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Israel: The Facts
Thanks for logging in. We're pleased to provide you with some additional facts behind our fliers. Even more information can be found in the Israel section of our Web site.

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Civil Rights

Israel is a colorblind society, comprised of Jews and non-Jews from at least 100 different countries from diverse ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds. Democracy is the cornerstone of the State. Israel ensures complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex. It guarantees the freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture. Israel safeguards the Holy Places of all religions. All Israeli citizens, regardless of religion, ethnicity or color are accorded full civil and political rights, and equal participation in all aspects of Israeli social, political and civil life.
Religious Freedom

The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 guarantees freedom of religion for all. Each religious community is free, by law and in practice, to exercise its faith, to observe its holidays and weekly day of rest and to administer its internal affairs. Each has its own religious council and courts, recognized by law and with jurisdiction over all religious affairs and matters of personal status such as marriage and divorce. Each has its own unique places of worship, with traditional rituals and special architectural features developed over the centuries.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights

Israel today is one of the world's most progressive countries in terms of equality for sexual minorities. Politically, legally, and culturally, the community has moved from life at the margins of Israeli society to visibility and growing acceptance. By 1992, activists succeeded in getting the Knesset to amend Israel's Equal Workplace Opportunities Law to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In 1993, the Israeli military rescinded its few regulations discriminating against gays and lesbians. In 1998 Michal Eden won a seat in the Tel Aviv City Council, becoming Israel's first openly lesbian elected official and in 2002 Uzi Even became the first openly gay member of the Knesset.

  Freedom of the Press

Israel's commitment to freedom of the press applies to all communications media, with only security matters subject to military censorship. Israel's press is lively, often irreverent, spans ideological viewpoints and has perhaps the highest rate of readership by percentage of any country in the world. Seven daily newspapers in Hebrew are published, in addition to several in Russian and French and two in English - the long-established Jerusalem Post, and an English edition of Ha'aretz, the country's leading newspaper, in cooperation with the Herald Tribune - as well as more than 1,000 periodicals, many of which are magazines for special interest groups.

Since 1913, the Anti-Defamation League has been at the forefront of combating hate. Today, ADL is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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