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MazorGuide Home> Jewish Communities > Israel >

Eretz Yisrael / The State of Israel: Past and Present
Jerusalem | Tel Aviv | Haifa | Beer Sheva | Tiberias

Israel (Hebrew: יִשְׂרָאֵל‎), officially the State of Israel (Hebrew: מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, Medīnat Yisrā'el), is located in Western Asia on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, and surrounded to the north, east and south by Arab states. Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan to the east, the Gaza Strip and Egypt on the southwest. Israel is the world's only Jewish state, with its nearly six million Jewish residents.  Israel is also home to over a Million Arab citizens, Muslims, Christians, Druze, and Samaritans.

The modern State of Israel was established in 1948, a rebirth of sorts, once again with Jewish sovereignty.  However, the Jewish people since the times of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in biblical times, have always considered Israel the Jewish homeland.

Following World War I, the League of Nations granted Great Britain the Mandate for Palestine and the responsibility for establishing "the Jewish national home" within it, but it took the British thirty years to comply with the notion.  Only in November 1947, after the United Nations vote in favor of the partition of Palestine, and the creation of Jewish state along side an Arab state, with a UN-administered Jerusalem, did the British relinquish their mandate. Though the Jewish leaders accepted the UN plan, the Arab leaders rejected it leading to the first official Arab-Israeli war, Israel's War of Independence. The State Israel declared its independence on 14 May 1948. On May 15th, all neighboring Arab states attacked the Jews with the intent of destroying and killing the remnants of the Jewish nation that survived Hitler's Holocaust.

Since then, despite numerous Israeli concessions, the Arab states attacked time and again the Jewish State, and continue to terrorize its citizens with homicide bombins, Kassam rockets, and random shooting and stabbing of Jewish citizens.  Despite a series of wars and the sacrifice of countless victims of Arab terrorism, Israel proudly not only survives but flourishes.

The State of Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East region. It's government is fashioned after the British parliamentary system, consisting of 120 Members and a Prime Minister, serving as head of government. The government and its physical home Jerusalem, Israel's eternal capital, are called the "Knesset."

Mazor Guide to the City of Jerusalem, Israel's eternal capital

MazorGuide Recommended Reading
  Letters from Jerusalem 1947-1948 (Paperback)  ~ by Zipporah Porath
  The Story of Israel - Special Edition: From Theodor Herzl to the Roadmap for Peace ~ by Martin Gilbert
  Battleground: Fact & Fantasy in Palestine (Paperback) ~ by Samuel Katz

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