Israel was never a part of Africa. The country is at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa, but it is a part of Asia. It belongs to the Asian continent, more specifically to the Middle Eastern Region.
By looking at the map, Israel is located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bounded by Lebanon and Syria to the north, while Jordan to the east. These countries are all part of Asia, as well.
Yet, if you look closely, the country is very close to North Africa and southeastern Europe. Israel lies at the junction of three continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa. It may spark debate or confusion to some people because it is very near to Egypt. But officially, the country is in Asia.
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Why is Israel not considered part of Africa?
Geographically, Israel is not part of Africa. If we discuss the technical aspects of where Africa begins and ends, it is in Sinai. It has always been under the territory of Arabia, which is in Asia.
Culturally, Israel is more European than African. Even the UN Security Council Rotations, Israel is part of Western Europe and Other blocks. The county also shares some level of European culture and traditions.
You will also observe that Israel plays in the European Football Cup. There are other sporting events where Israel plays for Europe.
Thus, Israel is not considered part of Africa culturally and even geographically.
How far is Israel from Africa?
Israel and Africa are near each other, and there are various ways to get from Israel to Africa. It is easier to reach Africa from Israel through Egypt. The distance from these two points is 612-kilo meters, equal to 380 miles of air travel.
The Israeli airline El Al has available flights from Cairo International to Tel Aviv. You can also choose the Ben Gurion International Airport. It will usually take one hour and twenty minutes to get to the destination.
You can also reach Israel by land. There are two ways to border cross between Egypt and Israel. First is through Rafah. If you are traveling from Africa, it will lead you to Israel by way of the Gaza Strip. Yet, it can be perilous. So, the other option is at Taba. It is on the southeastern side of the border, near the Gulf of Aqaba.
Yet, it is crucial to prepare all your legal documents like a passport for checking. It ensures safe passage to your destination, either Israel or Egypt.
Is Israel a European country?
No, Israel is not a European country. But to some degree, it shares several cultures and traditions with the Europeans. Israel has a strong cultural, sporting, and economical connection with Europe.
Israel is not geographically in Europe. Yet, it is a member of several European organizations and frameworks. The country has strong ties with the European continent.
The country is an associate state of the European Union, yet still pushing for full membership. Over the years, the two maintained strong and positive bilateral relations.
Both established strong partnership economically. Israel has a GDP per capita, like other European countries. Here are some agreements that created a ‘special relationship’ between Israel and Europe:
Free Trade Zone Agreement
A strong partnership was established economically with the said agreement in 1975. It led to a significant increase in exports between the two, beneficial to both economies. The agreement was able to develop close businesses among investors and entrepreneurs.
Israel-European Union Association Agreement
It comes into force in June 2000 but was signed in 1995. It allows a heightened political dialogue and closer relations in economies.
European Neighborhood Policy
The policy seeks to establish closer ties to countries in the east and south of Europe. They are developing countries that are seeking an active member state of the EU. One of the members of the European Neighborhood Policy in Israel.
It came into force in 2000. The Association Agreement opened ties in economic, commercial, technological, and research. It became a forum to create a free trade area in industrial goods, agriculture, among others.
Moreover, Israel has a more substantial relationship among countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The said ties become increasingly close in the aspect of economy, tourism, and culture.
The relationship does not only extend to the economy alone. Israel takes part in several European sporting events and the Eurovision Song Contest.
What language is mostly spoken in Israel?
Well, Israel is one of the youngest countries in the Middle East. The population is Jews, yet it has varying ethnicity that speaks different languages.
Almost 75% population are from various areas, thus resulting in language diversity. Yet here are the primary languages being spoken in Israel:
It is the language of Judaism. Thus it is one of the official languages in Israel. Hebrew is widely used in formal institutions like government, schools, and even court. Another is the official language in Arabic schools. Israeli students need to pass the Hebrew language exam to progress.
Since Israel is a Middle Eastern country, many citizens speak the language. It may not be the official language of Israel but is widely spoken. Almost 20% of the country’s population speaks Arabic. Even road signs, food labels, and government messages have Arabic translation.
English became one of the official languages of Israel since its independence. Yet, in 1948 it lost its official status and became a common language in foreign relations. Many Israelis can speak English pretty well, especially those who travel.
Russian is also highly regarded in Israel. Almost 20% of the Israeli population knows to speak Russian. They make up to the Russian Jews who fled to the country in mass immigration. Another formal institution like government and businesses provides data or information in Russian.
To sum it up, 49% speak Hebrew as their native language. 18% speak Arabic, 18% Russian, and 2% English. Other languages being used in Israel are Yiddish, French, Spanish, and German. 90% Israeli Jews and 60% Israeli Arabs can understand Hebrew, the official language.
Who owned Israel first?
Israel, as a country, has a fascinating and tragic past. It has been long years of the territorial dispute between Israeli and Palestinian. Even today, the two nationalities conflict with each other.
In the entirety of its history, it has tensions among Jews and Arab Muslims. The said tension dated back to ancient times, where all claim to be their holy land.
Both Jews and Muslims consider the city of Jerusalem as sacred. The said city has the Temple Mount, holy sites al-Aqsa Mosque, the Western Wall, the Dome of the Rock. The significance of these sites has something to do with their religion and existence.
Even today, the following areas are disputed territories that can spark tension:
It is 140 square miles that always a conflict territory between the Arab and Jews. The areas have witnessed a decade of protests, military operations, and violence. All because of the never-ending tension between the Palestinian and Israel. Both are asserting reasonable control of the Gaza Strip. It is because of religious and cultural significance.
Another disputed and controversial territory is the Golan Heights. Israel claims historical and religious rights to the area. It is considered the ancestral land of the Jewish people. The area has a political and strategic significance to both Arabs and Jews.
In 1967, Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria, and most of the Arab fled from the area during the conflict. There was an established armistice giving Israel military control. Since then, Israel started settling in Golan.
It is the territory that divides modern-day Israel and Jordan. It is a former British mandated territory of Palestine and occupied by Israel from 1967. Since then, Israel retained the mukhtar system of government, which was inherited from Jordan. Even today, conflicts and tensions arise between Jordan and Israel due to the West Bank.
What percentage of Israel is Palestinian?
The Arabs in Israel self-identify themselves as Palestinian. They commonly called themselves Israeli Palestinians or Palestinian citizens of Israel.
Almost 30% or 1,890,000 Palestinians live in Israel in 2019. It is a considerable percentage of the country’s population. To breakdown how they call themselves, 16% of the Arabs prefer Israeli Arabs. The largest population is Palestinian in Israel and 17% Palestinian Arab.
Notice that they do not identify themselves as Israeli.
Jerusalem has the largest number of the Arab population. It almost has three hundred thousand in numbers. Yet, the Palestinian are heavily dispersed in the country. Most of them live in the following:
The Arabs in Israel live in East Jerusalem. Most of these Arabs living in East Jerusalem have Israeli citizenship or residency. The number of Arabs in Israel is continually increasing.
If we give it a more in-depth look, there are 16,000 Arab residents in Jaffa. They are a mixture of Muslims and Christians and makeup 95% of the residents in the area.
When you reach the Northern District of Israel, almost half of the population there are Arabs. 50% of the Arab population is in 114 different cities of Israel. Nazareth has the largest number of Arabs, with almost seventy thousand in population.
10% of the country’s population lives in the Central District. They can be seen in the cities of Tayibe, Tira, and Qalansawe. There are also diverse cities like Lod and Ramla.
The city of Rahat is the only Arab city in this district, but it is the largest Arab city in the country.
Abu Basma Regional Council
There are townships in Israel as well. They are designated areas for Palestinians and mostly became Arab localities.
The Arab population or Palestinians are heavily dispersed in the country. Most of them do not self-identify as Israel. They retained their Arab identity in culture, religion, and way of life. There are Arabs who are being offered by the country Israeli citizenship but refused. It goes to show that they still want to fight for their Palestinian identity in the country.
Why is Israel important in history?
Learning the history of Israel is like learning the great religions in the world. Israel is the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity. It is home to many religious sites that allow us to understand the world in general.
Israel has many significant archaeological and religious sites that are sacred. These sites have religious significance to Jews, Muslims, and Christians. The origin of these great religions is associated with Israel.
Moreover, the country has endured a series of conflicts, disputes, and even colonialism. The evolution of the country before it came into fruition is fascinating yet tragic.
It has a lot of narratives and stories that tell about humanity. It is a story of slavery, statehood, expulsion, and return. It is a narrative of the origin of the people who are guided by religion and belief. Until now, the country has been identified as one of the most critical countries among Jewish people.
To sum it up, Israel is not a part of Africa because it has never been. The history of the country does not include the African story. It is mostly based on Jews, Christians, and Arabs. Even the significant languages in the country have no direct association with African. Israel may be very near Egypt in Africa, but its development is mostly European and Asian.