Portal:Israel

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Israel (/ˈɪzriəl, ˈɪzrəl/; Hebrew: יִשְׂרָאֵל‎; Arabic: إِسْرَائِيل‎), formally 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 Gaza Strip to the east and west, respectively, and Egypt to the southwest. The country contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition.

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 in the diaspora followed by waves of immigration to Ottoman Syria and later Mandatory Palestine.

In 1947, the United Nations (UN) adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine 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 has 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). It extended its laws to the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem, but not the West Bank, though the United Nations Security Council rejected those actions as illegal and without international legal effect. Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories is the world's longest military occupation in modern times. Israel's actions in the occupied territories such as the establishment of Israeli settlements have drawn international scrutiny and sustained condemnation by the United Nations and by human rights organization. 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 has a liberal democracy (one of only two in the Middle East and North Africa region, the other being Tunisia), 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.

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Blumenfeld in 2010

Amir Shmuel Blumenfeld (/əˈmɪər ʃmuˈɛl ˈblmənfɛld/; Hebrew: אמיר שמואל בלומנפלד‎; born January 18, 1983) is an Israeli-American comedian, actor, writer, television host, and member of the American comedy duo, Jake and Amir. Born in Israel, he moved to Los Angeles when he was two, and was hired by the New York City-based CollegeHumor in 2005. As well as contributing to its books and articles, he has written and starred in original videos for the comedy website—appearing in series such as Hardly Working and Very Mary-Kate—and was a cast member on its short-lived MTV program The CollegeHumor Show.

Amir first came to national prominence in 2004 when he was a semi-finalist during Yahoo's inaugural national IM Live contest, losing to the eventual champions. Now, he is best known for appearing in the web series Jake and Amir with Jake Hurwitz, in which he plays an annoying and exaggerated version of himself. Originally made by Hurwitz and Blumenfeld in their spare time, the series was then produced by CollegeHumor. Blumenfeld's acting in the series gained him a Webby Award for Best Individual Performance in 2010. Read more...
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Jaffa Road in the 19th century

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Kashrut (also kashruth or kashrus, כַּשְׁרוּת) is a set of dietary laws dealing with the foods that Jews are permitted to eat and how those foods must be prepared according to Jewish law. Food that may be consumed is deemed kosher (/ˈkʃər/ in English, Yiddish: כּשר‎), from the Ashkenazi pronunciation of the Hebrew term kashér (כָּשֵׁר), meaning "fit" (in this context: "fit for consumption").

Although the details of the laws of kashrut are numerous and complex, they rest on a few basic principles:

  • Only certain types of mammals, birds and fish meeting specific criteria are kosher; the consumption of the flesh of any animals that do not meet these criteria, such as pork and shellfish, is forbidden
  • Kosher mammals and birds must be slaughtered according to a process known as shechita; blood may never be consumed and must be removed from meat by a process of salting and soaking in water for the meat to be permissible for use
  • Meat and meat derivatives may never be mixed with milk and milk derivatives: separate equipment for the storage and preparation of meat-based and dairy-based foods must be used Read more...
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Ancient Israelite cuisine refers to the food eaten by the ancient Israelites during a period of over a thousand years, from the beginning of the Israelite presence in the Land of Israel at the beginning of the Iron Age until the Roman period. The dietary staples were bread, wine and olive oil, but also included legumes, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, fish and meat. Religious beliefs, which prohibited the consumption of certain foods, shaped the Israelite diet. There was considerable continuity in the main components of the diet over time, despite the introduction of new foodstuffs at various stages. The food of ancient Israel was similar to that of other ancient Mediterranean diets. Read more...

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7 August 2020 – Israeli–Palestinian conflict
A 23-year-old woman is killed in clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian citizens in Jenin, West Bank. Palestinian officials claim the woman was shot by Israeli forces, but an army spokesman denied this, saying that the Palestinians opened fire and threw explosives and that Israeli troops did not open fire. (Reuters)
3 August 2020 – Israeli–Syrian ceasefire line incidents during the Syrian Civil War, Israeli involvement in the Syrian Civil War
Israeli Air Force helicopters strike Syrian military observation posts, intelligence collection systems, anti-aircraft batteries and command-and-control bases in Quneitra Governorate, in response to yesterday's incident along the Purple Line border fence in the Golan Heights, in which four militants were killed after attempting to plant an IED where Israeli soldiers patrol. (Reuters)
2 August 2020 –
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accuses the media of instigating anti-corruption protests against him and downplaying incidents of violence by the protesters. Earlier in the day, the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court ordered his son Yair to take down a Tweet doxing the leaders of the protests. (Times of Israel) (Al Jazeera)
29 July 2020 –
Moroccan journalist and human rights activist Omar Radi is arrested and charged with rape and aiding foreign spies. The charges come after Amnesty International reported that the Moroccan government was using Israeli spyware to spy on dissidents like him. (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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