The Sociolinguistic Situation and Language Policy in Israel
Israel is the country in south-western Asia, formed in 1948 as a Jewish state in the historic region of Palestine, and located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Its area is 21,946 sq. km, including the disputed areas of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights region of south-western Syria, both annexed by Israel in 1967. Israel is bounded on the south-west by Egypt, on the east by Jordan, on the north by Lebanon and on the north-east by Syria. Israel's isolated position as a Jewish state surrounded by Arab and predominantly Islamic countries has influenced nearly every aspect of its foreign relations, demography, and economic policy throughout its history.
The estimated population of Israel, including residents of the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem, was 5,643,966 people ( in 1998). Population density was 257 persons per sq. km. Israel is one of the most urbanised countries in the world. About 80 percent of the people are Jews ( accounting for about 36 percent of the world's Jewish population ). Arabs, most of whom are Muslims, make up almost the entire reminder ( 20 percent) of the population .
Although Israel's Jewish population shares a common ethnic heritage based on Judaism ,it is composed almost entirely of immigrants and descendants of immigrants from all over the world. In 1997 some 38 percent of Israel's Jewish population was born outside of Israel. Foreign-born and native –born Israeli Jews trace their recent roots to more than 100 different countries, providing Israel with very diverse cultural influences. …
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- The Sociolinguistic Situation and Language Policy in Israel
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