Area Handbook for Israel

Area Handbook for Israel

Area Handbook for Israel

Area Handbook for Israel

Excerpt

Modern Israel is a predominantly Jewish state in the midst of Arab neighbors. Geographically and topographically the country is a segment of the Middle East, but in most other respects its people are oriented toward the West, whence the great majority of its leaders, or their forefathers, have emigrated within the past century.

The Jewish people have been associated through the centuries with the civilizations of the area in which Israel now exists; but the country has been a sovereign state only since 1948. Because of the widespread ramifications of the continuing ferment in the Middle East, Israel plays an increasingly important role in world affairs related to this region.

This book is an attempt to provide, in compact, convenient, balanced, and objective form, an integrated exposition and analysis of the dominant, social, political, and economic aspects of the Israeli society. It is designed to give readers an understanding of the dynamics of the component elements of the society, and an insight into the ideas and goals of its people.

Grateful acknowledgment is owed to many persons within and outside the United States government, who gave their time and special knowledge to provide data and objective criticism of preliminary chapter drafts. Particular appreciation is extended to James K. Matter for his advice and perceptive comments on many chapters.

Appreciation is also extended to members of the staff of the Embassy of Israel, who were notably helpful in providing some of the needed sources and information. Likewise, special recognition is accorded to Sarah M. Thomas, Lecturer, School of Library and Information Services, University of Maryland, who furnished valuable source materials from her own personal collection.

An area of difficulty encountered in preparation of the study was the variety of transliteration systems used by different sources; inconsistencies often occurred within a single source. An effort was made to establish a common, simple system that would allow the general reader to approximate the pronunciation of the Hebrew word. Symbols and diacritical marks, uncommon in English usage, have been avoided. The spelling of Hebrew words and names has, in most instances, followed the transliteration system of Webster's Third New . . .

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