Israel - Struggle for Peace in the Middle East
Even though Israel is a fairly new country, it has packed centuries worth of conflict into its short history. The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has made this Middle-Eastern country a nightly feature on the news - for years. Most recently, Israel has gone to war with both Palestinian and Lebonese rebels who have taken Israeli soldiers hostage. As the conflict continues to heat up, we give you the low-down on this volatile nation.
Israel - Where Is It?
Israel is part of Asia and it is located on the Mediterranean Sea. Israel lies in the Middle East, just North of Africa, and it borders both Egypt and Jordan.
Israel - A Brief History
After the First World War, the British Government was assigned to control Palestine (in the Middle East). The Jewish people in that area had been asking for a Jewish State for decades, so after millions of Jews were killed in Nazi Germany in WWII, the United Nations decided to split Palestine in two. In 1948, one side (Israel) was set aside for Jewish citizens and the other side (Palestine) was for Arabs. The split caused a lot of tension and violence between the two sides, as well as in the rest of the Middle East. Numerous Middle-Eastern counties, as well as terrorists, have attacked Israel. The United States government supports the Israelis in this conflict - this is one of the reason's Osama bin Laden says he organized the 9/11 attacks against the World Trade Center.
Israel - Religion
Since Israel was established as a Jewish state, most of the people who live there are Jews (about 80 percent) but there are also small Islamic and Christian populations. Almost all of the violence and conflict in Israel has stemmed from centuries-old religious conflicts between the Muslims and Jews. Israel is home to two cities of major importance to many world religions - Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Isreal - Did U Know?
- Israel's official language is Hebrew but many people speak both Arabic and English as well.
- All Israeli men and woman must serve at least two years in the military once they have turned 18.
- Actress Natalie Portman was born in the Israeli city of Jerusalem.
- Jerusalem, the capital city of Israel, is considered a holy place for many religions including Judaism, Christianity and Islam.