The one minute summary on Israel

This is it: one minute to the best info on Israel. This info alone will put you ahead of 99% of foreigners visiting Israel, garner the admiration of the locals who will instantly want to be your friends, and the envy of your fellow travelers. Read on. You’ll make friends faster that way, become a traveler instead of simply being a tourist, and also enjoy your travels a lot more.

Following World War II, the British withdrew from their mandate of Palestine, and the UN proposed partitioning the area into Arab and Jewish states, an arrangement rejected by the Arabs. Nonetheless, an Israeli state was declared in 1948 and the Israelis subsequently defeated the Arabs in a series of wars without ending the deep tensions between the two sides. (The territories Israel occupied since the 1967 war are not included in the Israel country profile, unless otherwise noted.) On 25 April 1982, Israel withdrew from the Sinai pursuant to the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. In keeping with the framework established at the Madrid Conference in October 1991, bilateral negotiations were conducted between Israel and Palestinian representatives and Syria to achieve a permanent settlement.

Israel  smart photo

Photo by dailycloudt

Israel and Palestinian officials signed on 13 September 1993 a Declaration of Principles (also known as the “Oslo Accords”), enshrining the idea of a two-state solution to their conflict and guiding an interim period of Palestinian self-rule. Outstanding territorial and other disputes with Jordan were resolved in the 26 October 1994 Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace. Progress toward a permanent status agreement with the Palestinians was undermined by Israeli-Palestinian violence between 2001 and February 2005. Israel in 2005 unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza Strip, evacuating settlers and its military while retaining control over most points of entry into the Gaza Strip.

The election of HAMAS to head the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006 froze relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). In 2006 Israel engaged in a 34-day conflict with Hizballah in Lebanon in June-August 2006 and a 23-day conflict with HAMAS in the Gaza Strip during December 2008 and January 2009. Direct talks with the Palestinians launched in September 2010 collapsed following the expiration of Israel’s 10-month partial settlement construction moratorium in the West Bank. In November 2012, Israel engaged in a seven-day conflict with HAMAS in the Gaza Strip. Prime Minister Binyamin NETANYAHU formed a coalition government in March 2013 following general elections in January 2013. Direct talks with the Palestinians resumed in July 2013 and but were suspended in late April 2014.

That was it. I promised one minute.

For other condensed info check also my other posts on local culture (don’t make the mistakes I made), local food or local drinks. And when you call your friends to tell them you were by far the most knowledgeable at the party, do that with confidence that you’ll not get hit with a 6.99 per minute bill. You’ll also pick the local food from the tray, and order a local drink with confidence.

  1. Cultural Mistakes To Avoid in  Israel
  2. Does my current phone work in  Israel ? Tips to cell phone usage in  Israel
  3. Local food you should try in  Israel and No miss drinks in  Israel

Now, cheers to the most Israel aware person at the cocktail party.

What are the key history moments for Israel?

While the current State of Israel is a relatively new country founded in 1948, the Land of Israel has a long and often very complex history stretching back thousands of years to the very beginnings of human civilization. It has been invaded by virtually every Old World empire including the Persians, Romans, Ottomans and British. (Even the Mongols once raided cities on what is now Israeli soil.) It is also the birthplace of both Judaism and Christianity. Jerusalem is a sacred city for Muslims. Israel has been inhabited for tens of thousands of years, with Neanderthal remains from the region dating back 50,000 years. Its strategic location serving as the gateway from Asia to Egypt and Africa had made Israel an ideal target for conquerors through the ages.

The first nation to have influence was the great Egyptian civilization. Approximately 1000 B.C, an independent Judean Kingdom was set up under King Saul. The land lay to the south of Phoenicia. After intermittent civil war, the land was conquered by the Assyrians and Persians and in c. 330 BC by Alexander the Great. A newly independent Jewish state, ruled by the Maccabees, was conquered in 63 BC by the Romans. Around 30 CE, Jesus of Nazareth began his ministry in the Galilee. Following a Jewish revolt against the Romans in 70 CE, the Israelites were expelled from Jerusalem by the Romans, creating a substantial Jewish diaspora throughout the world.

However, many Israelites did remain in the Land of Israel outside Jerusalem for a few centuries, although persecution gradually eroded at whatever Israelites population was left in their homeland. The area was captured by Muslims in the 7th Century. In the middle ages, European Christians invaded in a period known as the Crusades and established a small kingdom, but after a few centuries were expelled. The land was then ruled for many years by different Muslim empires, culminating in the Ottoman Empire. During WWI, Palestine, as it was known, was captured by the British.

Israel  smart photo

Photo by dailycloudt

In order to gain support of the Arabs who were siding with the rising Nazis, the British designated the eastern two-thirds of Palestine as the country of Transjordan in the 1920’s (now known as Jordan). The British agreed to support the idea of European Jews returning to their ancestral homeland in the remaining third of Palestine. During the 1920s and 1930s there was mass migration of Jews into Palestine, many of them European Jews fleeing from anti-Semitic riots (caused by political movements in Germany) which would eventually lead to the Holocaust. By 1939 the population of Palestine was one-third Jewish (by comparison, in 1917 the population was only 10% Jewish), but after the end of WWII in 1945, the British did not allow any further Jewish immigration into Palestine.

The Jewish nationalist movement was strengthened significantly because of the events of World War II. Many major powers, including the Americans, endorsed Jewish independence in Palestine as the only way to ensure the survival of the Jewish people. The British were more hesitant, however, as they worried about a possible Arab revolt. The Jewish nationalists, emboldened by support from the Americans and the French, grew impatient with the British delay in granting independence and started several armed uprisings of their own against British rule. After two years of growing violence, in the fall of 1947 the British decided to withdraw their troops from the remaining western third of Palestine. The UN recommended that the territory of Palestine be partitioned into two states: A Jewish state, and an Arab state.

The Jews accepted the plan, but the Arabs firmly rejected it. Nonetheless, half a year later, on 14 May 1948, the British withdrew and the Jewish nationalists immediately declared independence as the State of Israel. The Arabs responded with a military invasion of the nascent State of Israel, and thus no Arab State in western Palestine was ever established. The Israelis won a decisive victory in their War of Independence. Over the course of the war, approximately 600,000 Arabs in Palestine fled from the territory of the newly proclaimed Jewish state.

To this day, it is hotly debated whether Israel forcibly expelled these people or they moved out on their own, but probably both occurred. Following the establishment of Israel in May 1948, there was a surge of immigration of refugees survivors of the European Holocaust which had not been allowed to enter Palestine under the British Mandate government. At the same time the surrounding Muslim countries expelled most of their Jewish populations, and Israel experienced a further surge of immigration of these Sephardic Jews from countries such as Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.

To this day a large proportion of modern Israelis are the offspring of these refugees from those Arab countries. Following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 there was a further large wave of immigration of Jews from former Soviet countries and Russian has now became a common language heard in Israel. After the establishment of Israel in 1948, further fighting continued over the next few decades, and the Israelis won another decisive victory against the Arabs in the June 1967 Six-Day War. Following this victory and again in the Yom Kippur War of 1973, a slow movement towards peace and reconciliation began.

In 1979, peace was concluded between Israel and Egypt, and in 1994, a peace treaty was signed with Jordan. Both agreements have held to this day. Attempts to create similar treaties with Lebanon, Syria, and the Palestinian-Arabs have failed, and in 2000 violence resurfaced when Palestinian-Arabs launched a violent insurrection against Israel, the so-called “intifada”. This has tapered off. There have been occasional flare-ups over the past decade of missile attacks into southern Israel from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip (from which Israel withdrew totally in 2005) or into northern Israel from Hizbollah-controlled southern Lebanon, but for the most part the vast majority of the country enjoys a quiet peace.

The one minute summary for Israel geography

Best places to see in Israel

Machtesh Ramon – The 40KM long crater-like landform offers some breath-taking desert vistas. Rosh Haniqra – A a dazzlingly white coastal rock cliff formation on the far North Coast of Israel.