GENERAL /

Date Established: May 14, 1948

US Aid: Until August 2019, Israel received $142.3b from the U.S.

The US signed an MOU for FY 2019 – FY 2028 in the amount of $38b

GOVERNMENT /

Chief of State: President Reuben Rivlin

Head of Government: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

Government Type: Parliamentary democracy

Capital: Jerusalem

Legislature: Knesset (120 seats)

Judiciary: Supreme Court (15 Justices)

Ambassador to US: Ambassador Ron Dermer

US Ambassador: Ambassador David Melech Friedman

PEOPLE & SOCIETY /

Population: 9.2 million

Language: Hebrew (official), Arabic (special status), English (most common foreign language)

Ethnicity: Ethnicity Jewish 74.4% (of which Israel-born 76.9%, Europe/America/Oceania-born 15.9%, Africa-born 4.6%, Asia-born 2.6%), Arab 20.9%, other 4.7%

Religion: 74% Jews, 18% Muslims, 2% Christians, and others

Christian Communities: The Orthodox Churches, Eastern Churches, Protestant Churches, Eastern Catholic Churches, and Roman Catholic Churches.

Israel

Israel

BACKGROUND

Israel proclaimed its independence on May 14, 1948, after the British agreed to withdraw from Mandatory Palestine and turned to the United Nations to determine the future status of the land. After millennia in the diaspora, the Jewish people were finally able to return to their ancestral homeland. Born into war and surrounded by neighbors resistant to the Jewish state, Israel’s history is riddled with conflict and survival. Historically, its land served as a meeting point for cultures and civilizations that revolutionized the world as we now know it. Jerusalem, the holiest place for both Judaism and Christianity and one of the three most important places for Islam, served many times as a stepping stone for major developments. Israel’s demography includes 74% Jews, 18% Muslims, 2% Christians, in addition to other minorities (2020). Despite its complex background and small size (equivalent to the size of New Jersey), in just over 70 years, Israel has become prosperous and a global beacon for innovation and cutting-edge technologies, while remaining on a quest to balance its Jewish and democratic identity.

LATEST NEWS

  • The normalization agreement with the UAE was approved in the Knesset:The normalization agreement between Israel and the UAE passed with a majority of 80 votes. The only votes opposing the agreement were cast by the Joint List - the Israeli Arab party. - Maariv

  • Opening the Winter Knesset session, President Rivlin called the government to order: In his speech opening the Winter session of the Knesset, President Rivlin urged the government to appoint a Chief of Police, as well as pass an appropriation bill. Both the Police and the Education sectors are going through challenges like never before, with little certainty of the future. The President also called on public officials to tame their speech and show empathy and acceptance towards the other. - Maariv

  • EU Ministers condemn Israel for approving new building plans in Jewish settlements: The Israeli Supreme Planning Council approved the construction of 4,900 houses in existing settlements in the West Bank. Foreign Ministers from Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. condemned the decision, calling it a violation of international law and a further endangerment to the two-state solution. - Haaretz

Israel

Israel

GENERAL /

Date Established: May 14, 1948

US Aid: Until August 2019, Israel received $142.3b from the U.S.

The US signed an MOU for FY 2019 – FY 2028 in the amount of $38b

GOVERNMENT /

Chief of State: President Reuben Rivlin

Head of Government: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

Government Type: Parliamentary democracy

Capital: Jerusalem

Legislature: Knesset (120 seats)

Judiciary: Supreme Court (15 Justices)

Ambassador to US: Ambassador Ron Dermer

US Ambassador: Ambassador David Melech Friedman

PEOPLE & SOCIETY /

Population: 9.2 million

Language: Hebrew (official), Arabic (special status), English (most common foreign language)

Ethnicity: Ethnicity Jewish 74.4% (of which Israel-born 76.9%, Europe/America/Oceania-born 15.9%, Africa-born 4.6%, Asia-born 2.6%), Arab 20.9%, other 4.7%

Religion: 74% Jews, 18% Muslims, 2% Christians, and others

Christian Communities: The Orthodox Churches, Eastern Churches, Protestant Churches, Eastern Catholic Churches, and Roman Catholic Churches.

BACKGROUND

Israel proclaimed its independence on May 14, 1948, after the British agreed to withdraw from Mandatory Palestine and turned to the United Nations to determine the future status of the land. After millennia in the diaspora, the Jewish people were finally able to return to their ancestral homeland. Born into war and surrounded by neighbors resistant to the Jewish state, Israel’s history is riddled with conflict and survival. Historically, its land served as a meeting point for cultures and civilizations that revolutionized the world as we now know it. Jerusalem, the holiest place for both Judaism and Christianity and one of the three most important places for Islam, served many times as a stepping stone for major developments. Israel’s demography includes 74% Jews, 18% Muslims, 2% Christians, in addition to other minorities (2020). Despite its complex background and small size (equivalent to the size of New Jersey), in just over 70 years, Israel has become prosperous and a global beacon for innovation and cutting-edge technologies, while remaining on a quest to balance its Jewish and democratic identity.

LATEST NEWS

  • The normalization agreement with the UAE was approved in the Knesset:The normalization agreement between Israel and the UAE passed with a majority of 80 votes. The only votes opposing the agreement were cast by the Joint List - the Israeli Arab party. - Maariv

  • Opening the Winter Knesset session, President Rivlin called the government to order: In his speech opening the Winter session of the Knesset, President Rivlin urged the government to appoint a Chief of Police, as well as pass an appropriation bill. Both the Police and the Education sectors are going through challenges like never before, with little certainty of the future. The President also called on public officials to tame their speech and show empathy and acceptance towards the other. - Maariv

  • EU Ministers condemn Israel for approving new building plans in Jewish settlements: The Israeli Supreme Planning Council approved the construction of 4,900 houses in existing settlements in the West Bank. Foreign Ministers from Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. condemned the decision, calling it a violation of international law and a further endangerment to the two-state solution. - Haaretz

  • Israel is in lockdown again: Amid an exponential increase in COVID cases, the coronavirus Cabinet approved a 14-day lockdown in Israel. While the government still needs to approve these measures, it seems as though Israelis will spend the Jewish New Year alone. - Ynet 

  • The Arab League refused the condemn the normalization agreement between Israel and the UAE: The Palestinian Authority introduced an official request to the Arab League to condemn the agreement between Israel and the UAE. After a 3-hour debate with no agreement, the request was quashed, and not included in the convention’s concluding statement. The agreement between Israel and the UAE will be signed in Washington DC on September 15. - Haaretz

  • PM Netanyahu is going after the Office of the State Attorney: In a continuation of his line of attacks against the Police and Ministry of Justice officials, PM Netanyahu cited an expose by a channel 12 news reporter, accusing prosecutors of politicized decisions meant to remove him from power. The Minister of Defense from Blue and White, Benny Gantz, along with the head of the opposition, the attorney general, the former State Attorney, and the Office of the State Attorney, all condemned his statement separately - Maariv

  • Thousands are protesting in front of the PM’s residence in Jerusalem: Protestors are chanting against the destruction of democracy and for the execution of the Israeli Declaration of Independence. - Ynet

  • The Likud is attacking the Attorney General: Likud Knesset members are attacking the Attorney General as there are rumors that he is re-contemplating whether PM Netanyahu is incapacitated to stay PM during his trial. Some of the comments call for the AG’s resignation, and the destruction and rebuilding of the Ministry of Justice. The AG stated a few weeks ago that PM Netanyahu is not incapacitated as long as he avoids conflicts of interest with regards to his trial - Haaretz