40 Vacations - Travel Guides - Destination Israel
The name ‘Israel' finds it origin from the Hebrew Bible, where Jacob is renamed Israel after a brawl with a mysterious adversary. As such, the literal translation of Israel is ‘Upright (with) God.' Israel was originally conceived, and established, as the state of the Jews and was promised to the People of Israel according to ancient Jewish tradition. It is an extremely holy place as it is considered to be the place where Jesus, the Christian Messiah was born, and Mohammed, the Moslem Prophet, ascended to heaven.
As it is the meeting place of three continents and two seas, the country plays host to a wide variety of cultures, customs, traditions and changing religions. Situated on the crossroads of ancient routes of commerce, the land has also seen waves of conquering armies, such as the Canaanites, Hebrews, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Crusaders Ottoman Turks and the British. Continuous wars transformed this much-desired country into a battlefield where they strove for eminence, built fortifications, castles and royal palaces. Over the years Israel has evolved and developed at a considerable pace. It is now a democratic republic that offers its citizens universal voting rights. It operates under the parliamentary system of the government where the President of Israel enjoys the status of being the Head of State, and functions largely as a ceremonial figurehead.
The market economy of Israel is highly advanced with substantial government participation. The venture capital investment received by Israel is more than any country in Europe. The gross domestic produce (GDP) rate is the highest in the world. In spite of being endowed with limited natural resources, Israel has worked hard to develop its farming and manufacturing sectors over the past 20 years. Diamonds, advanced technology, military equipment, high-end software, pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, and agricultural products are its leading exports. Due to the rapid advancements made in the field of science and technology, Israel is often referred to as the second Silicon Valley.
Presence of important historical sites for both Jews as well as Christians has boosted the tourism industry of Israel. It has numerous vacation sites that offer a range of leisure and sports related activities. You can walk among sacred historical and archeological treasures, stroll among spectacular geological formations, or bask in the natural beauty of the country. Accommodations or lodging in Israel range from top class deluxe hotels to cheap, economical campsites meant for nature lovers. You can also enjoy holistic treatments, relax in saunas and whirlpools, hike on rocky mountainous trails, or attend classical music and dance concerts.