74 Fun Facts About Israel in Honor of Independence Day

Apr 26, 2022  |  By Arik Barel

2022 marks 74 years since Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, declared independence on May 14, 1948 (the 5th of the Hebrew month of Iyar) in Tel Aviv only hours before the British Mandate was set to expire. Ben-Gurion was also fighting the clock as it was a Friday afternoon, and Shabbat was only hours away. The 5th of Iyar has been celebrated every year as Israel’s Independence Day, also known as Yom Haatzmaut in Hebrew. This year, Independence Day will be celebrated in Israel on May 5th.

As Israel faces attacks, both by rockets from Gaza and in the arena of public opinion, it’s important to remember why Israel is so special. In addition to being the world’s only Jewish state, Israel is a leader around the world in science, technology, medicine, sustainability, culture, and more.

In honor of Israel’s 74 years, we have compiled 74 facts that prove Israel stands out from the rest of the world. Share these facts with your friends, family, and on social media to ensure everyone remembers how special the State of Israel truly is. Israel needs our support more than ever, no matter where you are!


74 Fun Facts About Israel

  1. Israel has more museums per capita than any other country in the world.
  2. The Mount of Olives in Jerusalem is the world’s oldest continuously used cemetery and the world’s biggest Jewish cemetery.
  3. Numerous studies rank Israelis among the happiest people among Western nations.
  4. Voicemail technology was developed in Israel.
  5. Beersheba, in Israel’s Negev desert, has the largest number of chess grandmasters per capita than any other city in the world.
  6. Life expectancy in Israel is among the highest in the world at 83 years. (Learn why here!)
  7. Israel is the home to the lowest point on Earth: the Dead Sea, which is more than 1,000 feet below sea level.
  8. Engineers at Motorola Israel developed the original cell phone technology that led to today’s smartphones.
  9. All of Israel’s postage stamps use kosher glue.
  10. There are more than 2,000 archeological sites in Jerusalem alone.
  11. Hamat Geder, the second largest bath complex in the history of the Roman empire and the largest in Israel, is more than 2,000 years old and still in use today in the Golan Heights.
  12. Kosher wineries in Israel are Kosher for Passover year-round.
  13. Israel has the world’s only underwater museum and only underwater restaurant, both of which are at the Red Sea in the southern city of Eilat.
  14. Israel is home to the largest known dog cemetery, in the coastal city of Ashkelon.
  15. Native-born Israelis are called Sabras, which is a cactus fruit that is tough on the outside but sweet on the inside.
  16. Every year, about 1,000 letters are sent to Jerusalem, Israel, that are addressed to God.
  17. Israeli Major Uzi Gal developed the Uzi submachine gun in 1948. Over 10 million Uzis have been built since then.
  18. Israel recycles 90% of the waste water it creates – more than any other country in the world.
  19. Israel is the only county to have more trees today than it did 50 years ago.
  20. Science shows that babies in Israel are 10 times less likely to suffer from peanut allergies due to the popular peanut butter Israeli snack Bamba. (Which you can buy for yourself right at our store here!)
  21. Israel’s cows produce more milk than cows from other countries.
  22. After Tokyo and New York City, Tel Aviv has the most sushi restaurants per capita.
  23. Palwin Wine, Israel’s oldest brand, was first produced by the Palestine Wine and Trading Company, established in 1898.
  24. One million notes are left in the Kotel (Western Wall) each year. They are cleaned out twice a year, before the Jewish holidays of Passover and Rosh Hashanah.
  25. The northern city of Haifa’s subway system is one of the world’s smallest, with four carriages and just over one mile of track.
  26. There are more than 40 kosher McDonald’s in Israel. The only one outside Israel is in Bueños Aires.
  27. A group in the city of Netanya broke the world record for the largest sock mosaic, using 12,000 in total.
  28. Israel celebrates Mother’s Day on the Hebrew date 30 Shevat, the birthday of Henrietta Szold, the founder of Hadassah.
  29. Every year, an Israeli Arab hotel manager named Jaaber Hussein buys all the state’s chametz (leavened products) for Passover.
  30. Israel is the only country that Starbucks has failed in, due to the higher quality and popularity of Israeli-made coffee brands and local coffeeshops. (Order some Israeli coffee here and see for yourself!)
  31. More than 9 out of 10 Israeli homes use solar power to heat water.
  32. Israel is the first country to place a ban on the use of underweight models on catwalks.
  33. Israel has more orchestras per capita than any other country.
  34. Alexander the Great is said to have entered Israel in 333 BCE via the caves at Rosh HaNikra.
  35. The animals at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo are fed kosher for Passover food over the holiday.
  36. Israel is one of only three democracies in the world without a codified constitution. The others are Britain and New Zealand.
  37. Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the number of Christians is increasing.
  38. Relative to its population, Israel has absorbed more immigrants than any other country, with newcomers from more than 100 countries.
  39. The most common street name in Israel is “HaZait,” which means “Olive Street.” (And you can take home the famous Israeli olive yourself with our all-natural Israeli-made olive oil!)
  40. The National Library of Israel, located in Jerusalem on Hebrew University’s campus, receives copies of every book printed in Israel.
  41. Israel has more computers per capita than any other country.
  42. Israel is home to the world’s only theater company comprised entirely of deaf and blind actors.
  43. Jerusalem has over 1,500 public parks and gardens.
  44. Golda Meir was the third woman in world history to serve as a prime minister.
  45. Israel’s national baseball team was one of only 6 in the world the qualify for the 2020 Olympics – despite not having a professional baseball league or stadium in the country.
  46. The blue and white stripes on Israel’s flag were chosen to represent the traditional blue and white stripes on the tallit.
  47. Israeli bank notes have Braille on them.
  48. In 2009, basketball player Omri Caspi became the first Israeli to be selected in the first round of the prestigious annual NBA draft.
  49. Per square mile, Israel has one of the highest levels of bird traffic in the world. Over 500 million migrating birds cross its airspace.
  50. In 2012, a green pepper grown in Moshav Ein Yahav claimed the record for the world’s largest, weighing half a kilogram.
  51. Israel is home to a micronation known as Achzivland, located on the Mediterranean Sea coastline near the Lebanese border.
  52. The word “Israel” in morse code would be: .. … .-. .- . .-..
  53. Israel is alone in world history in having revived an unspoken language as its national tongue. (Which you can celebrate with incredible Hebrew alphabet gifts!)
  54. In 1984 and 1991, Israel airlifted a total of 22,000 Ethiopian Jews at risk in Ethiopia to safety in Israel. (Learn more about their story with the Ethiopian Haggadah available here!)
  55. More than 100 political parties have held seats in the Knesset (the parliamentary wing of Israel’s government) since the first Knesset was elected in 1949. However, only five Knesset parties have been represented by a Prime Minister.
  56. 43% of the world’s Jewish population lives in the State of Israel.
  57. Israel is one of the world’s leaders in the per capita number of scientists and technicians in the workforce, with 140 per 10,000 workers.
  58. Israel has more than 150 beaches on the Mediterranean Sea, the Sea of Galilee (also known as the Kinneret), the Dead Sea, and the Red Sea.
  59. Israel is a world leader in in-vitro fertilization, and the procedure is free for citizens.
  60. Over one-tenth of the Israeli population is 65 or older.
  61. Israel’s national stone is called Eilat Stone – a unique blue-green gem found nowhere else on earth! (You can read more about Eilat Stone and where it comes from here, and see top Israeli-made Eilat Stone jewelry pieces.)
  62. Israel has more than 9.1 million citizens, according to the 2020 census.
  63. The official emblem of the State of Israel is a 7-branched menorah or candelabrum, surrounded by olive branches on either side to represent Israel’s yearning for peace. (And you can learn more about the history of the 7-branched menorah here!)
  64. Israel has won a total of 9 bronze Olympic medals, 1 silver, and 3 gold, with the 2020 Summer Olympics its most successful to date.
  65. 13 political parties participated in the March 2021 national election to form Israel’s 24th government.
  66. There are 270 kibbutzim in Israel today.
  67. In Israel, 74.3% of the citizens are Jewish, 17.8% are Muslim, 1.9% are Christian, and 1.6% are Druze.
  68. Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship – and the highest rate among women and among people over 55 – in the world.
  69. Israel has the fourth largest air force in the world (after the U.S., Russia, and China), including an aerial arsenal of over 250 F-16’s.
  70. After completing their mandatory military service in the IDF, it is common for Israeli young adults to travel the world for a few months, or even a year! An estimated 30,000 to 40,000 young Israelis go on a post-army trip every year.
  71. The Israel National Trail allows people to hike through the entire country, from north to south.
  72. Israel has among the strictest food quality and nutrition standards in the world. (See our bestselling Israeli food items here, or browse our entire food shop for the best tastes of Israel that you can take home!)
  73. Israel’s current government is headed by its first kippah-wearing Orthodox Prime Minister and is made up of the most diverse ruling coalition yet, representing the wide spectrum of the Israeli public: from left-wing to centrist to right-wing parties, and even a religious Arab-Muslim party.
  74. More than one-fourth of Israelis are 14 years old or younger, and Israel has one of the highest population growth rates in the world at 2%. Israel’s current population is expected to double by 2050!

Love Israel? Celebrate its Independence and show your support for the Jewish State with our best Israeli-themed gifts and top Israeli Army products – or browse our entire collection here!

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