24% of the Israeli workforce holds university degrees (3rd largest in the developed world and the highest ratio to the population in the world).
Israel produces 93% of its own food requirements.
Tel Aviv is known as ‘the city that never sleeps’: 100,000 people – the equivalent of a quarter of the city’s population – are employed in Tel Aviv’s bustling nightlife sector.
Despite having 300 days of sunshine a year, Tel Aviv experiences roughly the same annual rainfall as London!
Israel boasts the highest university degree to population ratio in the world, making it one of the world’s most educated nations.
Israel was the first country to adopt the Kimberley Process, which certifies that diamonds have not been sourced from conflict zones (so-called ‘blood diamonds’).
Israel has won the Eurovision Song Championship three times – twice consecutively! – and has hosted it twice in Jerusalem, where it won its second victory on home ground. In 1999, transsexual singer Dana International won the title for Israel in Birmingham. Israel has come in the top three on a further three occasions. Historically, Israel has awarded the most points to the United Kingdom but received the most from France.
Maccabi Tel Aviv has won the Euroleague Basketball championship five times – as many times as Greece and Italy, beaten only by Spain and Russia.
Israeli cinema is a creative and thriving industry. In total, nine Israeli films have been shortlisted for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film – including a startling run of three consecutive years (2007-2009). Director Joseph Cedar won the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival for his work on war film Beaufort. Waltz with Bashir won a clutch of awards, including Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes, and was nominated for the prestigious Palme d’Or at Cannes. Jewish-Arab collaborative effort Ajami won worldwide praise. The 2009 film Lebanon was awarded the 2009 Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. And in 2011, the short film Strangers No More, about a multicultural school in Tel Aviv, won the Oscar for Best Documentary (Short).
Nine Israelis have been made Nobel Prize laureates – three for peace, three for economics, two for chemistry and one for literature. Five of these prizes were awarded in the twenty-first century alone!
Israel has more companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange than any other country on Earth, after the US and Canada.
Israel is the only country to have entered the twenty-first century with a net gain in the number of trees over the previous century.
Israel has seven UNESCO World Heritage sites, ranging from the stone walls around the millennia-old city of Jerusalem to the White City of Tel Aviv.
Israel receives more media coverage (per capita and per square mile) than any other country in the world. Subtracting UK-related reporting on Iraq and Afghanistan, the Guardian published over 1,000 articles on Israel in 2010 – more than Egypt, Australia, Japan and Sri Lanka combined!
In its 63 years of existence Israel can lay claim to the following 10 technological and industrial achievements:
- The development of voice mail technology
- The manufacturing of the Intel pentium microprocessor
- The development of Microsoft Window NT and XP
- The development of the cell phone
- The design, development and production of the Pentium MMX chip (Pentium 4 and Centrino processors)
- The technology for instant messaging
- The development of the first computerized non-radiation diagnosis for breast cancer.
- The development of the first ingestible video camera. (for gastro-intestinal exploration)
- One of the world leaders in the development of medical equipment.
- The development of smart cards which are used for vehicles, toll booth collection and biometric access control.