Global Mobility Book: ISRAEL by Tsvi Kan-Tor & Amit Acco
[This is an Excerpt fromt he Global Mobility Book. You can find more information about the book and purchase it here: http://www.ilw.com/books/globalmobility.shtm.]
The State of Israel is situated on the Eastern Mediterranean, bordering Lebanon and Syria to the north and northeast, Jordan and the West Bank to the east and the Gaza Strip and Egypt to the southwest. Israel is the world's only predominantly Jewish state, with a population of 7.6 million people, of whom 5.7 million are Jewish. Arab citizens of Israel form the country's second-largest ethnic group, which includes Muslims, Christians and Druze. Israel has two official languages, Hebrew and Arabic.
Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948 and from its inception has been a liberal democracy with a parliamentary system and universal suffrage. The Prime Minister serves as head of government and the Knesset serves as Israel's legislative body.
Whilst Jerusalem is the center of Government and politics, Tel Aviv is the country's capital of business and finance. Israel is considered one of the most advanced countries in Southwest Asia in economic and industrial development. It has the second-largest number of startup companies in the world and the largest number of NASDAQ-listed companies outside North America.
In 2009, Israel had the 49th highest gross domestic product and 29th highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita (at purchasing power parity) at $206.4 billion and $28,393, respectively. The New Israeli Shekel (ILS) was announced as one of 17 freely convertible currencies according to the CLS list.
Israel has no written constitution. The Basic Laws however function as an unwritten constitution and in 2003, the Parliament of Israel (Knesset) began to draft an official constitution based on these laws.
Israel's legal system combines English common law, Civil law and Jewish law. It is based on the principle of precedent and is an adversarial system, where the parties in the suit bring evidence before the court. Court cases are decided by professional judges rather than juries.