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Israel is located in the Middle East along the eastern coastline of the Mediterranean Sea bordered by Lebanon Syria Jordan and Egypt It lies at the junction of three continents Europe Asia and Africa Long and narrow in shape the country is only 290 miles in length and 85 miles in width at its widest point Israel is a country of immigrants Since its creation in 1948 the population has increased seven-fold Today its over six million inhabitants represent many different cultures and traditions including Jews from Ethiopia Morocco the Soviet Union Europe and America Jews from around the world have immigrated to Israel and make up 80 of the Israeli population The other 20 is made up mostly of Arabs Encyclopedia Britannica On May 14 1948 immediately following the proclamation of the state of Israel President Harry S Truman extended recognition to the new state This act marked the beginning of a relationship based on common values and characterized by deep friendship economic support and mutual respect The similarities between the two countries are notable both are vibrant democracies anchored in liberal traditions both began as pioneer societies and both are still receiving and integrating new immigrants Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East a region dominated by authoritarian and military regimes In a very unstable region of the world Israel stands out as the only country with regular competitive elections a free press and free speech By supporting Israel the US stays true to its historic national commitment to strengthen fellow democracies In addition Israel is a reliable strategic partner in the fight against terrorism the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by rogue regimes state-sponsored terrorism the potential disruption of access to Middle East oil and the spread of Islamic radicalism The US Israeli partnership has also been cost effective avoiding the expensive deployment of American troops No US troops have ever been required to protect Israel while by comparison
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