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Facts about Israel
Just the Facts, Ma'am
This is a lens about Israel. It is no secret that Israel is a political hot spot, but this lens will try to present facts about Israel that are not volatile. If you have any suggestions for additional facts, please leave them in the comments section below.
Size and Population
This information is care of the CIA World Factbook (the Israel section)
- Israel the 159th smallest country in the world, just ahead of El Salvador.
- Israel has less than 1/1000th of the world's population.
- Median age is 29.1 years. (2009 est.)
- Birth rate: 9.77 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
- Death rate: 5.43 deaths/1,000 population (2009 est.)
- Infant mortality rate: 6.89 deaths/1,000 live births
- Percentage of people age 15 and over can read and write (literacy) is 97.1%.
- Population: 7,233,701 (June 2009 estimate)
Unless otherwise stated, this information is from the CIA's World Factbook.
- 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. Israel is a little bigger than New Jersey (the fourth smallest state in the United States of America).
- Geographic Coordinates: 31 30 N, 34 45 E
- Israel has 1,017 km of shared border land. The breakdown is as follows: Egypt 266 km, Gaza Strip 51 km, Jordan 238 km, Lebanon 79 km, Syria 76 km, West Bank 307 km.
- The Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth at -408 meters, is in Israel.
- The highest point in Israel is Har Meron, at 1,208 meters
- I learned the seas as follows: Med, Red, Dead, et al. The Mediterranean Sea lies to the west. The Red Sea is an inlet of the Indian Ocean and touches the southern tip of Israel. The Dead Sea, which is actually a lake, is between Israel and Jordan. The Sea of Galilee is also a lake, but it is a freshwater lake, which makes it extremely important in the arid desert climate. The Sea of Galilee is located in the North.
- Arable land clocks in at a meager 15.45%.
- Natural resources are timber, potash, copper ore, natural gas, phosphate rock, magnesium bromide, clays, and sand.
- Environmental and International Agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation.
- Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world.
- Almost all three- and four-year-olds attend some kind of preschool program.
- School attendance is mandatory from age five, and free through age 18.
- Most Israeli students are over age 21 when they begin their studies, after three years compulsory military service for men and almost two years for women.
Israeli Universities - The Universities in Israel, listed in alphabetical order
I've linked to the English versions of all of these sites, since Squidoo serves an audience which mostly speaks English.
- Bar-Ilan University
The Jewish University for the Modern Jewish Future Bar-Ilan University is the fastest-growing institution of higher education in Israel. Those pursuing their BA, MA and PhD degrees on their award-winning campus just outside Tel Aviv and in six regio
- Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
The only university in Southern Israel, Ben-Gurion was established with the aim to spearhead the development of the Negev, a desert area comprising more than sixty percent of the country. The University was inspired by the vision of Israel's first pr
- The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Founded in 1925, it has four campuses and Studies are offered on the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels and postgraduate diploma programs. According to its website, nearly 24,000 students study on the four campuses of the University.
- The University of Haifa
Academic Excellence with a Personal Touch "The University of Haifa, the only liberal arts university in northern Israel, sits atop Mount Carmel and serves a student body--the most pluralistic in the country--of almost 13,000 undergraduate and gradua
- The Open University of Israel
Open Admissions and Academic Excellence "The Open University of Israel is similar to other [Israeli] universities in its pursuit of excellence and its commitment to superior scientific and scholastic standards. However, it differs in its organizatio
- Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
Home to Israel's Nobel Scientists Located in Haifa, Technion is the premiere scientific university and institute in Israel. It's comprable to MIT. Technion graduates comprise the majority of Israeli-educated scientists and engineers, constituting ov
- Tel Aviv University
Located in Israel's cultural, financial and industrial heartland, Tel Aviv University is the largest university in Israel and the biggest Jewish university in the world. It is a major center of teaching and research, comprising nine faculties, 106 de
- The Emek Yezreel College (The Max Stern Academic College 0f Emek Yezreel)
The Max Stern Academic College Of Emek Yezreel is the fastest growing, accredited, institution of higher learning in the Galilee with over 3,500 students pursuing B.A. degrees. The College appreciates that meeting the demand for education is vital Is
Technology and Innovation
- The cell phone was developed in Israel by Israelis working in the Israeli branch of Motorola, which has its largest development center in Israel.
- Most of the Windows NT and XP operating systems were developed by Microsoft-Israel.
- The Pentium MMX Chip technology was designed in Israel at Intel.
- Both the Pentium-4 microprocessor and the Centrino processor were entirely designed, developed and produced in Israel.
- Voice mail technology was developed in Israel.
- Both Microsoft and Cisco built their only R&D facilities outside the US in Israel.
- The technology for the AOL Instant Messenger ICQ was developed in by four young Israelis (1996).
- Israel produces one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed.
- Israel has the second largest number of startup companies in the world (mostly in high-tech).
You won't see them on the streets of main cities, but there are a lot of camels in Israel.
- Jerusalem, the capitol
- Tel Aviv, center of the country's industrial, commercial, financial and cultural life
- Haifa, major Mediterranean port and the industrial and commercial center of northern Israel
- Beer Sheba, largest urban center in the south. It provides administrative, economic, health, education and cultural services for the entire southern region.
- Information from The Israel Foreign Ministry here
- The Middle East has been growing date palms for centuries. The average tree is about 18-20 feet tall and yields about 38 pounds of dates a year.
Israeli date trees are now yielding 400 pounds/year and are short enough to be harvested from the ground or a short ladder.
- Israel's natural resources are timber, potash, copper ore, natural gas, phosphate rock, magnesium bromide, clays and sand. Love that magnesium bromide!
- 15.45% of Israel is arable land and 3.88% is permanent crops.
- Sandstorms may occur during spring and summer in Israel. Other natural hazards are droughts and periodic earthquakes.
- Information from The CIA World Factbook and Wikipedia.
- Israel was the first nation in the world to adopt the Kimberly process, an international standard that certifies diamonds as "conflict free."
- When the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya was bombed in 1998, Israeli rescue teams were on the scene within a day -- and saved three victims from the rubble.
- In 1984 and 1991, Israel airlifted a total of 22,000 Ethiopian Jews (Operation Solomon) at risk in Ethiopia, to safety in Israel.
- Israel has the fourth largest air force in the world, after the United States, Russia, and China.
- Israel's air force has an aerial arsenal of over 250 F-16's. This is the largest fleet of F-16 aircraft outside of the U. S.
- The military is compulsory for Jews and Druzes and voluntary for Christians, Muslims and Circassians. The age of service is 17 years old. Both sexes are eligible for military service; conscript service obligation - 36 months for men, 21 months for women.
Mifletzet (Monster) Park
Finance, Money, and Business
- Israel has the highest average living standard of the Middle East.
- The per capita income in 2000 was over $17,500, exceeding that of the UK.
- On a per capita basis, Israel has the largest number of biotech startups.
- When Golda Meir was elected Prime Minister of Israel in 1969, she became the world's second elected female leader in modern times.
- Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East (though maybe that will change soon).
- Israel is a parliamentary democracy.
- The Knesset is Israel’s legislative authority (their Congress). It is a 120-member unicameral parliament which operates in plenary session and through 15 standing committees. Its members are elected every four years in universal nationwide elections.
- Israel has the highest percentage in the world of home computers per capita.
- Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation by a large margin - 109 per 10,000 people
Cultural Places to Visit - that you might not know about
- The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens
The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens offer a 30-acre retreat of beauty and tranquility in the heart of Israel's largest metropolis.
- Baha'i Shrine and Gardens in Haifa
Haifa is the international headquarters for the Baha'i Faith, which began amidst persecution in Persia in the mid-19th century. Baha'is believe in the unity of all religions and believe that messengers of God like Moses, Jesus and Muhammad have been
- Incense Route in the Desert Cities in the Negev
This is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- A List of Archaeological Museums in Israel
Although many of the museums of this list are in Jerusalem, there are many archeological sites in Isreal.
- Biblical Zoo
In Jerusalem, this zoo features animals that are mentioned in the Bible. The ownership of the zoo is shared and divided evenly among the Municipality of Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Foundation, and the Jerusalem Development Authority. The zoo's Board of