To prepare for Israel’s 70th birthday, here are 70 fun facts about Israeli food, culture, geography, academics and more!

  1. Cherry tomatoes were engineered in Israel.
  2. Israel is the only county to have more trees today than it did 50 years ago.
  3. An Israeli company developed the world’s first jellyfish repellent.
  4. Israeli Linor Abargil won the Miss World contest in 1998. She went on to campaign against sexual violence.
  5. Israel was the first country to conform to an international standard that certifies diamonds as being “conflict free.”
  6. After Tokyo and New York City, Tel Aviv has the most sushi restaurants per capita.
  7. Israel is the only country to have a sacred language (Hebrew) as its national tongue.
  8. Thanks to its national snack (think peanut Cheetos), babies in Israel are 10 times less likely to suffer from peanut allergies.
  9. Israel’s cows produce more milk than cows from other countries.
  10. The “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers” TV series was produced by an Israeli named Haim Saban.
     

    (Photo: Chinh Le Duc/Unsplash)
    (Photo: Chinh Le Duc/Unsplash)
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  12. People of the book: Israel publishes more books per capita than any other country.
  13. Palwin wine, Israel’s oldest brand, was first produced by the Palestine Wine and Trading Company, established in 1898.
  14. Israel has the world’s highest rate of entrepreneurship among women.
  15. There are more than 40 kosher McDonald’s in Israel. The only one outside Israel is in Bueños Aires.
  16. In 1992, Israel experienced such a severe winter that snow fell in the Negev desert.
  17. Israel has the highest number of university degrees per capita than any other country.
  18. Haifa’s subway system is one of the world’s smallest, with four carriages and just over one mile of track.
  19. Buses around Israel have signs that quote the biblical passage, “You shall rise before the aged and show deference to the old.”
  20. One million notes are left in the Kotel (Western Wall) each year. They are cleaned out twice a year, before Passover and Rosh Hashanah.
  21. The largest known dog cemetery in the ancient world was unearthed in the Israeli city of Ashkelon.
     

    (Photo: mg7/iStock)
    (Photo: mg7/iStock)
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  23. Beersheva has the largest number of chess grandmasters per capita of any city in the world.
  24. Israeli bank notes have Braille on them to assist the blind.
  25. The glue on Israeli stamps is kosher.
  26. Israel celebrates Mother’s Day on Shevat 30, the birthday of Henrietta Szold, the founder of Hadassah.
  27. Microsoft has more employees in Israel than it does per capita anywhere in the world.
  28. A group in Netanya broke the world record for the largest sock mosaic, using 12,000 in total.
  29. Coffee and cafés are so good in Israel that it’s the only country where Starbucks failed trying to break into the local market.
  30. Israel has one of the highest concentrations of bird traffic in the world—500 million migrating birds cross its airspace each year.
  31. Every year, an Israeli Arab hotel manager named Jaaber Hussein buys all the state’s chametz (leavened products) for Passover.
  32. A green pepper grown in Moshav Ein Yahav claimed the record for the world’s largest, weighing in at over a pound.
     

    (Photo: Takahiro Sakamoto/Unsplash)
    (Photo: Takahiro Sakamoto/Unsplash)
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  34. The most popular name for Israeli babies—both boys and girls—is “Noam.”
  35. Israel’s Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth and is 8.6 times saltier than the ocean.
  36. Bamba, Israel’s favorite snack, was first produced in 1964 and was cheese-flavored. Allergy-fighting peanut butter was introduced two years later.
  37. Israel has the highest number of museums per capita in the world.
  38. More than nine out of 10 Israeli homes use solar power to heat water.
  39. Feeling adventurous? You can buy hummus-flavored ice cream in Jaffa.
  40. Napoleon tried to lay siege to Acre in 1799. There is a “Napoleon Hill” in the city.
  41. There are 285 replica models of historical, cultural and religious sites on display at the Mini Israel Museum in Lod.
  42. Israel is the first country to place a ban on the use of underweight models on catwalks.
  43. Israeli inventor Rafi Yoeli is building the world’s first flying car.
     

    (Photo: gmnicholas/iStock)
    (Photo: gmnicholas/iStock)
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  45. Israelis who observe Shabbat can buy car insurance that doesn’t cover Saturdays.
  46. The Mount of Olives in Jerusalem is the world’s oldest continuously used cemetery.
  47. The animals at the Jerusalem biblical zoo are fed kosher for Passover food over the holiday.
  48. Israel has more orchestras per capita than any other country.
  49. Leon Uris’s Israel epic “Exodus” stayed on The New York Times bestseller list for more than a year in 1958.
  50. Israeli rabbis, with help from scientists, have ruled that giraffe milk is kosher.
  51. Alexander the Great is said to have entered Israel in 333 BCE via the caves at Rosh Hanikra.
  52. Beersheba is twinned with 14 towns and cities around the world.
  53. Israeli academics produce more scientific papers per capita than anywhere else in the world.
  54. Israel has appeared in the World Cup finals only once, in 1970.
     

    (Photo: Aidas Ciziunas/Unsplash)
    (Photo: Aidas Ciziunas/Unsplash)
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  56. Philanthropist Baron de Rothschild died in 1934 in France and his remains were transported to Israel once it became a state.
  57. Israel is one of only three democracies in the world without a codified constitution. The others are Britain and New Zealand.
  58. By law, the Jewish National and University Library receives copies of every book printed in Israel.
  59. Israel has more computers per capita than any other country.
  60. The most common street name in Israel is “Ha’Zait,” which means “Olive Street.”
  61. Per capita, Israelis are the world’s biggest consumers of fruits and vegetables.
  62. Israel’s Save a Child’s Heart organization performs life-saving heart operations for children worldwide, including many Palestinians, free of charge.
  63. Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the number of Christians is increasing.
  64. Israel has its own day-long festival of love, called Tu B’Av.
  65. Relative to its population, Israel has absorbed more immigrants than any other country, with newcomers from more than 100 countries.
     

    (Courtesy photo)
    IsraAID (Courtesy photo)
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  67. Voicemail technology was developed in Israel.
  68. Israeli humanitarian aid workers are often the first to respond to disasters around the world.
  69. Israel is home to the world’s only theater company comprised entirely of deaf and blind actors.
  70. Life expectancy in Israel is among the highest in the world, at 82 years.
  71. Israel has won more Nobel Prizes than all other Middle East countries combined.
  72. The World Centre of the Bahai faith is in the Israeli cities of Acre and Haifa.
  73. Golda Meir was the third woman in history to serve as prime minister.
  74. Team Israel won four games in the 2017 World Baseball Classic without a single player on an MLB roster.
  75. Israel is the 11th happiest country in the world (the U.S. is 14th) of more than 150 ranked.
  76. Jerusalem has over 1,500 public parks and gardens.
     

    (Photo: Matt McGee/Flickr)
    (Photo: Matt McGee/Flickr)