Word Count: 755 is a small country in southwestern Asia.

It occupies a narrow strip of land on the Eastern Shore of the Mediterranean Sea and is bordered by Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt. Israel has four major land regions. They are (1) the Coastal Plain, (2) the Judeo-Galilean Highlands, (3) the Rift Valley, and (4) the Negev Desert. The Coastal Plain is a narrow strip of fertile land along the Mediterranean Sea. The Judeo-Galilean Highlands include a series of mountain ranges that run from Galilee-the northernmost part of Israel- to the edge of the Negev Desert in the South. The Rift Valley is a long, narrow strip of land in eastern Israel, which makes up part of the Great Rift Valley. Israel’s driest region is the Negev Desert made up of dry flatlands and mountains.

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The bodies of water bordering this nation are the Sea of Galilee and the Red Sea to the North and south, and the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea to the East and west. The majority of people living in this Biblical Holy Land include three main groups of Jewish followers, the Ashkenazims, Sephardims, and the Orthodox Jews. The rest of Israel’s population is strictly Arab Muslims whom follow the Islam religion.

This country has few natural resources and the majority of its’ population is employed by Service Industries. Israel’s government has changed dramatically since the new election in May have 1999. The Israelis needed a change of face. They needed a new Prime Minister who could promise them things they wanted to hear and make these things happen. The old non-negotiating, thick headed ways of governing, used by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the peace process towards the Palestinians, Syria, and the religious conflicts within the enormous Jewish population of this country stagnate. Netanyahu’s ways of dealing with these extremely important situations weren’t cutting it with the Israeli citizens. He basically did nothing to straighten out these conflicts.

They wanted and needed someone who would face these problems head on and solve them quickly with strong, final decisions so that their country could move on from these long, strung out disagreements. The Israeli’s believed they had found their savior when they elected their most decorated former army general, Ahud Barak as Prime Minister in May have this year. Ahud Barak campaigned vigorously and strategically against then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Barak used clever tactics and made bold promises to the Israeli people to win over their beliefs and votes to capture the election. Capturing the election is just what he did. He had to make a big decision in the beginning of his new government, which would he deal with first, peace with the Arabs, or peace among the Jews? He decided to make the Shas instead of the Likud his main governing partner. This meant he was going to deal with the Arabs peace negotiating first.

His choice to do this, along with his other political party supporters gave him the majority, 75 out of 120 seats in the Knesset (Israeli parliament.) This meant that any peace negotiations or any other decisions by him would pass right through the Knesset easily and become a law. His planned strategy to have the majority seats has worked so far. Yet, Barak has failed to discuss any agreements yet with Yassir Arafat the leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (P.

L.O) in terms of giving up land for peace to the Palestinians.Ahud Barak, although very different in many ways from Netanyahu, believes in some of his ideas such as illiminating terrorism in the Middle East. Barak, who is liked by President Clinton because of his openness to negotiations to make peace, currently looks like a better fit in the Prime Minister role for Israel because he does not object to negotiation, such as Netanyahu did.

He has a somewhat open mind and is interested in the benefit of not only Israel but also the rest of its neighbors as well in terms of making peace with one another. This is what Israel and the rest of its disputing; surrounding countries need is peace. Ahud Barak looks like the man to solve these long overdue problems in Israel and its neighboring countries. This is why the Israeli citizens elected him with great expectations.

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