About
Nonprofit Tools
Contact
Help

Search by country

Israel

Israel

Summary

Israel gained statehood in 1948 when the British withdrew from their mandate of Palestine.1 Since then, the state has been extremely controversial as illegal land grabs and unjust treatment of the residents of the Occupied Territories have plagued their history. In addition, Israel has been subject to terrorist attacks from its Arab neighbors, and its most recent war was fought in 2014 against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.2 Known for its stunning Mediterranean coast and countless religious sites, tourism is one of its top industries.1 Even with its booming economy, however, the cost of living remains too high to combat the high poverty rates.1 1 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/is.html
2 http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2014/08/world/israel-neighbors/

Demographics

Nationality
Israeli
Population
7,707,042 (July 2013 est.)
Ethnic Groups
Languages
Religions

Explore Israel Subcases

Click and view Israel subcases and learn more about our Israel

Environment
Family
Education
Poverty
Religion
Clean Water
Economy
Government
Health
Children
Human Rights
Animals

Environment

Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection developed the Israeli Climate Change Information Center (ICCIC) to draw national attention to the growing issue of climate change and its reported negative effects on the environment and public health. The ICCIC focuses on the effects climate change is projected to have on urban planning, public health, biodiversity, and the economy.1 Because of Israel’s rapid increase in population and infrastructure, the country has difficulty controlling greenhouse gases and wildlife destruction.2 Israel faces severe air pollution due to the rapid industrialization, particularly in Tel Aviv and Ashdod .1

Family

Family size in Israel varies based on religious affiliation. In more secular cities such as Tel Aviv and Haifa, nearly 40% of families have no children, while only 22% have no children in religious centers like Jerusalem.1 Arab families in Israel tend to have more children than Jewish families, which is leading to demographic shifts in the Jewish state.2 Domestic and child abuse are also significant problems with many domestic abuses not resulting in conviction and every third child experiencing some form of neglect.3

Education

The Israeli government has declared that education is a right guaranteed to everyone, a notion supported by the country’s religious leaders. The overall goal of education in Israel is the preparation of children to become fully functioning members of a democratic and pluralistic society. There has been an increased focus on developments in the science and technology departments of schools. Israel faces a distinct challenge in accommodating a large amount of immigrants into the country and the school system. Israel’s adult literacy rate is at 98% and the country’s primary school enrollment rate is at 97%. There are over 50 colleges and 9 major universities in Israel.3 Many undergraduate students are aged 20-24, as they complete their education after mandatory military service.

Poverty

Israel's poverty rate has remained high for a developed country, with a rate of 21.7% in 2015.1 The wealth discrepancies between ethnic groups are large, and Arab-Israelis and Orthodox Jews sit at a poverty rate close to 50%,much higher than that of secular Jews. 25% of children in Israel are expected to live in poverty.2 Even with this staggering rate, unemployment has steadily lowered to a rate near 5% in 2017, but the crippling high cost of living makes poverty difficult to overcome.3

Religion

Based on the 1967 armistice lines, Israel is primarily Jewish (75%), Muslim (17%), and Christian (2%).1 Israel is the world's only Jewish state and is considered by some to be the historic home of the Jewish people. The state adheres to traditional Jewish holidays and practices like Sabbath on Saturdays. Despite Judaism being the official state religion, Israel's laws provide for the freedom of religion, and a growing number—nearing 45% of the population—identifies as nonreligious or secular Jews.1

Clean Water

In the past, the main form of clean water in Israel has come from the Sea of Galilee, but water levels became dangerously low and unsafe for drinking. To combat this, Israel is now pioneering water desalination. Since the opening of Israel’s first desalination plant in 2005, the country has produced a surplus of clean water from the Mediterranean Sea and stabilized the Sea of Galilee water levels.1 The country exports billions of dollars worth of clean water each year and is now using its innovative approach of desalination to help water shortages worldwide.2 However, the government still faces obstacles in reducing the overall high cost of desalination.

Economy

Israel's GDP was ranked 35th in the world, according to a 2015 World Bank report.1 Israel’s biggest industries are diamonds, high technology equipment, commercial and financial services, and tourism.2 The country's unemployment rate is around 5%, and over 20% of the population lives below the poverty line.3

Government

Israel is a parliamentary democracy with both a president and a prime minister, and their justice system is a blend of English common law and British mandates. Unique to the modern world, Israelis have the choice to be tried in religious court systems based on Christian, Jewish, or Muslim laws.2 The Legislative branch of government is called the Knesset and is based in Jerusalem. There are over 20 significant political parties in the Knesset which leads to many coalition governments.1 There are relatively low levels of government corruption because of the mostly effective anti-corruption laws and the independence of courts.

Health

Israel’s healthcare system is highly efficient and qualitative, and the leading health problems have risen from the rapid population growth and the increase in urbanization and industrialization.1 Cancer and heart disease constitute the two leading causes of death in the country and have sparked a national priority in funding for research into the illnesses. There is a significant population of elderly people another state concern is the provision of adequate care for that population sector.

Children

Israel is a part of several international conventions and laws that are meant to protect the rights of children. In addition to international laws, Israel has its own set of extensive legislation to protects the rights of Israeli children. There is a separate justice system for child offenders between the ages of 12 and 18. Youth unemployment has dropped in recent years to near 10% due to an increase in high tech companies developing in Israel.2 However, one third of Israelis are minors and many of them live in poverty.1 Additionally, child abuse is still a significant concern in Israel. A 2013 survey questioned over 10,000 children and found that over half of respondents had experienced physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.

Human Rights

For years, there have been serious human rights violations committed by Israel towards the Palestinian people. These issues often occur in the Occupied West Bank and in Gaza. Israelis are also the victims of attacks by Hamas. Civilians are typically the target of both groups’ attacks.1 The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have destroyed homes and committed discriminatory acts against Palestinian residents in the Occupied West Bank. When Palestinians commit even minor forms of violence, The IDF often respond with excessive force and collective punishment. Furthermore, Israel continues to undermine Gaza’s economic progress with travel restrictions, lack of access to clean water, and overfishing in its waters.

Animals

The most prevalent types of animals in Israel are gazelles, reptiles, birds, and ibex. Birds are the most plentiful;millions pass through each year on popular migration routes from Eurasia to Africa.2 Many ancient animal species left the area due to constant war, hunting, or industrialization. In recent years, the Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority (INNPPA) has been reintroducing animals such as ox, deer, and bison to combat extinction and raise awareness about nature preservation.1

Israel

News

Loading...