The colors blue and white were chosen according to the colors of the ‘Tallit’ – the Jewish prayer shawl. The Star of David appearing in the center of the flag has been a Jewish symbol for hundreds of years.
The official emblem of the State of Israel is the Menorah – a candelabrum, whose shape is derived from the sage plant (Moria). In certain species of the plant, the leaves branch out in a way that resembles the candelabrum that stood in the Holy Temple in ancient Jerusalem. The Menorah appearing in the state emblem is similar to the one carved on the Arch of Titus in Rome. It is flanked by two olive branches that symbolize Israel’s longing for peace.
Hebrew, Arabic, English
The Israeli currency is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS), which is divided into 100 Agurot (as of January 1986). In December 2014: $1= approx. 3.90 Shekels.
Jerusalem. Israel proclaimed Jerusalem as its capital in 1950. The United States, like nearly all other countries, maintains its embassy in Tel Aviv.
14 May 1948
Democratic – unicameral parliamentary.
None; however, the Declaration of Establishment (1948), the Basic Laws of the parliament (the Knesset), and the Israeli citizenship law fill many of the functions of a constitution.
Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.
Includes the President, Prime Minister and government ministries.
Includes the Supreme Court, the District Court, Magistrates Court, Court for Local Affairs, Religious Court, Traffic Court, Labor Court, Juvenile Court, etc.
Municipalities, local councils, and regional councils. These authorities have governmental and administrative powers in their areas of jurisdiction, and are responsible for provision of services to their constituencies.
The Israeli army is comprised of conscription, reserve and career service. All eligible men and women are drafted at age 18, three years for men and two years for women. Men are liable for reserve duty until age 51 and women until age 24. Individuals accepted at institutions of higher education in disciplines needed by the IDF (medicine, nursing, teaching, engineering, etc.) may defer induction and serve in the IDF in their profession for 3-5 years after graduation. With a small standing army, the IDF is built principally on its reserves, which are regularly called up for training and service.
The State of Israel is located on the southwest tip of the Asian continent, on the eastern basin of the Mediterranean Sea. The State of Israel lies at a latitude between 29° and the 33° north of the Equator.
13,714.905 square miles (as of 1967 including East Jerusalem and as of 1982 including the Golan Heights).
Land area: 13,448.3 sq. miles.
Area of lakes: 266.5 sq. miles (Sea of Galilee – 101.9 sq. miles, the Dead Sea-164.6 sq. miles)
Land border: Total length of border: 532.5 miles.
Coastline: Length of Mediterranean Sea Coast 120.5 miles.
Length of Red Sea Coast about 7,456 miles.
According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, the population of Israel numbers about 8.5 million inhabitants.
The population of Israelis comprised of:
Over 6.4 million Jews (74.8 %)
Over 1.78 million Arabs (20.8%)
Over 374,000 are Christians, non-Arab and other minorities (4.4%).
Annual population growth 2%
Urban population 91.8%
Percent of population aged 0-18: 34.9
Percent of population aged 19-64: 55.3
The three most practiced faiths in Israel are Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
Israel contains holy sites to practitioners of each of these religions. Indeed, places such as the River Jordan and the City of Nazareth are holy to Christians and Jews and Muslims share a reverence for the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. The City of Jerusalem, houses holy sites for each of these religions: the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque for Muslims, the Western Wall (the remnant of the Second Temple) for Jews and, for Christians ,the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The Baha’i World Center, the spiritual and administrative center of the Baha’i faith is located in the city of Haifa.