Is Israel In Asia Or Africa? Solving A Mystery
When you take time to consider Israel’s proximity and alignment with Europe, including its affinity with the African region, you’ll find a good enough reason to place them under either continent. But from a geographical standpoint, that isn’t the case.
Israel borders Egypt, an African country. But the question is, are they African? Let’s not forget the country also shares a border with Asia, Africa, and Europe.
Here’s the response to the question.
So, is Israel in Africa or Asia?
The Republic of Israel is at the crossroad of three continents – Asia, Europe, and Africa. So, one might easily conclude that Israel is under African or Europe. But according to the United Nations, Israel is in Asia, precisely West Asia. And Israel, according to the democratic index, is the only republic in the Middle Eastern region.
So, Israel is part of the Middle East region, despite being at loggerheads with most of her neighbors. Lebanon also borders the country to the north, Syria to the northeast, south-west to Egypt, east by Jordan. Israel is also bound by the world’s biggest inland sea, the Mediterranean Sea.
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Misconception About Israel Being Under African
Though the United Nations have established that Israel is under the Asian continent, we still cannot put aside the biblical evidence linking Israel to Africa.
The bible spoke about Israel and Egypt’s historical proximity during the time of Moses. Moses was God’s prophet and was assigned to lead the Jews who were being held as slaves in Egypt to the Promised Land.
Furthermore, after receiving God’s commandment on Mt. Sinai, Moses set out to lead God’s people to the Land of Canaan. The Land of Canaan, which the bible called “The Promised Land,” was later named “The Land of Israel.” And that’s the same Republic of Israel being placed under the Asian continent.
The proximity between Israel and Africa goes far behind the liberation of the Jews held captive by Pharaoh in the land of Egypt. Israel and the African continent are somehow bonded by marriage.
For example, Moses, the prophet, was believed to have tied the nuptial knot with an Ethiopian woman. Solomon, the son of David, who the bible describes as the wisest man, also married an Egyptian woman during his reign as king of Israel.
So, when you consider Africa’s historical affinity with Israel, you would be forced to conclude that they belong to the African continent. The biblical account of the Israelite’s liberation from Egypt by Moses took place in the 13th century BCE. So the relationship between Israel and Africa is an age-long one.
Misconception About Israel Being Under Europe
Africa is not the only continent that has a strong affinity with Israel. Europe is another possible destination one may consider.
Israel boasts many tendencies to be called part and parcel of Europe. Most of the reasons have to do with culture, diplomacy, and sports. The Republic of Israel is very similar to most of the European countries in these areas.
For instance, Israel has been featuring in top European competitions since 1991. In 1994, UEFA started recognizing Israel as a full member.
To this day, the Israeli national team has participated in every European competition, including the FIFA. They also participate in the Eurovision Song Contest, which the European Broadcasting Union organizes annually.
As the name implies, the Eurovision song contest is a competition organized strictly for Europeans. That means participants must be from any European country, which means Israel should have no business there.
But Israel is still one of the participants in this contest. And since making her debut in 1973, the country has won the competition four times.
In 2014, Israel’s bond with European countries took a whole new dimension. Israel finally became a full-blown member of the CERN.
The CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) is one of the world’s most prestigious scientific research organizations. But what’s most interesting is that its members consist of only European countries.
Therefore, admitting Israel into an organization of such magnitude speaks volumes of its alignment and relationship with the European region. Israel was admitted into the CERN as Observer State in 1991. Then they have being an associate member since 2011. Finally, Israel became CERN’s 21st member state in 2014.
The CERN has only 23 members, as of the time of writing. These include Belgium, Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, France, Denmark, Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, Hungary, Finland, Italy, Norway, Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Serbia, Span, Sweden, Slovakia, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Romania, and Israel.
Economic-wise, Israel and the EU’s relationship have been a very positive one. The country’s GDP per capita is also similar to many developed and rich European countries.
The 1995 Association Agreement strengthened the legal tie between the European Union and Israel. Other similar agreements also made both regions’ relationship stronger. It’s also worthy of note that Israel and the EU community signed their first free trade area agreement in 1975.
However, it’s important to note that the European Union and Israel have been at loggerheads over the treatment of products produced in the Palestinian occupied territories, which Israel claims are theirs.
The EU doesn’t accept products produced in these occupied Palestinian territories, which Israel claims are theirs. Israel wants products made in these regions to be included in the Association Agreement. But the EU is not buying into that.
So, despite not being geographically situated in Europe, Israel is somehow part of the region. They are a member of several European transnational frameworks and federations.
A look at Israel’s demographic shows why the country is more culturally aligned with the European region than Asia. English, Arabic, Hebrew, and Russian are the languages commonly spoken in the region.
The Israeli population is made up of 9.2 million people at the time of writing. These include 6.8 million Jews, 1.93 Arabs, and 454,000 non-Arab Christians.
About 74% of the Israeli population is Jews, 21% are Arabs, and 5% non-Arab Christians. A huge majority of the Jews are Sabras or individuals of indigenous origin. There’s also a huge presence of Jews of European descent living in the country.
When you compare the population of Jews of European origin living in Israel to people of African or Asian origins living in the region, you will discover that they’re far less.
So, while Israel is geographically situated in the Asian continent, it is culturally closer to the Europeans and massively influenced by the African culture.
Geographical Area of Israel:
The Republic of Israel has a total area of 8,630 sq. miles and 8,367 sq. miles island. Israel measures 470 km in length and approximately 85 miles across its widest point.
In Israel, plains and mountains, deserts and fertile land are just some minutes apart. The country’s width from the Mediterranean Sea to the Dead Sea is easier to cross by car in as little as 90 minutes.
Israel boasts a beautiful climate. These range from temperate to tropical and boast a lot of sunshine. Two seasons exist. These include rainy winter, which lasts from November to May, and dry summer, which lasts for the next six months.
The center and northern part of the region receives heavy rainfall. But the northern Negev gets less rainfall, and it’s negligible in the south.
Interesting Facts About The Republic Of Israel
These are the interesting facts about Israel that you need to know.
- The production of the first voice mail technology was in Israel.
- Israel boasts one of the world’s highest life expectancy, at 82 years.
- Israel is the only major country that boasts more trees than it did 50 years ago.
- Israel boasts more museums per capita than other countries in the world.
- The world’s first ingestible video camera was built by an Israeli company. This camera enables doctors to diagnose digestive disorders and cancer.
- Israel is among the world’s happiest people, despite being surrounded by tough neighbors.
The question, “Is Israel in Asia or Africa” has generated a lot of confusion over the years. While some believe the country should be under Africa, others share contrary views. Israel has a strong affinity to the African and European regions, no doubt. But the United Nations had placed them under the Asian continent.
But it is important to note that Israel more culturally aligns with the European region than Asia. And geographically, it is more related to Asia than any other continent.