Israel Facts
Israel Facts

36 Interesting Israel Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published March 17, 2020
  • The modern state of Israel has been a nation of the Jewish people since 1948.[4]
  • Geographically, Israel is located on the Asian continent.[4]
  • Israel is about the size of the US state of Massachusetts—around 8,000 square miles (53,679 km).[4]
  • The capital of the Jewish state is Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a holy city for three religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.[4]
  • Over just 50 square miles, Jerusalem has over 2,000 archeological sites.[4]
  • In 1967, Israel went to war with Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. It won within six days, which led to the name the Six-Day War. Israel gained land in the Golan Heights, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and the Sinai Desert. In 1994, Israel handed over much of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank town of Jericho to Palestinians.[4]
  • Facts about Israel
    Israel's geography is diverse, with desert conditions in the south and snow-capped mountains in the north
  • Israel is a long wedge of land. It is as narrow as 10 miles (26 km) in some areas and no wider than 70 miles (181 km) in others.[4]
  • In 2012, Israel became the first country to ban underweight models. They also required advertisers to identify pictures with photoshopped people.[2]
  • Israeli banknotes have Braille markings on them.[4]
  • Israel is home to the largest known dog cemetery of the ancient world.[1]
  • The cell phone was developed in Israel.[3]
  • The Java platform inside Amazon's best-selling Kindle was developed in Israel.[3]
  • The popular traffic app WAZE was developed in Israel.[3]
  • Quicktionary, a portable electronic pen that can scan and translate printed text was invented in Israel.[3]
  • The small but hardy cherry tomato was developed in Israel in 1970s.[3]
  • Ephraim Hertzano, a Romanian Jew who immigrated to pre-Israel in the 1930s, invented the popular game Rummikub.[3]
  • The surprise 2009 blockbuster "Paranormal Activity" was made by an Israeli games programmer. Costing just $15,000 to make, it earned over $100 million worldwide.[3]
  • Pet lovers in Israel created the first-ever US cable channel for dogs. It is scientifically programmed to keep dogs entertained and comforted while they are home alone.[3]
  • The population of Israel is about 6 million, of which 80% are Jewish and 20% are non-Jewish, mostly Arabs.[4]
  • The breakup of the Soviet Union added over 340,000 Jewish immigrants to Israel's population.[4]
  • I would like to see real peace and a state of Israel living peacefully alongside a state of Palestine.

    - Elie Weisel

  • During the famine in Ethiopia in the mid-1980s, an estimated 10,000 Jews were airlifted to Israel. In the spring of 1991, an additional 14,500 Ethiopians were airlifted just before the Ethiopian government fell to rebel forces.[4]
  • Israel enforces "The Law of Return," which grants citizenship to any Jew who migrates to Israel.[4]
  • In Israel, there are two dominant Jewish ethnic groups: the Ashkenazim and the Sephardim. The Ashkenazim are Jews from northern and eastern Europe and Russia. Sephardic Jews are from Spain.[4]
  • The Shield of David (Magen Star) is a six-pointed star formed by two overlying triangles. Among Muslims, it is known as the Seal of Solomon, and it was used as a Christian decorative motif before its first known use in Jewish communities in the 17th century.[4]
  • Israel entered the 21st century as the only country that had a net gain in the number of its trees in the last 100 years.[10]
  • A native-born Jew in Israel is known as a Sabra, or prickly pear, which is a cactus fruit that is tough on the outside but sweet on the inside.[4]
  • Sabre Fact
    A sabra is sweet on the inside but tough on the outside

  • Israel recycles 90% of the waste water it creates, making it the leading nation in the world for water recycling. In the United States, only 1% of wastewater is recycled.[10]
  • The glue on Israeli stamps is kosher.[4]
  • Famous people from Israel include Natalie Portman, Gal Gadot, Gene Simmons, and Ishmael (Abraham's first son).[6]
  • The state of Israel is named after the ancient Kingdom of Israel. According to Biblical tradition, the Jewish patriarch Jacob received the name Israel (He who struggles with God) after he wrestled with an angel.[7]
  • Autism diagnoses in Israel jumped 169% in the past decade. In 2018, one of 78 children was diagnosed with autism. In 2007, it was one child in 210.[5]
  • Letters to God
    What would you say in a letter to God?
  • Every year, about 1,000 letters are sent to Jerusalem, Israel, that are addressed to God.[8]
  • Israel has two official languages: Hebrew and Arabic.[4]
  • Israeli Major Uzi Gal developed the Uzi submachine gun in 1948. Over 10 million Uzis have been built.[9]
  • There are more museums per capita in Israel than anywhere in the world.[4]
  • Since its early history, Jerusalem has been a fully walled city. The walls are over 40 feet tall, eight feet thick, and 2.5 miles long. It also has 34 watchtowers and seven main gates to let traffic through.[4]

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