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Israel is a state in Southwest Asia on the Mediterranean coast. Israel was formed in 1948 on the basis of a UN resolution. The country's population is about 7.5 million people, it is one of the most developed countries in the region.
The country is governed by parliament, while executive power belongs to the president, whose functions are mainly representative, as well as the prime minister, who is the head of the winning party.
Israel is constantly heard by its active participation in the political life of its region, its military confrontation with Palestine, as well as the fact that many of our compatriots who left the country in the turbulent 90s live there. Many myths are generally associated with the Jewish state, here are the main ones.
Only Jews live in Israel. In fact, the state is quite multinational. Jews are 75% here, there are quite a few Arabs in the country - about 20%. The rest includes the Druze, Circassians, Bedouins. Interestingly, over the past 10 years, the share of Jews has decreased by almost 2%.
Israel is the world leader in the number of immigrants. Today in the country only 56% of Jews were born here, and 44% are repatriates. Although the state encourages its citizens to return to their historical homeland, the rate of immigration to the country is quite low today. This is 2.37 people per 1000, which is 37th in the world. But in terms of the number of immigrants to the total number, this country is the undoubted leader.
Orthodox Jews initially opposed the creation of an independent Jewish state. In 1917, a congress of rabbis was held in Vienna, and the Austrian authorities demanded from it the condemnation of the Balfour Declaration. At that time, there was a world war, so it is logical that the state wants the Jews not to support the hostile British government. The authorities did not want to see betrayal and collaboration inside the country. At the congress, the chief rabbi of Vienna, Rav Engel and Brodov, Rav Sternberg, said that signing a statement imposed by the authorities against the creation of a Jewish state in the land of Israel would be a betrayal. As a result, no one was found who would have signed this document. And at the European "Congress of the Torah Sages" in 1937, the decision to create a Jewish state was supported almost unanimously.
Religious people are exempt from military service. According to the statistics of the Israeli army, the IDF is religious about half of the officers of the combat units. Tens of thousands of young men are given the opportunity to serve in the yeshivot esder system, which combines Torah study with military service.
Hummus is a local delicacy, like black caviar, only tastier. This myth appeared thanks to our tourists who visited Israel and brought from there an unforgettable experience of tasting the overseas hummus dish. Many advanced Russians today consider this delicacy to be a direct relative of caviar. In fact, few people know that the best hummus recipe known today begins and ends like this: "Mash the peas ...". Today this delicacy has already begun to be sold in the largest grocery supermarkets in Moscow.
The capital of Israel is Tel Aviv. Many tourists tend to this city, considering it the capital of the state. However, the Israelites explain that their main city is still Jerusalem. This myth is very widespread among the Americans, who have their embassy in Tel Aviv, reasonably assuming that the capital is located in the same city.
Israel is famous for its square tomatoes. During perestroika, one of the first reports about this country told not only about Israel-occupier and Israel-aggressor, but also a report from a kibbutz, in which they learned how to grow square tomatoes. Kibbutznik gave an interview in which he explained that this form of tomatoes makes it possible to stack them in boxes more rationally. The international Jewish organization "Sokhnut" says that in the early 90s, 45% of the repatriates decided to move precisely because of the psychological impact of this report. There were no square tomatoes in the country, and the relatives of the repatriates from the USSR are still offended that they are not brought square tomatoes. Our citizens suspect that such a curiosity is simply too expensive, so they bring cheaper kiwi, avocado and feijoa instead.
You cannot drown in the Dead Sea. Many have heard that the high density of water does not allow people to drown in the lake, literally pushing them to the surface. This is a myth, as evidenced by the rescuers on the tower with binoculars in their hands. By the way, the water in the Dead Sea is not only dense, but also very caustic. Therefore, you should try to swim with a minimum amount of splashes so that they do not get into anyone's eyes. If this nevertheless happened and unpleasant sensations arose, then you need to rinse your eyes in fresh water. Cranes with it are located along the coast. This, by the way, is another reason not to swim far. Guides like to scare tourists with horror stories on the way to the lake, you should not believe everything, it is enough to keep rational thinking.
There is a catastrophic shortage of water in Israel. This myth is one of the most widespread about the country, allegedly Israel is a continuous desert, and the only large lake is extremely salty. However, hydrologists, having studied water resources, came to surprising conclusions. Israel cannot be called a country with excess water supplies, but the situation is fundamentally no different from other European countries. The annual rainfall in Jerusalem is 564 mm, and in Berlin, for example, 550 mm. In Ramallah, this figure is 689 mm, while in Paris 630 mm. The climatic and geographical conditions in the country contribute to significant precipitation in the mountains in winter, where moisture evaporates less and does not go into a thin layer of soil. However, there is a lot of precipitation only in the mountains, so the distribution of moisture can be called uneven. Not surprisingly, 2008 was officially named the "Year of Drought" in the country.
At the end of the 18th century, Arabs filled Israel, replacing the Jews. This myth is even debunked by Dumas, who in his book "Travels to Palestine" talks about the small population of these lands. And Karl Marx testified about the same, and gave demographic calculations. So, according to his data in 1854, the population of Jerusalem, which then consisted of the present Old City, was 13 thousand people, of which 8000 were Jews, 2900 pilgrims, and only 1200 Arabs.
Israel's borders have remained unchanged since the formation of the state. It is curious that many local lawyers generally believe that the territory is not an obligatory element of the state. And Israel itself is evading the official definition of its borders. The only international document that defined the borders of the state was the UN resolution of November 29, 1947. However, it was not recognized and fulfilled by the Arab countries. During the 1949 War of Independence, the sovereign territory of the country was formed, which was recognized by most of the countries of the world, later Israel included East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights in its lands. During the Six Day War with the Arab countries, the territory expanded further, including the Palestinian lands. Israel's borders with Lebanon and Syria have not yet been officially approved. As a result, the issue of borders remains a source of tension in the region.
Israel has a wonderful environment. Many people believe that this particular country is the cleanest in the world, but this is not so. Israel is riddled with environmental problems related to water scarcity, overpopulation and industrial waste. According to the report of American experts, Israel ranks only 49th in the world in terms of natural purity. The state is fighting this problem by participating in various programs to protect endangered species of plants and animals, preserve the ozone layer. Israel is one of the few countries in which there is an increase in the number of forest plantations.
There is no death penalty in Israel. In fact, this punishment is provided for warmongers, founders of genocide and traitors. During the entire existence of the state, 2 people were executed. The first of them was the captain of the Israeli army Meir Tuviansky, accused of treason, but later rehabilitated. Another culprit was the Nazi Gestapo Adolf Eichmann, who was hanged in 1962.
It's very dangerous in Israel. For many, the country seems to be a place where there is a continuous war and constant explosions. However, the locals do not look scared, everyone lives in their own regime. Of course, the state has introduced certain security measures - there are no trash cans where a bomb could be hidden, metal detectors have been installed in large trading places, and security checks at airports have been intensified. Checkpoints have been set up at major road junctions, but service begins there at nightfall. Armed patrols are common. The fight against terrorism is well organized in Israel, they are not afraid of it in panic, just everyone knows what to do.
Tel Aviv is a "Mecca" for tourists. The name of this city is constantly heard by tourists, in fact, the city was founded only 90 years ago, so there are few historical values. Tel Aviv is a dynamically developing trade and business center of the country. In Israel, there are much more interesting places - Jerusalem, Nazareth ...
In Israel, you can buy diamonds at wholesale prices at the diamond exchange and bring them to Russia. The abolition of the visa regime with Russia has led to an increase in the flow of our tourists to Israel, who, among other things, are trying to buy precious stones at a cheaper price. But we must remember that nothing happens for nothing. The diamond business is rather closed, the enterprises producing cutting, for security reasons, simply will not contact a stranger and a small order. In addition, there are no organized tours to the Diamond Exchange; tourists will most likely be offered to visit specialized exhibition halls and shops.
The standard of living of the Palestinians in Israel is lower than anywhere else. Often the media exaggerate information about how poorly oppressed Palestinians live in Israel. After the seizure of these lands by the Jews, much was done to improve the well-being of the local people. Universities appeared, the health care system was significantly improved. The region's economic growth was driven by the fact that more than 100,000 Palestinians regularly worked in Israel, receiving salaries on an equal basis with everyone else. However, the escalation of armed resistance in the 90s led to a limitation of the number of Palestinian workers, a recession in the economy of the autonomy. Despite this, Palestinian Arabs still live much better than their neighbors. Thus, according to UN reports, Palestine is only 102nd in the world for humanitarian development, while Israel is 22nd on this list.
The Hamas terrorists were created by Israel itself. This movement arose out of the Fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, which originated in Egypt in the 1920s. It would be a myth to believe that Hamas was created and supported by Israel to foment a civil war, since this organization was initially only engaged in charitable and educational activities. Unsurprisingly, the state allowed Hamas to receive money from abroad, despite promises to destroy the state of Israel in the future. Until recently, the country did not interfere in the organization's affairs, fearing accusations of violating the freedom of religion of the Palestinians. However, when Hamas began to take active steps, its leaders were destroyed, and a terrorist war began.
Israel lives only on tourism. Of course, the tourism industry is well established in this country. A traveler is attracted by holy places, and even a military conflict is not deterred. However, tourism is not the main sphere of income for the country. After all, Israel is considered one of the most developed countries in the region in terms of economic and industrial development. It is the second country in the world after the United States in terms of the number of newly formed enterprises. Israel is the world leader in technologies for the protection of water resources and geothermal energy. The country occupies a prominent place in the world of high technology and telecommunications. The research centers of such giants as Intel, Microsoft, Motorola, IBM are located here. The industry is dominated by high-tech production, and Israel produces all the necessary electricity itself.
The Israeli security service is called the Mossad. This statement is partly true. The fact is that the country's security services include Shabak (General Security Service), AMAN (military intelligence) and Mossad (Intelligence and Political Assignments, political intelligence). Internal security is handled by Shabak, an analogue of the Russian FSB, and the activities of the special services are controlled by the Prime Minister. "AMAN" carries out tactical and strategic intelligence, guards codes and ciphers, analyzes information about the Arab world. This special service is independent and does not belong to any branch of the military. But the functions of the "Mossad" are similar to those of the CIA, it is political intelligence, it does not use military ranks. Mossad is considered one of the best intelligence agencies in the world.