Happy 71st birthday, Israel. Without further ado, here are 10 things you may not have known about Israel:
- The Ashkelon National Park is home to the largest dog cemetery known in the ancient world. Archaeologists say canines were interred in this burial ground from the fifth to third centuries BC.
- The Judean Date Palm tree, thought to be extinct, was resurrected following the chance discovery of 2,000-year-old seeds in a clay jar. Actually, Israel is a date producing powerhouse and controls 65 percent of the world’s Majhoul (Medjool) – King of the Date — market.
- There are no car manufacturing plants in Israel but this country is at the forefront of the driverless car revolution. Israel has been dubbed a “smart car hub.”
- The first-ever live heart (not real-life size but rather a miniature heart) was printed at Tel Aviv University using a revolutionary 3D printing process that combines human tissue taken from a patient. The scientists printed an entire heart complete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers.
- If you’re going to have a heart problem, it’s best to do so in Israel. Some 81 percent of patients in Israel undergo life-saving emergency cardiac catheterization within 12 hours of the onset of symptoms, according to an Acute Coronary Syndrome-Israel (ACSIS) survey. The world average stands at 65 percent; in the US, the number stands at 70 percent; and in England, it’s at 66 percent.
- The 10-kilometer long Malham salt cave in Mount Sedom, is the world’s longest salt cave. It is located at the southwestern tip of the Dead Sea.
- Models in Israel must have a BMI of at least 18.5 to appear on the catwalk or in advertisements. In 2012, Israel became the first country to pass a law banning the use of underweight models and requiring advertisers to identify pictures comprising Photoshopped models.
- Tel Aviv has the highest number of dogs per capita in the world with one dog for every 17 people.
- 80 percent of Israelis eat fresh fruit and/or vegetables daily. To put that number in perspective, according to the CDC, 90 percent of Americans do not eat enough fresh fruit and/or vegetables on a daily basis.
- Bamba, the country’s best-selling snack food, is a global phenomenon thanks to studies that show how it helps protect children from developing peanut allergies.
Diane Israel is a Chicago native and long-time supporter and advocate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). She is also famous for her culinary recipes. Diane can be reached at Diane@IsraelOnIsrael.com
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