73 Fun Facts About Israel

2021 marks 73 years since Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, declared Israel’s independence on May 14, 1948 (the 5th 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, Israel’s Independence Day was celebrated in Israel on April 15.

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 73 years, we have compiled 73 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!

  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 Middle East and in the world at 82 years.
  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.
  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.
  31. More than nine 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.”
  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. Team Israel won four games in the 2017 World Baseball Classic without a single player on an MLB roster.
  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.
  54. In 1984 and 1991, Israel airlifted a total of 22,000 Ethiopian Jews at risk in Ethiopia to safety in Israel.
  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 four 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 is leading the world in Covid-19 vaccinations given.
  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 candelabrum (menorah). The olive branches on either side represent Israel’s yearning for peace.
  64. Israel has won five bronze Olympic medals, one silver and one gold.
  65. 13 political parties participated in the March 2021 national election to form Israel’s 24th government.
  66. There are 270 kibbutzs 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, 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. The most popular baby names in Israel over the past year were Mohammad for boys and Miriam for girls.
  73. 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!