Israel

Article

May 17, 2022

Israel (Hebrew: יִשְׂרָאֵל Yisra'el; Arabic: إسرائيل Isrā'īl), officially Staten Israel (Hebrew: מְדִינַת יִשְׁרֵעַל, Medinat Yisra'el; Arabic: دَوْلَةْ إِسْرī landwl Islas, on the southeastern Mediterranean coast. The country is also considered part of the Middle East. The country borders Lebanon to the north, Syria and Jordan to the east and Egypt to the southwest, and consists of a geographically varied landscape within its relatively limited land area. The country also borders the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which are partly administered by the Palestinian Authority and partly still occupied by Israel. With a population of about 7.26 million, most of whom are Jews, Israel is the only Jewish state in the world. The Israeli population also includes Arab Muslims, Arab Christians, Druze and Samaritans as well as other religious and ethnic minorities. Jerusalem is the nation's self-proclaimed capital, but few countries recognize this, and with two exceptions they have added their embassies to Tel Aviv. Today's Israel has its historical roots in the land of Israel, an area that has been central to Judaism for over three thousand years. After World War I, the League of Nations approved the Palestine Mandate for the purpose of establishing a "national home for the Jewish people." In 1947, the UN approved the division of the Palestinian mandate into two states: a Jewish and an Arab. The Arab League rejected the plan, but on May 14, 1948, Israel declared its independence. The victory of the new country in the ensuing Arab-Israeli war led to the boundaries of the Jewish state being extended beyond the UN partition plan. Since then, Israel has, partly continuously, partly at different times, been in conflict with all the neighboring Arab countries, which has resulted in several major wars and decades of violence and unrest. Since its inception, Israel's borders, and even the state's right to exist, have been a hotly debated topic, although Israel has signed peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan. Efforts to reach a lasting agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians have so far yielded modest and limited results, while Israel has been accused of violating human rights and war crimes against the Palestinians. Israel is a representative democracy with a parliamentary system and universal suffrage. is the head of government and the Knesset is Israel's legislative authority. According to the nominal gross domestic product, the nation's economy is estimated to be the 39th largest in the world, and Israel ranks high among the countries in the Middle East in terms of the HDI index, press freedom and economy.

Etymology

For the past three thousand years, the name "Israel" has been used for both the land of Israel and the entire Jewish nation, both in the ordinary and religious context. The name comes from a verse in the Bible (Genesis 32:28) where Jacob gets the name Israel after a successful battle against one of God's angels. There are different opinions about what the name means. Some believe that the name comes from the verb śarar ("to rule, to become strong, to have authority over"), and the meaning thus becomes "God rules" or "God judges". Other possible meanings are "God's prince / prince" (from the King James Version) or "El (God) fights / fights". Regardless of the exact meaning of the name, the biblical nation after Jacob has been called "Children of Israel" or "Israelites." The word "Israel" was first used in the Merneptah Tribe in ancient Egypt (dating back to the early 13th century BC). Pharaoh Merneptah is thus the first to use the term "Israel" outside the Bible. The inscription has a special sign to indicate that it is a people rather than just a place, and is used in the mention of a military campaign in Canaan where the people were located. The present-day land was named Medinat Yisrael (State of Israel) after other proposed names, including Eretz Israel («Israel l