The State of Israel, to use the Israeli nation's official title, combined with the West Bank, constitute an island of Israelis and Palestinians surrounded by an ocean of 270 million Arabs. Combined population is about 9 million, about two thirds of whom are Israelis. 32.9% of Israelis were born outside of Israel. This is a truly multiethnic and multilingual land! Last time I visited and spoke in Jerusalem, I had to be translated (simultaneously, not alternately!) into Hebrew, Arabic, and Russian.

Israel is also the number one recipient of U.S. foreign aid, despite the fact that it is a first world nation with a high standard of living. Military spending is very high. Nor is this surprising since, from the time of its nationhood in 1948, wars have been fought in that year, 1956, 1967, 1973, and 1982-85.

According to Operation World (2003 edition), 81% of Israelis are Jewish, 15% Muslim, and 2% Christian. Messianic Jews and Christians are heavily discriminated against. 87% of Palestinians (population 3.5 million) are Muslims, 10% Jewish, and 2% Christian. Please pray for Israel/ West Bank today!

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