, Israel's freshwater sources were joined in an integrated grid whose main artery, the National Water Carrier, brings water from the north and center to the semi-arid south. Ongoing projects for utilizing new sources include cloud seeding, recycling of sewage water and the desalination of seawater.

Population

Israel is a country of immigrants. Since its inception in 1948, Israel's population has grown almost ten-fold. Its 7.4 million inhabitants comprise a mosaic of people with varied ethnic backgrounds, lifestyles, religions, cultures and traditions. Today Jews comprise some 75.6% of the country's population, while the country's non-Jewish citizens, mostly Arabs, number about 24.2%.

Lifestyle

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 kibbutz and the moshav.

Main Cities

Jerusalem, Israel's capital (population 747,600), has stood at the center of the Jewish people's national and spiritual life since King David made it the capital of his kingdom some 3000 years ago. Today it is a flourishing, vibrant metropolis, the seat of the government and Israel's largest city.

Tel Aviv-Yafo (population 390,100), which was founded in 1909 as the first Jewish city in modern times, is today the center of the country's industrial, commercial, financial and cultural life.

Haifa (population 264,900), a known coastal town since ancient times, is a major Mediterranean port and the industrial and commercial center of northern Israel.

Be'er Sheva (population 184,500), named in the Bible as an encampment of the patriarchs, is today the largest urban center in the south. It provides administrative, economic, health, education and cultural services for the entire southern region.


Foreign Relations

Israel maintains diplomatic relations with 161 countries and has 94 diplomatic missions around the world. Only three members of the Arab League have normalized relations with Israel; Egypt and Jordan signed peace treaties in 1979 and 1994, respectively, and Mauritania opted for full diplomatic relations with Israel in 1999. Two other members of the Arab League, Morocco and Tunisia, which had some diplomatic relations with Israel, severed them at the start of the Second Intifada in 2000. Since 2003, ties with Morocco have been improved, and Israel's foreign minister has visited the country.

As a result of the 2009 Gaza War, Mauritania, Qatar, Bolivia, and Venezuela suspended political and economical ties with Israel. Under Israeli law, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Yemen are enemy countries and Israeli citizens may not visit them without permission from the Ministry of the Interior.[198] Since 1995, Israel has been a member of the Mediterranean Dialogue, which fosters cooperation between seven countries in the Mediterranean Basin and the members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Shimon Peres, current President of Israel, greeted by U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House.
Foreign relations with United States, Germany, and India are among Israel's strongest.

The United States was the first country to recognize the State of Israel, followed by the Soviet Union. The United States may regard Israel as its primary ally in the Middle East, based on "common democratic values, religious affinities, and security interests".Their bilateral relations are multidimensional and the United States is the principal proponent of the Arab-Israeli peace process.
U.S. and Israeli views differ on some issues, such as the Golan Heights, Jerusalem, and settlements.
India established full diplomatic ties with Israel in 1992 and has fostered a strong military, technological and cultural partnership with the country since then. One study revealed that India was the most pro-Israel nation in the world. India is the largest customer of Israeli military equipment and Israel is the second-largest military partner of India after the Russian Federation. India is also the second-largest Asian economic partner of Israel and the two countries enjoy extensive space technology ties.

Germany's strong ties with Israel include cooperation on scientific and educational endeavors and the two states remain strong economic and military partners. Under the reparations agreement, as of 2007 Germany had paid 25 billion euros in reparations to the Israeli state and individual Israeli holocaust survivors. The UK has kept full diplomatic relations with Israel since its formation having had two visits from heads of state in 2007. Relations between the two countries were also made stronger by former prime minister Tony Blair's efforts for a two state resolution. The UK is seen as having a "natural" relationship with Israel on account of the British Mandate for Palestine. Iran had diplomatic relations with Israel under the Pahlavi dynasty but withdrew its recognition of Israel during the Iranian Revolution.

Although Turkey and Israel did not establish full diplomatic relations until 1991, Turkey has cooperated with the State since its recognition of Israel in 1949. Turkey's ties to the other Muslim-majority nations in the region have at times resulted in pressure from Arab and Muslim states to temper its relationship with Israel. Relations between Turkey and Israel took a downturn after the Gaza War and Israel's raid of the Gaza flotilla which killed 8 Turkish and 1 American IHH members. IHH, which organized the flotilla, is a Turkish charity that some believe has ties to Hamas and Al-Qaeda.

In Africa, Ethiopia is Israel's main and closest ally in the continent due to common political, religious and security interests. Israel provides expertise to Ethiopia on irrigation projects and thousands of Ethiopian Jews (Beta Israel) live in Israel.

Law


Israel has a three-tier court system. At the lowest level are magistrate courts, situated in most cities across the country. Above them are district courts, serving both as appellate courts and courts of first instance; they are situated in five of Israel's six districts. The third and highest tier in Israel is the Supreme Court, seated in Jerusalem. It serves a dual role as the highest court of appeals and the High Court of Justice. In the latter role, the Supreme Court rules as a court of first instance, allowing individuals, both citizens and non-citizens, to petition against decisions of state authorities. Although Israel supports the goals of the International Criminal Court, it has not ratified the Rome Statute, citing concerns about the ability of the court to remain free from political impartiality.

In addition to the three-tier court system described above (also known as the "General Court system") Israel has also a system of specialized Labour Courts, similar to those found in Continental Europe. The Labour Courts have unique jurisdiction over labour matters (both on the individual and collective spheres) as well as social welfare matters (e.g. law suits related to pensions, social security benefits, healthcare, etc.). Each one of the five judicial districts has one Regional Labour Court which serves as a first instance court for those matters described above.

Most matters in Labour Courts are adjudicated by a three-panel consisting of one professional judge, and two lay representatives nominated to the court with the consent of the largest employees and employers unions (one representative termed as "Employees Representative" and the other as "Employers Representative"). Some matters (e.g. criminal cases related to labour law) are adjudicated by a professional judge only. The National Labour Court, situated in Jerusalem, serves as an appeal court as well as a first-instance court for matters with national importance (e.g. collective bargaining disputes, on a national level, between employees and employers unions).

Israel's legal system combines English common law, civil law, and Jewish law.It is based on the principle of stare decisis (precedent) and is an adversarial system, where the parties in the suit bring evidence before the court. Court cases are decided by professional judges rather than juries. Marriage and divorce are under the jurisdiction of the religious courts: Jewish, Muslim, Druze, and Christian. A committee of Knesset members, Supreme Court justices, and Israeli Bar members carries out the election of judges.

Administration of Israel's courts (both the "General" courts and the Labor Courts) is carried by the Administration of Courts, situated in Jerusalem. It is to be noted that both the General and Labor courts are paperless courts, i.e. storage of court files, as well as court decisions, are carried out electronically.
Israel's Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty seeks to defend human rights and liberties in Israel. Israel is the only country in the region ranked "Free" by Freedom House based on the level of civil liberties and political rights; the "Israeli Occupied Territories/Palestinian Authority" was ranked "Not Free."

In 2010, Israel was also the only country in the Middle East to be ranked "free" by Freedom House's "Freedom of the Press report, ranking the highest in the region.Groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have often disapproved of Israel's human rights record in regards to the Arab–Israeli conflict. Israel's civil liberties also allow for self-criticism, from groups such as B'Tselem, an Israeli human rights organization.

Education and Science

School attendance is mandatory from age five, and free through age 18. Almost all three- and four-year-olds attend some kind of preschool program.

Israel's institutions of higher education include universities, offering a wide range of subjects in science and humanities, and serving as research institutions of worldwide repute, colleges offering academic courses and vocational schools. The country's high level of scientific research and development and the application of R&D compensate for the country's lack of natural resources.

Health

The National Health Insurance Law, in effect from January 1995, provides for a standardized basket of medical services, including hospitalization, for all residents of Israel. All medical services continue to be supplied by the country's four health care organizations.

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.

Social Welfare

The social service system is based on legislation which provides for workers' protection and a broad range of national and community services, including care of the elderly, assistance for single parents, programs for children and youth, adoption agencies, as well as prevention and treatment of alcoholism and drug abuse.

The National Insurance Institute provides all permanent residents (including non-citizens) with a broad range of benefits, including unemployment insurance, old-age pensions, survivors' benefits, maternity grants and allowances, child allowances, income support payments and more.

Economy

Israel is considered one of the most advanced countries in Southwest Asia in economic and industrial development. In 2010, it joined the OECD.

The country is ranked 3rd in the region on the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index as well as in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report. It has the second-largest number of startup companies in the world (after the United States) and the largest number of NASDAQ-listed companies outside North America.

An IAI Galaxy G200 transcontinental business jet, designed and produced by Israel Aircraft Industries.
In 2009, Israel had the 49th-highest gross domestic product and 29th-highest gross domestic product per capita (at purchasing power parity) at $206.4 billion and $28,393, respectively. The New Israeli Shekel is one of 17 freely convertible currencies according to the CLS list.

In 2010, Israel ranked 17th among of the world's most economically developed nations, according to IMD's World Competitiveness Yearbook. The Israeli economy was ranked first as the world's most durable economy in the face of crises, and was also ranked first in the rate of research and development center investments.

The Bank of Israel was ranked first among central banks for its efficient functioning, up from the 8th place in 2009. Israel was also ranked as the worldwide leader in its supply of skilled manpower.
Despite limited natural resources, intensive development of the agricultural and industrial sectors over the past decades has made Israel largely self-sufficient in food production, apart from grains and beef. Other major imports to Israel, totaling $47.8 billion in 2006, include fossil fuels, raw materials, and military equipment. Leading exports include fruits, vegetables, pharmaceuticals, software, chemicals, military technology, and diamonds; in 2006, Israeli exports reached $42.86 billion.

Israel is a global leader in water conservation and geothermal energy, and its development of cutting-edge technologies in software, communications and the life sciences have evoked comparisons with Silicon Valley. Intel and Microsoft built their first overseas research and development centers in Israel, and other high-tech multi-national corporations, such as IBM, Cisco Systems, and Motorola, have opened facilities in the country. In July 2007, U.S. billionaire Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway bought an Israeli company Iscar, its first non-U.S. acquisition, for $4 billion. Since the 1970s, Israel has received economic and military aid from the United States, whose loans account for the bulk of Israel's external debt.

(Central Bureau of Statistics 2008)

GDP $188 billion
($26,200 per capita)
Exports, goods and services $46.0 billion
Imports, goods and services $55.0 billion

Industry

Israel's industry concentrates on manufacturing products with a high added value that are primarily based on technological innovation. These include medical electronics, agrotechnology, telecommunications, computer hardware and software, solar energy, food processing and fine chemicals.

Agriculture

Israel's agricultural successes are the result of a long struggle against harsh, adverse conditions and of making maximum use of scarce water and arable land. Today, agriculture represents some 2.4% of GNP and 2% of exports. Israel produces 93% of its own food requirements, supplemented by imports of grain, oil seeds, meat, coffee, cocoa and sugar, which are more than offset by the wide range of agricultural products for export.

Foreign Trade

Trade is conducted with countries on six continents. Some 54% of imports and 33% of exports are with Europe, boosted by Israel's free trade agreement with the EU (concluded in 1975). A similar agreement was signed with the United States (1985), whose trade with Israel accounts for 17% of Israel's imports and 40% of its exports.

Culture

Thousands of years of history, the ingathering of the Jews from over 70 countries, a society of multi-ethnic communities living side by side, and an unending flow of international input via satellite and cable have contributed to the development of an Israeli culture which reflects worldwide elements while striving for an identity of its own. Cultural expression through the arts is as varied as the people themselves, with literature, theater, concerts, radio and television programming, entertainment, museums and galleries for every interest and taste.

The official languages of the country are Hebrew and Arabic, but in the country's streets many other languages can be heard. Hebrew, the language of the Bible, long restricted to liturgy and literature, was revived a century ago, accompanying the renewal of Jewish life in the Land.

​PM Netanyahu: We face common challenges, the first of which is to defeat the forces of terror that rampage through the world and threaten both our countries. We must stand together in this battle, much as we work together to perfect the future.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, this evening (Tuesday, 4 July 2017), at the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem, hosted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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The EU Delegation in Israel and the Municipality of Tel-Aviv-Yafo presented:  Performance Europa!
Urban celebration of live performances and interactive installations
Tel Aviv’s White Night ,Rothschild 1 Plaza, 29 June 

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Over 60 leading women from across the world joined together last month for a panel discussion showcasing Israeli females in the lead.
Organized by The Israel Project (TIP) and the Embassy of Cyprus in Israel, the event served as a platform to discuss and understand the challenges and opportunities facing women in Israeli society in the modern age.
Among the panelists were popular journalist Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes. Former IDF commander Miri Eisin and Israeli Olympic athlete Maayan Davidovich.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, today (Thursday, 15 June 2017), in Thessaloniki, at the third trilateral summit, signed joint statements for the continued strengthening of relations.

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A senior delegation from Tanzania, headed by Dr. Aloyce Nzuki, Permanent Secretary Ministry for Natural Resources and Tourism, arrived in Israel for a series of meetings and events designed to increase cooperation with the Israeli tourist industry, and encourage Israeli tourism and investments to enchanted, exotic Tanzania.

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At a festive ceremony attended by Minister of Education Naftali Bennett, the Lauder Dormitory Building was inaugurated today at the Technion
state of the art building was donated to the Technion by World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder and his wife Jo Carole

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09 June 2017 – Jerusalem) The U.S. Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations Nikki Haley visited Yad Vashem today. The Ambassador was guided through the Holocaust History Museum by Dr. Robert Rozett, Director of Yad Vashem Libraries, participated in a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, visited the Children's Memorial and signed the Yad Vashem Guest Book.

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President Reuven Rivlin today (Wednesday) met at his residence in Jerusalem with United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Nikki R. Haley.

President Rivlin welcomed her and said, “You are a dear friend of Israel. We appreciate your strong stand on the world’s most important stage, in support of the security of the people and the State of Israel. With your support we see the beginning of a new era. Israel is no longer alone at the UN. Israel is no longer the UN’s punching bag.”

He continued, “When I spoke at the UN on Holocaust Memorial Day, I said that the UN must learn from the lessons of the past, and stand up against hatred and racism. I said it must end its obsession with targeting Israel. Progress has been made. Israel’s standing at the UN has improved. But sadly, we have a long way to go. Both in holding to account, public statements made by officials, and in supporting regulation to reduce the ridiculous number of discussions and resolutions against Israel. This is also true in the Human Rights Council - which has been hijacked as a weapon against Israel - and in UNESCO, where they seek to rub out the history of the Jewish people.”

The President thanked the Ambassador for her great contribution to the State of Israel, and said, “Ambassador Haley, as the representative the US - Israel’s greatest and strongest ally - we appreciate very much your support of Israel, and all you do to stand up for the values of freedom and democracy which we share. Welcome to Israel, welcome to Jerusalem.”

Ambassador Haley thanked the President for his warm welcome and said, “Thank you Mr. President for taking the time to meet with us, it is an absolute thrill to be here in Israel, I so much appreciate the support we have received from the people of Israel. But I feel somewhat guilty because all I did at the United Nations was tell the truth. I have never taken kindly to bullies, and the UN has bullied Israel for a very long time, and we are not going to let that happen anymore. It is a new day for Israel in the United Nations. We just got back from Geneva, talking about the Human Rights Council and hopefully it will be a new day at the Human Rights Council when it comes to Israel.”

She concluded by saying she was greatly looking forward to her visit to Israel and said, “I am looking forward to taking in the history, the beauty, the tradition, and all that comes with the magic of Israel. Thank you very much for having me it is a pleasure to be here.”

Photo credit: Mark Neiman (GPO)

Friday was a beautiful late spring day; the gardens were lovely, the weather was fine; the guests were elegantly attired; the refreshments were generous and delicious; all the makings of a happy celebration marking the National Day of Sweden. H.E. Carl Magnus Nesser, ambassador of Sweden to the State of Israel, hosted the event at the ambassadorial residence in Herzlia Pituach.

The event was attended by many Swedish nationals living in Israel; Swedish music, Swedish food, Swedish sponsors and a generous open bar – all the makings of a happy event.

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A fundamentally agricultural holiday, Shavuot commemorates the custom of bringing offerings to the Holy Temple from the first fruits of the harvest and the first animals born to the flocks.

Shavuot, the Holiday of Weeks, is one of the three pilgrimage holidays, along with Pesach and Sukkot. These are the holidays on which the whole Jewish people would come to Jerusalem​ in ancient times, when the Holy Temple was there, and would offer animal and grain sacrifices.

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Tel Aviv Eat presents three evenings of tastings and workshops featuring the region’s leading restaurants and most prominent chefs. Entrance is free (including the chefs’ demonstrations), and tasting portions range in price from NIS 20-35. Doors open each evening at 18.00. There are several performance stages, live music, and stands selling beer.

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"Only when we remember the families who were torn apart from everyone they loved, who suffered that terrible darkness and evil, who had endured the unbearable horror of the Holocaust, only then can we prevent this agony from ever repeating." President Donald J. Trump

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The Charles Bronfman Auditorium at Habima Square is one of the centerpieces of the Israeli arts and cultural scene, home to the Israel Philharmonic for the last 60 years. On Friday, May 19th, it was home to yet another historic event, with the dedication of the entrance hall to Miri Shitrit of blessed memory.

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President Reuven and First Lady Nechama Rivlin today, (Monday), welcomed President of the United States Donald J. Trump, and First Lady Melania Trump on arrival at Ben-Gurion International Airport, and then at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.

On his arrival at the President’s Residence, President Trump signed the official guest book and wrote, “It is such a great honor to be in Israel and be with all of my great friends”.

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  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, today (Monday, 22 May 2017), at Ben-Gurion International Airport, welcomed US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania with an honor guard.

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Jerusalem Israel Sunny, 25 °C
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MARKET MOVERS article

NMS : YHOO - 01 Jan,
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Open Mktcap
High 52wk Hight 57.39
Low 52wk Low 35.05
Vol 0 Avg Vol 19.80M
Eps 0.71 P/e
Currency:

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NMS : GOOG - 21 Jul, 4:00pm
972.92
+4.77 (+0.49%) After Hours:
Open 962.25 Mktcap 337.57B
High 973.23 52wk Hight 988.25
Low 960.15 52wk Low 727.54
Vol 1.71M Avg Vol 1.66M
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Apple Inc.

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High 150.44 52wk Hight 156.65
Low 148.88 52wk Low 96.42
Vol 26.25M Avg Vol 27.25M
Eps 8.91 P/e 17.51
Currency: USD