If there is a country whose current situation is difficult to describe, it is certainly Israel. The country is forever in the news, rapidly swinging from calm periods into times of intensified conflict with its neighbours.
To get a quick overview of the political situation in Israel, here are the main things you need to know about the country's domestic and foreign policy. Regarding the former, please note that by travelling to Israel, you are entering a parliamentary democracy with a president and a prime minister. The prime minister is the one who embodies the country's political line. The most emblematic, but also the most controversial, prime minister in recent years is Benjamin Netanyahu.
Secondly, you should note that, since 14 May 1948—the date of its independence—, Israel has experienced uninterrupted conflict with Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and, of course, the Palestinian people.
These days, Israel is recognised as a state by the vast majority of countries in the world and has a seat in the UN. A few countries—such as Iran and Syria, for example—do not recognise Israel's legitimacy at all.
For nearly 30 years, Israel has had an annual growth rate of around 10%. Nowadays, the country finds itself in a very good economic situation. One piece of evidence to support this statement is that the unemployment rate is around 5%. The rate of inflation has slipped under the 2% mark after having soared to heights of around 450%. GDP per capita exceeds €34,000, but all of these good indicators are qualified by the fact that 20% of the population lives below the poverty line and just 12 families hold more than 30% of the country's wealth.
There are still huge inequalities and Israel still depends too much on billions of dollars of aid from the United States and the Jewish Diaspora.
While on holiday in Israel, you will notice that you weren't the only one to choose this destination. Despite the conflicts, there are nearly 4 million visitors to this country every year. Moreover, tourism is one of the economy's most important sectors. Whether for family reasons, cultural reasons, or—as is increasingly the case—just to have some fun (particularly in Tel Aviv), every person has a good reason for coming here. Here is a chance for you to form your own opinion, to forget your prejudices, and to leave behind the images you've seen on TV.