How did Israel bloom the deserts

KEREN HAYESOD
STATISTICAL
TOURISTIC
CULINARY

Understanding IsraelSabine2019-03-30T10: 30: 19 + 01: 00

Israel is pretty much as big as Hesse. It has roughly the same number of inhabitants as Austria. The country has the highest standard of living in the Middle East.

The modern Hebrew (Ivrit) is next to Arabic the official language in the country. It is the only successful revival of a language that for millennia was almost exclusively of religious importance.

Jerusalem was founded around 1800 B.C.E. first mentioned as a city. Around 1000 B.C.E. King David conquered the city. Today the Israeli parliament (Knesset) meets here.

Israel spends 3.7 percent of its gross domestic product on research and development. That is almost twice as much as Germany.

His inventions for the effective, economical use of water have made the desert bloom: Israel is one of the largest exporters of cut flowers. 250 million red roses are shipped to Europe every year.

Population: 8.712 million (2017, World Bank)

Population density: 402.6 per km² (2017, statista.com)

Surface: 20,770 km²

Border countries: Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinian Territories

Time zone: CET + 1 hour

Religion: 75.4% Jews, 21% Muslims, 1.6% Druze, 2% Christians (2017, statista.com)

Currency: 1 new shekel = 100 agorot = approx. 0.25 euros (1 euro = 4.103 shekalim, as of March 26, 2019)

1. Security
The first question is always: is it even safe to travel to Israel? And how! Israel is an extremely safe country for tourists. Is it hard to imagine? Because almost all media convey a completely different picture: bombs, rocket attacks, dead, injured, wars. But the people in the heart of Israel (not directly on the border with the Gaza Strip) do not notice the country's precarious situation. People know that they can rely on their soldiers, police officers and also their defense systems and they stay cool. For many Europeans it takes getting used to to see military personnel, weapons or jet fighters patrolling. One quickly sees that these facts belong to Israel. Never again does the small country want to be so fatally surprised by its hostile neighbors as in previous wars. What are the risks of being a victim of an attack as a tourist in Israel? If you look at the very current figures since 2012 with over four million tourists per year (2018 visitor record with 4.12 million) and one victim, it stands at 1 in 20,000,000. If you don't take the bus, you lower the risk to 1 in 70,000,000.
If you break these numbers down to the proportion of German tourists (around 260,000 in 2018, fourth place after the USA, France, Russia), then the risk is reduced by more than seven times, even on the bus.

2. Climate
One reason to travel to Israel is definitely the climate. While it is getting icy cold in Germany, Israel's temperatures invite you to swim in the sea, three and a half hours by plane from Germany. Even in December 22 degrees are not unusual in Tel Aviv, the south on the Red Sea beckons with a warm 28 degrees. The ideal travel time for a round trip? Those who do not have school-age children and are not a teacher will travel in the off-season. Spring begins in early February and autumn extends into December. On Mount Hermon in the north there is even snow until spring, so you can ski in the morning and swim in the sea in the afternoon.

3. The expanded horizon
A point that is becoming increasingly important to many people. How did Alexander von Humboldt say? “The most dangerous worldview is the worldview of those who have not looked at the world.” Every trip expands the individual's horizons. A trip to Israel explains the Middle East conflict, it forces the traveler to grapple with the history and past of the country. Every opportunity should be used for conversation and - sometimes heated - exchange with Israelis and Palestinians. At the end of a trip to Israel, there remains a fascination and an almost magical attraction. It's best to get your own picture of people, cultures and religions.

4. Work, pray, celebrate
In hardly any other country are the big cities so different. There is this spirit in the holy places in Jerusalem, overflowing with the most intense faith; half an hour's drive or train away from glamorous Tel Aviv, which refuses to go to bed because there is still the party of the year to be celebrated somewhere; in the north of Haifa, which is so contemplative, orderly and businesslike. The contrasts couldn't be greater. By the way: Tel Aviv is one of the hotspots of the LGBT community worldwide, this city is not only colorful and trendy, but also an island of tolerance in the Middle East.

5. The people
The people of Israel are friendly, helpful, and pretty cool. Regardless of religion or origin, the oriental hospitality is common to all “Sabers” (cactus type, prickly outside, sweet inside, nickname for those born in the country). Those who are really interested and adapt a little will be welcomed with open arms. This includes: Anyone visiting a mosque, the Western Wall or a monastery does not come in a miniskirt or shorts. It is easy to get ahead with English, and there is great willingness to help if there is a problem. The young generation is particularly cosmopolitan and modern, sees everything quite relaxed and relaxed.

SCHAKSCHUKA

Shakshuka is a dish made from eggs with fresh tomatoes and spices. Typically the mixture is heated in a hot pan. Israeli restaurants offer different variations, for example with mozzarella or feta cheese, with spinach or simply with herbs, lots of parsley and coriander. Shakshuka are eaten for breakfast or dinner, where bread is dipped in the spicy sauce.

Recipe: Shakshuka for 2 people

INGREDIENTS for the sauce:
2 soft tomatoes
1 clove of garlic, peeled and mashed

INGREDIENTS for the shakshuka:
1 large onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, cut into cubes
5 medium-sized tomatoes, cut into cubes
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
200 g fresh spinach
4 eggs
1-2 tbsp water
1 pinch of black pepper and Himalayan salt
1 pinch of turmeric, ground

PREPARATION Sauce:
Grate or puree the tomatoes with a grater and mix with the finely chopped clove of garlic.

PREPARATION Shakshuka:
In a large pan, simmer the chopped onion in water over medium heat until it is yellow. Add the paprika and clove of garlic and cook until the paprika is tender. Add the five diced tomatoes and simmer over medium heat until tender. Add the spinach and the sauce from the grated tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, stir everything and simmer for 15 minutes. Finally, beat in the eggs and simmer a little without stirring until they are cooked through.

FALAFEL

Falafel is a deep-fried or baked ball or patty made from chickpeas. A typical Arab specialty that is also popular in Israel and served everywhere. The pureed chickpeas are mixed with spices and then fried in oil. In the meantime, however, some shops have started to bake the falafel as it is considered healthier and has fewer calories. The falafel in Israel are typically served with salad, the sesame paste tahini, hummus and (sometimes) with french fries as a sandwich in a pita bread. But you can also enjoy them from the plate with crunchy vegetables and hummus. Tip: queue at the falafel stand with the longest queue!

Recipe: falafel (30 pieces)

INGREDIENTS:
250 g chickpeas
1 onion, peeled
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
½ bunch of fresh parsley or coriander
1 tbsp breadcrumbs
1 pinch of ground cumin
1 tbsp paprika sweet
1 pinch of turmeric, ground
1 pinch of black pepper and salt

PREPARATION:
Soak the chickpeas in water for 48 hours, changing the water every few hours. Put all ingredients in the food processor or puree with the mixer.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Shape a tablespoon of dough into small balls with your fingertips and bake for about 10 minutes.

HUMMUS

Hummus is a paste made from pureed chickpeas mixed with olive oil, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, and tahini.

Mostly you eat hummus with pita, the delicious flatbread that can be opened like a bag and into which tons of delicious filling can disappear. But there are also restaurants in Israel where hummus is the main course, called "hummusia". You can easily prepare the paste yourself at home in a mortar or with a hand blender.

Recipe: Homemade Hummus

INGREDIENTS:
500 grams of chickpeas
1 clove of garlic
3 tbsp tahini (not a Turkish one, it's too sour!)
Fresh lemon juice
1 pinch of black pepper and salt
1 pinch of sweet paprika

PREPARATION:
Soak the chickpeas in water for 48 hours, changing the water every few hours. Simmer the peas in a large pot of water over medium heat until soft, then puree in a blender. Add salt, pepper, lemon juice and tahini and mix with the mixer. The mass must be thick but pliable. Taste to see if you need a little more salt or tahini. Place in a plate, press in with the back of a spoon and turn the plate to make a round indentation. Put some chickpeas in the middle and drizzle with olive oil. Finally sprinkle with paprika powder.