Israel

By: Isabella McAdams

Country Basics

The capital of Israel is Jerusalem. The background behind the flag is that the blue color is described as dark blue sky, and the star in the center represents the Star of David.
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Geography

Israel is located in Asia. It is surrounded by Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan. It is located on the Mediterranean Sea. Israel is mostly flat with a few hills. The Samarian hills and hills of Galilee run through the country. The Dead Sea is the lowest point and Mt. Meron is Israel's highest point. Israel is considered a holy land and many people visit the landmarks like Mount Olive. Mount of Olives is where Jews believed that Jesus foresaw the destruction of Jerusalem. The Dome Rock is an Islamic building that Jews believe that Abraham almost sacrificed Isaac. The Muslim people believe that this is the location where Muhammed was taken to see paradise. Due to the number of religious landmarks located in Israel, there are many citizens who have a strong faith in their religion. One problem that effects the citizens is air pollution. The people in Israel don't place as many rules on they type and quality gasoline people use to fuel their cars.

Government

Israel operates under a Parliamentary government. Israel is led by a Prime Minister. The Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu holds the most power in Israel. There is also a President of Israel and he is the country's head of state. His responsibilities are mostly ceremonial. These leaders are chosen by the Israeli people. The people vote for a party, and not a specific person like we do in America
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Economy

Israel's economy is highly developed and it is one of the richest countries in the Middle East. The biggest industries in Israel produce metal, electronics, bio medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, processed foods, and agricultural products.

Israel is also know as one of the world's biggest diamond producers. Recently the country discovered a large natural gas reserve off the coast which has boosted the economy.


GDP rank49th (PPP) / 39th (nominal)

GDP growth

2.6% (2014 est.; 107th)

GDP per capita

$35,833 (PPP; 2014 est.)
$38,004 (nominal; 2014 est.)[1]

GDP by sector

agriculture: 2.5%, industry: 31.2%, services: 64.7% (2011 est.)


Life expectancy for Israeli men is the fourth highest in the country. The average age for men is 80 and for women it is 84. Israel's birth rate is the highest in the developed world. Most women have 3 children. The literacy rate in Israel is 46%. Tap water is safe to drink, but they do suggest Americans buy bottled water because there might be traces of minerals in the water.


The Israeli Shekel is the currency of Israel.

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Culture

Clothing The women dress very modestly. They do not wear high heeels or anything that attracts attention. Married women are required to wear a covering on their heads. Men also wear modest clothing and cover their heads.

Language Hebrew is the official language in Israel. Arabic is the language of the Arab people. English is studied at school and is the most common foreign language spoken in Israel.

Music The music is a combination of Jewish and non Jewish traditions that have merged to create an original Israeli style. They play a variety of jazz, classical, and pop rock.

Holidays The Israeli people observe Friday through Saturday as their weekend. Three national holidays are Purim, Pesach, and are all based around the Jewish religion.

Religions Judaism is the official religion of Israel. About 80% of the people of Jewish, 15% are Muslim, and only 4% are Christians.

Food- Some of the popular dishes included falafei, which is a mixture of chickpeas, spices, and onions. The mixture is made into a ball, fried, and served in pita bread. Another dish is tabuleh, which is like a salad. They also have hummus, eggplant, and grilled meats. One of their deserts is baklava which is also served in America. Their coffee is also served strong and thick.

Entertainment Israel has more museums per capita than any other country in the world. It is rich in cultural with theaters, exhibitions, and nightlife activity.

Climate

Israel has two seasons, winter and summer. It is considered a subtropical region with most rainfall occurring in the winter. The summer is dry and hot. Winter starts in October and ends in early May. Rainfall varies by regions with the highest rainfall in the North and central parts of the country. The average temperature varies throughout the region, but is normally in the high 80's. The climate effects the amount of water the people have and it is becoming a concern. Water shortage has an impact on the agriculture.
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History

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Israel vs United States of America

Israel and Americans share some of the same types of food. For example, we eat baklava, hummus, and grill our meat. We both value education. In Israel, children are encouraged to attend school just like in America. America and Israel are also considered biblical societies where people follow the word of God through the teachings in the Bible. We also share a similar style in music. We listen to the same type of music.

One of the major differences is our size. Israel is a small country compared to the USA. Another difference is the language. The majority of Israeli's speak Hebrew and Arabic. In America the majority of the people speak English. We also differ in the way our government runs. They run on a parliamentary government and we run under a democracy. Another difference is the climate. Israel only has two seasons and we have four seasons.