April 30, 2018
Baku – Tel Aviv
Flight distance: 1085 nm | Hours in the air: 4.55
Vibrant city Tel Aviv and the Holy Land
An uneventful flight, yet with some detour around Syria brought us into Ben Gurion Airport, and with that definitely hot summer weather in the 30ies.
After as short swim on a rooftop over the beach of Tel Aviv we got a glimpse of the vibrant life in this city, being it a biz meeting of vc-investors followed by dinner at one of the most hip restaurants in town. They serve only local food which you eat without using any dishes, meaning straight off the table paper set.
Today we took a glimpse into ancient and todays history with a trip to first Bethlehem, then Jericho and finally a short swim in the salty waters of the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth.
Once back in Tel Aviv we enjoyed a fabulous rooftop dinner watching the nice skyline of a growing city.
Country facts & figures
Israel is a country in the Middle East, on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It’s neighbors are Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west, respectively, and Egypt to the southwest.
The country contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. Israel’s economy and technology center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state’s sovereignty over Jerusalem is not recognized internationally.
The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah emerged during the Iron Age. The areas was conquered and occupied by a series of empires over the last couple thousand of years. The successful Maccabean Revolt led to an independent Jewish kingdom in 110 BCE which already came to an end in 63 BCE when it became a client state of the Roman Republic that subsequently installed the Herodian dynasty in 37 BCE. Jewish presence in the region has persisted to a certain extent over the centuries. The Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt extended its control over the Levant in the 13th century until its defeat by the Ottoman Empire in 1517.
During the 19th century, national awakening among Jews led to the establishment of the Zionist movement in the diaspora followed by waves of immigration to Ottoman and later British Palestine. In 1947, the United Nations adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency for Palestine, and rejected by Arab leaders. The following year, the Jewish Agency declared the independence of the State of Israel, and the subsequent 1948 Arab–Israeli War saw Israel’s establishment over most of the former Mandate territory, while the West Bank and Gaza were held by neighboring Arab states.
In 1993, Israeli officials led by Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leaders from the Palestine Liberation Organization led by Yasser Arafat strove to find a peaceful solution through what became known as the Oslo peace process. A crucial milestone in this process was Arafat’s letter of recognition of Israel’s right to exist. In 1993, the Oslo Accords were finalized as a framework for future Israeli–Palestinian relations. The crux of the Oslo agreement was that Israel would gradually cede control of the Palestinian territories over to the Palestinians in exchange for peace. The Oslo process was delicate and progressed in fits and starts, the process took a turning point at the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and finally unraveled when Arafat and Ehud Barak failed to reach agreement at Camp David in July 2000.
The peace process has been predicated on a “two-state solution” thus far, but questions have been raised towards both sides’ resolve to end the dispute. An article by S. Daniel Abraham, an American entrepreneur and founder of the Center for Middle East Peace in Washington, US, published on the website of the Atlantic magazine in March 2013, cited the following statistics: “Right now, the total number of Jews and Arabs living in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza is just under 12 million people. At the moment, a shade under 50 percent of the population is Jewish.”