There are endless reasons to be proud of Israel: culture, science, sports, technology, Jewish life, nature, and innovation – to name a few. Israel is a country which, despite its small geographic size, has made immense scientific and technological contributions.
It is much more than the desert that characterizes it, or the Middle Eastern cultural assumptions usually associated with the country. Here are 75 more reasons to celebrate Israel’s 75 years of independence:
1. Israeli is the only Jewish country in the world.
2. Life expectancy in Israel is one of the highest in the world: 82.2 years for women and 78.5 years for men.
3. Israel is the home to the lowest point on Earth. The Dead Sea is located 1315 feet below sea level. However, thanks to the water density and salt levels, there’s not a chance of sinking any further.
4. Israel’s engineers at Motorola Israel R&D Center developed the original cell phone technology, the starting point for the smartphones of today.
5. Israel is the only country in the world that uses kosher glue for its postage stamps.
6. The ancient land of Israel has thousands upon thousands of archaeological sites; more 2000 of them are in Jerusalem alone.
7. Israel has the most museums per capita than any other country in the world.
8. Israel’s port city of Eilat is duty free and declared a Free Trade Zone. All purchases are free of VAT.
9. Israel has more orchestras per capita than any other nation in the world. It is said that listening to classical music raises your IQ, which would explain a lot regarding Israel’s leading place in many intellectual fields.
10. Israel has the largest amount of start-ups per capita (hence its nickname The Start Up Nation). It is third in the world for venture capital availability.
11. The second largest bath complex in the entire Roman empire was built in Israel.
12. There are over 35 commercial wineries in Israel and more than 250 boutique wineries.
13. Israel has 137 beaches. It’s a haven for sun, sea and ‘matkot’, the unofficial, yet somehow official national sport, which is a traditional beach game of tennis without a net or scores.
14. Israel is home to the only underwater restaurant – The Red Sea Star.
15. Israeli bank notes have braille writing on them so the blind can accurately identify them.
16. Israel is home to the world’s only theatre company comprised entirely of deaf and blind actors, based in Jaffa. Prior to the performance, visitors can experience eating entirely in the dark at NaLaga’at while being served by blind waiters.
17. The cherry tomato, beloved salad garnish and snacking vegetable, was invented in Israel.
18. Israel piloted a locally-developed AI system to help lifeguards protect swimmers on the beaches and give real-time data on wind, waves and other hazards.
19. Israel recycles 90% of the waste water it creates, making it the leading nation in the world for water recycling. In the United States, only about 1% of wastewater is recycled.
20. In 2012, a group of artists in Netanya created at the time the world’s largest mosaic made of socks, using 12,000 in total. (All of them clean, thankfully.)
21.Cows in Israel produce more milk on average than do dairy cows in other countries.
22. According to Hebrew-language Wikipedia, there are seven different ways to eat a Krembo, one of Israel’s favorite snacks.
23. Members of a voluntary organization called Trail Angels open their homes to hikers on the 637-mile-Israel Trail, offering free beds, showers and other amenities.
24.Israel is roughly half the size of Lake Michigan.
25. Tel Aviv University launched the world’s only Center for Combating Pandemics, aiming to create best practices for infection containment, vaccine and treatment development and social and economic resilience.
26. Israeli companies raised a record-breaking $10 billion in investments during 2020, despite the uncertainty and instability caused by the worldwide pandemic.
27. 85 percent of Israeli households get hot water from rooftop solar heaters, compared to less than 1 percent in the United States.
28. Israel is the only country to have revived a dead language and made it the national language.
29. The hottest temperature ever recorded in Israel was 129.2 Fahrenheit in 1942 at Kibbutz Tirat Zvi in the northern Jordan Valley.
30. While Jerusalem has snow storms every few years, and even the Negev desert gets occasional snow, Tel Aviv has only had one snow storm in its history. In 1950 it snowed 12-18 cm., thrilling many of whom had never seen snow before.
31. More than half the landmass of Israel is desert, but it still has an Olympic bobsled and skeleton team.
32. In 2020, Tel Aviv was named the fifth most expensive city in the world to live in, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. Zurich, Paris and Hong Kong came in before it.
33. An Israeli company has developed a paint that uses sunlight to activate a cooling mechanism on cars, buildings, planes and even clothing, providing air conditioning without electricity.
34. Israel takes in more immigrants than any other country in the world per capita. Since it was founded, more than 3.3 million people have immigrated to Israel.
35. In 2020, the most popular baby names in Israel were Mohammad for boys and Miriam for girls.
36. Syrian hamsters were first domesticated as pets by a zoologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1930.
37. The Mount of Olives is the oldest continuously used cemetery in the world – in use for over 3,000 years.
38. Israel is home to the largest known dog cemetery of the ancient world at the Ashkelon site.
39. Israeli students won an international award for producing real honey without bees, using a bacterium programmed to “learn” how to make honey.
40. An Israeli company has developed an atmospheric water generator that creates clean drinking water from the air. It has been deployed in disasters all over the world.
41. Israel has the largest number of lawyers per capita in the world.
42. The first computer anti-virus software package was developed in Israel back in the 1970s.
43. When Golda Meir was elected Prime Minister of Israel in 1969, she became the world’s second elected female leader in modern times.
44. Israel was the first nation in the world to adopt the Kimberly process, an international standard that certifies diamonds as “conflict free.”
45. Israeli scientists developed the first fully computerized, no-radiation, diagnostic instrumentation for breast cancer.
46. An Israeli company was the first to develop and install a large-scale solar-powered and fully functional electricity generating plant, in California’s Mojave Desert.
47. Israel is one of the most advanced countries in water desalination technology.
48. The Israeli company M-Systems developed the Flash-drive, a portable, virtual hard disk.
49. The Quicktionary, a pen-size scanner that scans a word or a sentence and translates it to a different language, was developed by the Wizcom Company, based in Jerusalem.
50. The Weizmann Institute of Science has been voted the best university in the world for life scientists to conduct research.
51. An Israeli-made device helps restore the use of paralyzed hands. It electrically stimulates the hand muscles, providing hope to millions of stroke sufferers and victims of spinal injuries.
52. BabySense, an Israeli product aimed at preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), is saving babies’ lives around the world.
53. Israel has one of the highest number of university degrees per capita in the world.
54. Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation.
55. Millions of birds migrate twice yearly along the length of Israel, from Africa to Europe and back, making it the world’s biggest junction for bird migration.
56. Voicemail technology was developed in Israel by Amdocs, then the largest in the world in this field.
57. Israel has the world’s second highest publication rate per capita of new books.
58. Israel was the only country in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees.
59. Most of the Windows NT and XP operating systems were developed by Microsoft-Israel.
60. Israel sends humanitarian aid to all countries in need, even countries that have no diplomatic relations with Israel like Indonesia.
61. Both the Pentium-4 microprocessor and the Centrino processor were entirely de signed, developed and produced in Israel.
62. Israel’s Given Imaging developed the PillCam – the first ingestible video camera, which is so small it fits inside a pill. The camera helps doctors diagnose cancer and digestive disorders.
63. An Israeli company, Teva, when founded, was the world’s largest generic pharmaceutical company.
64. Israeli software company, Check Point is the global leader in Virtual Private Net work (VPN) and firewall technologies.
65. Rummikub, the third highest selling board game in the world, was originally created by Israeli games inventor Ephraim Hertzano.
66. Israel has the largest underground hospital in the world. The 2,000-bed Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital at Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa.
67. In Israel it is legal to write the Jewish calendar date on all official documents, including checks, instead of (or in addition to) the Gregorian date.
68. A Tel Aviv company invented a folding car that can retract its wheels for narrow streets and snug spots, but still can reach speeds of 55 miles an hour.
69. Archeologists recently discovered the world’s oldest woven basket, in the Judean Desert.
70. The oldest-ever cave tool, dating back 350,000 years, was found in Israel.
71. The field of video therapy was invented at Jerusalem’s Ma’aleh School of Television, Film and the Arts
72. A tech first, Israeli scientists made a robot hear using a dead locust’s ear.
73. In Israel, people are taught from an early age to turn off the tap while they brush their teeth, to save precious water.
74. In Israel, a meal without a salad is not a meal. Even breakfast.
75. Matzot Aviv in Bnei Brak baked the world’s largest matzah in 2020: 13.2 pounds (6 kilograms), nearly 20 feet (six meters) long, 3.5 feet (1.06 meters) wide, and 0.16 inches (4 millimeters) thick.