ISRAEL (The State of Israel - دَوْلَة إِسْرَائِيل - מדינת ישראל)

Capital: Jerusalem Continent: Asia Currency: New Israeli Shekel (NIS) President: Shimon Peres Prime Minister: Binyamin Netanyahu Population: 8,000,000 (ranked 97th) Area: 8,522 square miles (153rd) Life expectancy: 80.69 (9th) Official languages: Hebrew and Arabic

Allies: The United States, Canada, the European Union (especially the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Germany), India, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Political Philosophy: . The State of Israel is defined in its Basic Laws as a Jewish and democratic state. Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people and was established on land inhabited by the Jews before their expulsion by the Romans. Israel was established to put an end to the Jewish Diaspora, and thus any Jew from anywhere in the world is entitled to move to Israel and gain citizenship. Israel is a parliamentary democracy with its parliament - the Knesset - elected on the basis of proportional representation. Israel guarantees civil, economic and political rights to all its inhabitants, including its large Arab minority. The country's conflict with its neighbours has led to a long and protracted conflict, often seeing Israeli civil society targeted by suicide bombers and rocket attacks. Nonetheless, Israel is a very secure country and has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Representing Israel on TSR allows you to speak on behalf of this embattled but firm democracy.

Economy: Israel has one of the world's best performing economies and has remained mostly unscathed by the economic crisis. The country is widely known as the Silicon Valley of the Middle East and is home to more start-up companies and hi-tech firms than any other country on earth. The percentage of Israelis engaged in scientific and technological inquiry, and the amount spent on research and development in relation to GDP, is amongst the highest in the world. Israel ranks second in the world in scientific activity, as measured by the number of scientific publications per million citizens. Israel's percentage of the total number of scientific articles published worldwide is almost ten times higher than its percentage of the world's population. The recent discovery of huge natural gas reserves off Israel's coast will soon put an end to its reputation as the only Middle Eastern country without any natural economic assets.

Israel's Political Future: Until Israel reaches a permanent peace settlement with the Palestinians and the Arab states, it is unlikely that the world's most infamous national conflict will disappear. Israel's military spending is one of the highest in the world, and the country relies on $3 billion of American aid each year to continue its security agenda. The military occupation of the West Bank and the air and naval blockade of the Gaza Strip are not in Israel's long term interests, not to mention its dispute with the Islamic Republic of Iran and its proxies - Hezbollah and Syria. Representing Israel in the MUN gives you the chance to present this nation as one at the crossroads of two different ways of life and two entirely different political philosophies: Western liberal democracy and Islamic extremism/Arab nationalism.

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