Portal:Israel

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Israel (/ˈɪzriəl, ˈɪzrəl/; Hebrew: יִשְׂרָאֵל‎; Arabic: إِسْرَائِيل‎), officially known as the State of Israel (Hebrew: מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל‎, Medinat Yisra'el), is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to the east and west, respectively, and Egypt to the southwest. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although international recognition of the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem is limited.

Israel has evidence of the earliest migration of hominids out of Africa. Canaanite tribes are archaeologically attested since the Middle Bronze Age, while the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah emerged during the Iron Age. The Neo-Assyrian Empire destroyed Israel around 720 BCE. Judah was later conquered by the Babylonian, Persian and Hellenistic empires and had existed as Jewish autonomous provinces. The successful Maccabean Revolt led to an independent Hasmonean kingdom by 110 BCE, which in 63 BCE however became a client state of the Roman Republic that subsequently installed the Herodian dynasty in 37 BCE, and in 6 CE created the Roman province of Judea. Judea lasted as a Roman province until the failed Jewish revolts resulted in widespread destruction, the expulsion of the Jewish population and the renaming of the region from Iudaea to Syria Palaestina. Jewish presence in the region has persisted to a certain extent over the centuries. In the 7th century CE, the Levant was taken from the Byzantine Empire by the Arabs and remained in Muslim control until the First Crusade of 1099, followed by the Ayyubid conquest of 1187. The Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt extended its control over the Levant in the 13th century until its defeat by the Ottoman Empire in 1517. During the 19th century, national awakening among Jews led to the establishment of the Zionist movement followed by immigration to Palestine.

The land was controlled as a mandate of the British Empire from 1920 to 1948, having been ceded by the Ottomans at the end of the First World War. Not long after, the Second World War saw the mandate bombed heavily and Yishuv Jews serve for the Allies, after the British agreed to supply arms and form a Jewish Brigade in 1944. Amidst growing tension and with the British eager to appease both Arab and Jewish factions, the United Nations (UN) adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine in 1947 recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency, and rejected by Arab leaders. The following year, the Jewish Agency declared the independence of the State of Israel, and the subsequent 1948 Arab–Israeli War saw Israel's establishment over most of the former Mandate territory, while the West Bank and Gaza were held by neighboring Arab states. Israel has since fought several wars with Arab countries, and since the Six-Day War in June 1967 held occupied territories including the West Bank, Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip (still considered occupied after the 2005 disengagement, although some legal experts dispute this claim). Subsequent legislative acts have resulted in the full application of Israeli law within the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem, as well as its partial application in the West Bank via "pipelining" into Israeli settlements. Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories is internationally considered to be the world's longest military occupation in modern times. Efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have not resulted in a final peace agreement, while Israel has signed peace treaties with both Egypt and Jordan.

In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a Jewish and democratic state and the nation state of the Jewish people. The country is a liberal democracy with a parliamentary system, proportional representation, and universal suffrage. The prime minister is head of government and the Knesset is the legislature. With a population of around 9 million as of 2019, Israel is a developed country and an OECD member. It has the world's 31st-largest economy by nominal GDP, and is the most developed country currently in conflict. It has the highest standard of living in the Middle East, and ranks among the world's top countries by percentage of citizens with military training, percentage of citizens holding a tertiary education degree, research and development spending by GDP percentage, women's safety, life expectancy, innovativeness, and happiness. (Full article...)

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Dizengoff Square in the 1940s
The White City (Hebrew: העיר הלבנה‎, Ha-Ir ha-Levana; Arabic: المدينة البيضاءAl-Madinah al-Baydha’a) refers to a collection of over 4,000 buildings built in a unique form of the International Style in Tel Aviv from the 1930s, with a strong Bauhaus component, by Jewish architects from Germany and other Central and East European countries with German Cultural influences, who immigrated to the British Mandate of Palestine after the rise to power of the Nazis in Germany. Tel Aviv has the largest number of buildings in the Bauhaus/International Style of any city in the world. Preservation, documentation, and exhibitions have brought attention to Tel Aviv's collection of 1930s architecture. In 2003, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaimed Tel Aviv's White City a World Cultural Heritage site, as "an outstanding example of new town planning and architecture in the early 20th century." The citation recognized the unique adaptation of modern international architectural trends to the cultural, climatic, and local traditions of the city. Bauhaus Center Tel Aviv organizes regular architectural tours of the city. (Full article...)
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  • ... that in addition to founding Tmura, an anti-discrimination center that advocates for women's rights, Yifat Bitton was shortlisted for Israel's Supreme Court twice?
  • ... that hints of female discrimination in biblical times were discovered in an ancient Persian cemetery excavated from Tel Qiri in northern Israel?

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The empty reservoir in the late 19th century

Birket Israel (trans. Pool of Israel) also Birket Israil or Birket Isra'in, abbreviated from Birket Beni Israìl (trans. Pool of the Children of Israel) was a public cistern located on the north-eastern corner of the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem. The structure is believed to have been built by the Romans for use as a water reservoir and also to protect the northern wall of the Temple Mount. Arab locals have known it by this name since at least 1857.

By the mid-19th century it had gone out of use as a reservoir; being partly filled with rubbish and reused as a vegetable garden. In 1934 it was filled in and is now known as el-Ghazali Square. It is currently in mixed use for shops, as a car park, and as a transshipment point for refuse. (Full article...)

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Meat-filled kreplach in a clear soup
Kreplach (from Yiddish: קרעפּלעך‎) are small dumplings filled with ground meat, mashed potatoes or another filling, usually boiled and served in chicken soup, though they may also be served fried. They are similar to Polish and Ukrainian uszka, Russian pelmeni, Italian ravioli or tortellini, German Maultaschen, and Chinese jiaozi and wonton. The dough is traditionally made of flour, water and eggs, kneaded and rolled out thin. Some modern-day cooks use frozen dough sheets or wonton wrappers. Ready-made kreplach are also sold in the kosher freezer section of supermarkets. (Full article...)

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13 April 2021 – 2019–2021 Persian Gulf crisis
Iran–Israel proxy conflict
A missile strikes the Israeli-owned cargo ship MV Hyperion Ray off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. There is no immediate claim of responsibility, however Israeli officials suspect Iran of being behind the attack on the vessel. (Times of Israel)
11 April 2021 – Nuclear program of Iran
Iran reports that a blackout at its underground Natanz nuclear facility is an act of nuclear terrorism and says that they reserve the right to respond, but it does not specify who was responsible or how they would respond. Parts of the electrical grid at Iran's main nuclear facilities at Natanz have been compromised. Intelligence sources claim in Israeli media that the Mossad intelligence agency carried out a cyber attack on the facility. (Al Jazeera)
11 April 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
An Israeli study finds that the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine may be less effective against the South African variant when compared to other strains of the virus. (Reuters)

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  1. ^ Butcher, Tim. Sharon presses for fence across Sinai, Daily Telegraph, December 07, 2005.
  2. ^ cite web| title=11 Jan, 2010; from google (Israel–Egypt barrier construction began) result 8|url=https://www.rt.com/politics/israel-approves-democratic-barrier/}}
  3. ^ "November 22, 2010; from google (Israel–Egypt barrier construction began) result 10".

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