Happy Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel's 70th Independence Day!

To prepare for Israel’s 70th birthday, here are 70 fun facts about Israeli food, culture, history and more! Be prepared to be wowed at what this country has accomplished in less than a century.

1.     Cherry tomatoes were developed in Israel.
2.     Israel is the only country to have more trees today than it did 50 years ago.
3.     Israel is only 1/6 of 1% of the landmass of the Middle East (Israel is roughly half the size of Lake Michigan).
4.     Beersheva has the largest number of chess grandmasters per capita of any city in the world.
5.     After Tokyo and New York City, Tel Aviv has the most sushi restaurants per capita.
6.     Israel is the only country to have a sacred language (Hebrew) as its national tongue.
7.     Thanks to its national snack (Bamba -- think peanut Cheetos), babies in Israel are 10 times less likely to suffer from peanut allergies.
8.     The country has the most Bauhaus buildings in the world.
9.     Israel’s cows produce more milk than cows from other countries.
10.   The “Mighty Morphin” Power Rangers” TV series was produced by an Israeli named Haim Saban.
11.   Israel has 137 official beaches (but only 273 km of coastline)
12.   People of the book: Israel publishes more books per capita than any other country.
13.   Israel has the world’s highest rate of entrepreneurship among women.
14.   There are more than 40 kosher McDonald’s in Israel. The only one outside Israel is in Bueños Aires.
15.   With more than 3,000 high-tech companies and start-ups, Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world (apart from the Silicon Valley).
16.    Israel has the highest number of university degrees per capita than any other country.
17.   Respect your elders: buses around Israel have signs that quote the biblical passage, “You shall rise before the aged and show deference to the old.”
18.   One million notes are left in the Kotel (Western Wall) each year. They are cleaned out twice a year, before Passover and Rosh Hashanah
19.   Israel won the Eurovision song competition three times. The last time they won, they were represented by a transgender pop star, Dana International. The only other time that's happened is this year's winner, Conchita Wurst, from Austria.
20.   The glue on Israeli stamps is kosher.
21.   Israel celebrates Mother’s Day on Shevat 30, the birthday of Henrietta Szold, the founder of Hadassah.
22.   Microsoft has more employees in Israel than it does per capita anywhere in the world.
23.   Israel has the highest ratio of college degrees per capita.
24.   Coffee and cafés are so good in Israel that it’s the only country where Starbucks failed trying to break into the local market.
25.   Four young Israelis developed the technology for AOL Instant Messenger and ICQ.
26.   Israel has one of the highest concentrations of bird traffic in the world—500 million migrating birds cross its airspace each year.
27.   Every year, an Israeli Arab hotel manager named Jaaber Hussein buys all the state’s chametz (leavened products) for Passover.
28.   A green pepper grown in Moshav Ein Yahav claimed the record for the world’s largest, weighing in at over a pound.
29.   The Sea of Galilee, at .212 km below sea level, is the lowest freshwater lake in the world (and the largest in Israel). Israel’s Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth and is 8.6 times saltier than the ocean.
30.   Bamba, Israel’s favorite snack was first produced in 1964 and was cheese-flavored. Allergy-fighting peanut butter was introduced two years later.
31.   Israel has the highest number of museums per capita in the world.
32.   More than nine out of 10 Israeli homes use solar power to heat water.
33.   Feeling adventurous? You can buy hummus-flavored ice cream in Jaffa.
34.   More than 44% of all lawyers registered in Israel are women.
35.   Israel is the first country to place a ban on the use of underweight models on catwalks.
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