Parliament of the United Kingdom
It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and its territories. Its head is the Sovereign of the United Kingdom and its seat is the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster, one of the boroughs of the British capital, the parliament is bicameral, consisting of an upper house and a lower house. The Sovereign forms the third component of the legislature, prior to the opening of the Supreme Court in October 2009, the House of Lords performed a judicial role through the Law Lords. The House of Commons is an elected chamber with elections held at least every five years. The two Houses meet in separate chambers in the Palace of Westminster in London, most cabinet ministers are from the Commons, whilst junior ministers can be from either House. The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Treaty of Union by Acts of Union passed by the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland.
The UK parliament and its institutions have set the pattern for many throughout the world. However, John Bright – who coined the epithet – used it with reference to a rather than a parliament. In theory, the UKs supreme legislative power is vested in the Crown-in-Parliament. However, the Crown normally acts on the advice of the Prime Minister, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was created in 1801, by the merger of the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland under the Acts of Union. The principle of responsibility to the lower House did not develop until the 19th century—the House of Lords was superior to the House of Commons both in theory and in practice. Members of the House of Commons were elected in an electoral system. Thus, the borough of Old Sarum, with seven voters, many small constituencies, known as pocket or rotten boroughs, were controlled by members of the House of Lords, who could ensure the election of their relatives or supporters. During the reforms of the 19th century, beginning with the Reform Act 1832, No longer dependent on the Lords for their seats, MPs grew more assertive.
The supremacy of the British House of Commons was established in the early 20th century, in 1909, the Commons passed the so-called Peoples Budget, which made numerous changes to the taxation system which were detrimental to wealthy landowners. The House of Lords, which consisted mostly of powerful landowners, on the basis of the Budgets popularity and the Lords consequent unpopularity, the Liberal Party narrowly won two general elections in 1910. Using the result as a mandate, the Liberal Prime Minister, Herbert Henry Asquith, introduced the Parliament Bill, in the face of such a threat, the House of Lords narrowly passed the bill. However, regardless of the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949, the Government of Ireland Act 1920 created the parliaments of Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland and reduced the representation of both parts at Westminster
UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
A total of 53 national teams participated in this qualifying process, with Gibraltar taking part for the first time. The draw took place at the Palais des Congrès Acropolis, all UEFA member associations are eligible to compete in the qualifying competition, with the hosts qualifying directly to the finals tournament. The other 53 teams are drawn into eight groups of six teams, the group winners, runners-up, and the best third-placed team directly qualify to the finals. The eight remaining third-placed teams contest two-legged play-offs to determine the last four qualifiers for the finals, each nations coefficient is generated by calculating, 40% of the average ranking points per game earned in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying stage. 40% of the ranking points per game earned in the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying stage. 20% of the ranking points per game earned in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying stage. UEFA stated that nations with the largest markets in terms of contribution to the European Qualifiers revenue would be drawn one of the groups containing six teams.
They include England, Germany and the Netherlands, UEFA has stated in their regulations that the teams drawn into the group of five teams will have France added to their group for the purpose of playing centralised friendlies. For the play-offs the four ties are determined by draw, including the order of the two legs of each tie, the teams are seeded for the play-off draw according to the UEFA national team coefficient rankings updated after the completion of the group stage. Each nations coefficient is generated by calculating, 40% of the ranking points per game earned in the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying group stage. 40% of the ranking points per game earned in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying stage. 20% of the ranking points per game earned in the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying stage. If the aggregate score is level, the away goals rule is applied, if away goals are equal, thirty minutes of extra time is played, divided into two fifteen-minutes halves. If no goals are scored during extra time, the tie is decided by penalty shoot-out, notes This is the first qualifying tournament after UEFA announced centralised rights deals for both UEFA Euro and FIFA World Cup qualifying.
UEFA has proposed the Week of Football concept for the scheduling of qualifying matches, Matches take place from Thursday to Tuesday. Kick-off times are set at 18,00 and 20,45 CET on Saturdays and Sundays. On double-header matchweeks, teams play on Thursday and Sunday, or Friday and Monday, Matches in the same group are played on the same day. The seeding pots were announced on 24 January 2014, teams in bold qualified for the finals
The Deutschlandlied, or part of it, has been the national anthem of Germany since 1922, except in East Germany, whose anthem was Auferstanden aus Ruinen from 1949 to 1990. Since World War II and the fall of Nazi Germany, only the third stanza has been used as the national anthem. The stanzas beginning, Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit is considered the national motto of Germany, and is inscribed on modern German Army belt buckles. The song is well known by the beginning and refrain of the first stanza, Deutschland über alles. Along with the flag of Germany, it was one of the symbols of the March Revolution of 1848, in order to endorse its republican and liberal tradition, the song was chosen as the national anthem of Germany in 1922, during the Weimar Republic. West Germany adopted the Deutschlandlied as its national anthem in 1952 for similar reasons. Upon German reunification in 1990, only the third stanza was confirmed as the national anthem, the melody of the Deutschlandlied was originally written by Joseph Haydn in 1797 to provide music to the poem Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser by Lorenz Leopold Haschka.
The song was a birthday anthem honouring Francis II, Habsburg emperor and it has been conjectured that Haydn took the first four measures of the melody from a Croatian folk song. Supporters of this note that a similar melody appears in a composition by Telemann. This hypothesis has never achieved unanimous agreement, the theory is that Haydns original tune was adapted from a folk song of different origin. The same melody was used by Haydn as the basis for the second movement of his Opus 76 No. 3, a quartet, often called the Emperor or Kaiser quartet. The melody in this movement is termed the Emperors Hymn. It should be noted that Haydns music and Hanns Eislers composition for the GDRs anthem Auferstanden aus Ruinen can be used interchangeably for both texts because the texts have the same meter. The Holy Roman Empire, stemming from the Middle Ages, was already disintegrating when the French Revolution, hopes for the Enlightenment, human rights and republican government after Napoleon Is defeat in 1815 were dashed when the Congress of Vienna reinstated many small German principalities.
The German Confederation was a federation of 35 monarchical states and four republican free cities. They began to remove internal customs barriers during the Industrial Revolution, in 1840 Hoffmann wrote a song about the Zollverein, to Haydns melody, in which he praised the free trade of German goods which brought Germans and Germany closer. After the 1848 March Revolution, the German Confederation handed over its authority to the Frankfurt Parliament, after 1849 the two largest German monarchies and Austria, put an end to this liberal movement toward national unification
President of the European Parliament
The President of the European Parliament presides over the debates and activities of the European Parliament. He or she represents the Parliament within the EU and internationally. The presidents signature is required for enacting most EU laws and the EU budget, Presidents serve two-and-a-half-year terms, normally divided between the two major political parties. There have been twenty-eight presidents since the Parliament was created in 1952, two presidents have been women and most have come from the older member states. The current president is Antonio Tajani of Italy, the president chairs debates and oversees all the activities of the Parliament and its constituent bodies, in this the role is similar to that of a speaker in a national parliament. Below the president, there are 14 vice-presidents who chair debates when the president is not in the chamber and he or she represents Parliament in all legal matters and external relations, particularly international relations. When the European Council meets, the president addresses it to give the Parliaments position on subjects on the Councils agenda, the president takes part in Intergovernmental Conferences on new treaties.
The presidents signature is required for the budget of the European Union and Union acts adopted under codecision procedure to be adopted. The president chairs conciliation committees with the Council under these areas, in most countries, the protocol of the head of state comes before all others. However, in the EU the Parliament is listed as the first institution, the gifts given to numerous visiting dignitaries depends upon the president. President Josep Borrell MEP of Spain gave his counterparts a crystal cup created by an artist from Barcelona which had engraved upon it parts of the Charter of Fundamental Rights among other things. With the reorganisation of leading EU posts under the Lisbon Treaty, the Parliaments president meanwhile articulates the EUs values such as democratic elections in other countries. The president is elected by the members of Parliament for a two-and-a-half-year term, since the European Peoples Party and Party of European Socialists began co-operating in the 1980s, they have had a tradition of splitting the two posts between them.
Starting from the 2009–2014 session of the Parliament the outgoing president presides over the election of the new president, if the outgoing president is not re-elected as an MEP one of the 14 vice-presidents takes up the role. While the outgoing president or vice president is in the chair, they hold all the powers of the president, before the ballot nominations are handed to the chair who announces them to Parliament. If no member holds a majority after three ballots, a fourth is held with only the two members holding the highest number of votes on the previous ballot. If there is still a tie following this, the eldest candidate is declared elected, a number of notable figures have been President of the Parliament and its predecessors. The first president was Paul-Henri Spaak MEP, one of the fathers of the Union
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he one of the most famous. His best-known compositions include 9 symphonies,5 piano concertos,1 violin concerto,32 piano sonatas,16 string quartets, his great Mass the Missa solemnis, and one opera, Fidelio. At the age of 21 he moved to Vienna, where he began studying composition with Joseph Haydn and he lived in Vienna until his death. By his late 20s his hearing began to deteriorate, and by the last decade of his life he was almost completely deaf. In 1811 he gave up conducting and performing in public but continued to compose, many of his most admired works come from these last 15 years of his life. Beethoven was the grandson of Ludwig van Beethoven, a musician from the town of Mechelen in the Duchy of Brabant in the Flemish region of what is now Belgium, who at the age of twenty moved to Bonn. Ludwig was employed as a singer at the court of the Elector of Cologne, eventually rising to become, in 1761.
The portrait he commissioned of himself towards the end of his life remained proudly displayed in his grandsons rooms as a talisman of his musical heritage. Ludwig had one son, who worked as a tenor in the musical establishment and gave keyboard. Johann married Maria Magdalena Keverich in 1767, she was the daughter of Johann Heinrich Keverich, Beethoven was born of this marriage in Bonn. There is no record of the date of his birth, however. Of the seven children born to Johann van Beethoven, only Ludwig, the second-born, caspar Anton Carl was born on 8 April 1774, and Nikolaus Johann, the youngest, was born on 2 October 1776. Beethovens first music teacher was his father and he had other local teachers, the court organist Gilles van den Eeden, Tobias Friedrich Pfeiffer, and Franz Rovantini. Beethovens musical talent was obvious at a young age, some time after 1779, Beethoven began his studies with his most important teacher in Bonn, Christian Gottlob Neefe, who was appointed the Courts Organist in that year.
Neefe taught Beethoven composition, and by March 1783 had helped him write his first published composition, Beethoven soon began working with Neefe as assistant organist, at first unpaid, and as a paid employee of the court chapel conducted by the Kapellmeister Andrea Luchesi. His first three piano sonatas, named Kurfürst for their dedication to the Elector Maximilian Friedrich, were published in 1783, Maximilian Frederick noticed Beethovens talent early, and subsidised and encouraged the young mans musical studies. Maximilian Fredericks successor as the Elector of Bonn was Maximilian Francis, the youngest son of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, echoing changes made in Vienna by his brother Joseph, he introduced reforms based on Enlightenment philosophy, with increased support for education and the arts
Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe or commonly the Committee of Ministers is the Council of Europes decision-making body. It comprises the Foreign Affairs Ministers of all the member states, in collaboration with the Parliamentary Assembly, it is the guardian of the Councils fundamental values, and monitors member states compliance with their undertakings. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of each Council of Europe member state sits on the Committee of Ministers, in May 1951 the Committee of Ministers invited each member state to appoint a Permanent Representative who would be in constant touch with the organisation. All Permanent Representatives reside in Strasbourg and they are usually senior diplomats with ambassadorial rank, occasionally chargés daffaires. In 1952 the Committee of Ministers decided that each Minister could appoint a Deputy, the Ministers Deputies have the same decision-making powers as the Ministers. A Deputy is usually the Permanent Representative of the member State, the second in rank in a delegation usually has the title Deputy Permanent Representative, not to be confused with Ministers Deputy.
The Committee meets at ministerial level once a year, in May or in November, the meetings, known as sessions, are normally held in Strasbourg and usually last one full day or two half days. While the greater part of each session is devoted to political dialogue. Although the records of the sessions are confidential, a final communiqué is issued at the end of each meeting, the Ministers may issue one or more declarations. Meetings of the Ministers Deputies are usually held in the Committee of Ministers meeting room once a week, the Deputies meet several times a week in subsidiary groups. The Committee of Ministers has the authority to invite European States to become members of the Council of Europe and it may suspend or terminate membership. The process of admission begins when the Committee of Ministers, having received an application for membership. The Assembly adopts an opinion which is published in the Assemblys texts adopted, if the Committee decides that a state can be admitted, it adopts a resolution inviting that state to become a member.
The invitation specifies the number of seats that the state will have in the Assembly as well as its contribution to the budget, recently the invitations have included a number of conditions concerning the implementation of democratic reforms in the applicant state. Once invited, a state becomes a member by depositing, normally by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, once the European Union has attained full legal personality, it could accede to the Council of Europe. So far, the European Community has only signed Council of Europe treaties, over 190 treaties have now been opened for signature. The text of any treaty is finalised when it is adopted by the Committee, under Article 20 of the Statute adoption of a treaty requires, a two-thirds majority of the representatives casting a vote, a majority of those entitled to vote. The same majorities are required to authorise the publication of any explanatory report, the Committee fixes the date that the treaty will be opened for signature
Colin Stuart Montgomerie, OBE is a Scottish professional golfer. He has won a record eight European Tour Order of Merit titles and he has won 31 European Tour events, the most of any British player, placing him fourth on the all-time list of golfers with most European Tour victories. Montgomerie won three consecutive Volvo PGA Championships at Wentworth Club between 1998 and 2000 and he has finished runner-up on five occasions in major championships and his career high world ranking is second. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2013, in June 2013, after turning 50, Montgomerie joined the Champions Tour, where he made his debut in the Constellation Senior Players Championship, one of the five senior major championships. On 25 May 2014, Montgomerie won his first senior major championship at the Senior PGA Championship and he followed this up on 13 July 2014, when he claimed his second senior major at the U. S. On 24 May 2015, Montgomerie defended his Senior PGA Championship title to win his third senior major, however, in 2016 he narrowly missed out on making it three Senior PGA Championships in a row – finishing second and three shots behind winner Rocco Mediate.
Although Scottish by birth and ancestry, he was raised in Yorkshire, England and he spent a number of years with the Ilkley Golf Club, where he was tutored by the past professional Bill Ferguson. He was educated at both Leeds Grammar School and Strathallan School, during his time in Leeds, he became a supporter of Leeds United. His father became the secretary of Royal Troon Golf Club, Montgomerie became one of the first British golfers to go to a United States college, attending Houston Baptist University, where he played on the golf team and became its top player. He won three important Scottish amateur tournaments – the 1983 Scottish Youths Championship, the 1985 Scottish Stroke Play Championship, and he played for Scotland twice in the Eisenhower Trophy and for Great Britain and Ireland in the Walker Cup twice. Montgomerie turned professional in 1988, and was named the Rookie of the Year on the European Tour that season. He quickly developed one of Europes top pros, winning his first event at the 1989 Portuguese Open TPC by 11 shots.
He finished first on the European Tour Order of Merit every year from 1993 to 1999, and has 31 victories on the tour, including the 1998,1999, despite many near-misses, Montgomerie was unable to win on the PGA Tour. Montgomerie first reached the top-10 in the Official World Golf Rankings in 1994 and his highest ranking was number two. Montgomerie came first in the Volvo Bonus Pool every year from 1993 to 1998, late in 2005 he became the first man to win 20 million Euros on the European Tour—topping the European Tours all-time highest earners list. He remained the leader in earnings on the European Tour until 2010. Despite the drop in form, his influence remained strong, in 2012, Montgomerie was named by the Golf Club Managers Associations Golf Club Management magazine as the seventh most powerful person in British golf. At the end of 2004, Montgomerie was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the New Years Honours and he represents the Turnberry resort in Scotland, where there is a Colin Montgomerie Golf Academy
Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller was a German poet, physician and playwright. During the last seventeen years of his life, Schiller struck up a productive, if complicated, friendship with the already famous and they frequently discussed issues concerning aesthetics, and Schiller encouraged Goethe to finish works he left as sketches. This relationship and these led to a period now referred to as Weimar Classicism. They worked together on Xenien, a collection of satirical poems in which both Schiller and Goethe challenge opponents to their philosophical vision. Friedrich Schiller was born on 10 November 1759, in Marbach, Württemberg as the son of military doctor Johann Kaspar Schiller. Schiller grew up in a religious family and spent much of his youth studying the Bible. His father was away in the Seven Years War when Friedrich was born and he was named after king Frederick the Great, but he was called Fritz by nearly everyone. Kaspar Schiller was rarely home during the war, but he did manage to visit the family once in a while and his wife and children visited him occasionally wherever he happened to be stationed.
When the war ended in 1763, Schillers father became an officer and was stationed in Schwäbisch Gmünd. Due to the high cost of living—especially the rent—the family moved to nearby Lorch, although the family was happy in Lorch, Schillers father found his work unsatisfying. He sometimes took his son with him, in Lorch, Schiller received his primary education. The quality of the lessons was fairly bad, and Friedrich regularly cut class with his older sister, because his parents wanted Schiller to become a pastor, they had the pastor of the village instruct the boy in Latin and Greek. Pastor Moser was a teacher, and Schiller named the cleric in his first play Die Räuber after him. As a boy, Schiller was excited by the idea of becoming a cleric and often put on black robes, in 1766, the family left Lorch for the Duke of Württembergs principal residence, Ludwigsburg. Schillers father had not been paid for three years, and the family had been living on their savings but could no longer afford to do so, so Kaspar Schiller took an assignment to the garrison in Ludwigsburg.
There the Schiller boy came to the attention of Karl Eugen and he entered the Karlsschule Stuttgart, in 1773, where he eventually studied medicine. During most of his life, he suffered from illnesses that he tried to cure himself. While at the Karlsschule, Schiller read Rousseau and Goethe and discussed Classical ideals with his classmates, the plays critique of social corruption and its affirmation of proto-revolutionary republican ideals astounded its original audience
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
The Assembly held its first session in Strasbourg on 10 August 1949, making it one of the oldest international assemblies in Europe. In general the Assembly meets four times per year in Strasbourg at the Palace of Europe for week-long plenary sessions, the nine permanent committees of the Assembly meet all year long to prepare reports and draft resolutions in their respective fields of expertise. The Assembly sets its own agenda, but its debates and reports are primarily focused on defending human rights, promoting democracy, protecting minorities and upholding the rule of law. Judges of the European Court of Human Rights are elected by PACE from a list of three candidates nominated by member state which has ratified the European Convention on Human Rights. As a result, around one third of the current bench of 47 judges are women, the Assembly has a total of 636 members –318 principal members and 318 substitutes – who are appointed or elected by the parliaments of each member state. Delegations must reflect the balance in the parliament, so contain members of both ruling parties and oppositions.
The population of each country determines its number of representatives and number of votes and this is in contrast to the Committee of Ministers, the Council of Europes executive body, where each country has one vote. The special guest status of the National Assembly of Belarus was suspended on 13 January 1997, parliaments with Partner for Democracy status pledge to work towards certain basic values of the Council of Europe, and agree to occasional assessments of their progress. In return, they are able to send delegations to take part in the work of the Assembly and its committees, the Assembly has five political groups. The official languages of the Council of Europe are English and French, in 2015 he was re-elected for a second five-year term, which began in February 2016. However, the Russian delegation remained members of the Assembly, the sanction applied throughout the remainder of the 2014 session and was renewed for a full year in January 2015, lapsing in January 2016. It did so again in January 2017, leaving empty seats in the Assembly for a further year, the sanctions applied only to Russian parliamentarians in PACE, the Council of Europes parliamentary body.
Russia continues to be a member of the Council of Europe, and retains full rights in the organisations other bodies, including its statutory executive body. According to the report, said member states hire lobbyists to fend off criticism of their human rights records, German news magazine Der Spiegel had earlier revealed details about the strategies of Azerbaijan’s government to influence the voting behaviour of selected members of the Parliamentary Assembly. Council of Europe Committee of Ministers Le Conseil de lEurope, Jean-Louis Burban, publisher PUF, collection « Que sais-je. », n°885
Rise, O Voices of Rhodesia
Rise, O Voices of Rhodesia was the national anthem of the unrecognised state of Rhodesia between 1974 and 1979. The tune was that of Ode to Joy, the Fourth Movement from Ludwig van Beethovens Ninth Symphony, the music used in Rhodesia was an original sixteen-bar arrangement by Captain Ken MacDonald, the bandmaster of the Rhodesian African Rifles. A national competition was organised by the government to find a set of lyrics to match the chosen tune. With Rhodesias reconstitution in 1970 as a republic, the anthem was dropped along with many other references to the monarchy. The Republic of Rhodesia lacked a national anthem until it adopted Rise, the national anthem lost its legal status in December 1979, when the UK took interim control of the country pending its internationally recognised independence as Zimbabwe five months later. Rhodesias use of the well-known Beethoven tune has since caused the playing of Ode to Joy to be controversial in modern-day Zimbabwe. The royal anthem officially remained in place until the declaration of a republic in March 1970.
With a tune now in place, the Rhodesian government organised a competition to write matching lyrics. It did announce, that should Rhodesia use the arrangement as the Council of Europe, the author of that score, Herbert von Karajan. Such an incident was averted when Rhodesia adopted an original arrangement by Captain Ken MacDonald. The winning lyricist was confirmed on 24 September 1974 to be Mary Bloom, a director, music critic and poet from Gwelo. Bloom titled her work Voices of Rhodesia, but the full first line, Rise, O Voices of Rhodesia and he was eventually able to do so, but only after prolonged negotiations with the authorities. When Ode to Joy was included in an organ recital held by a Harare church at Christmas 1994. Notes Newspaper and journal articles Bibliography MP3 version
Symbols of Europe
A number of symbols of Europe have emerged since antiquity. In present day, each of these may either apply to the continent as a whole, several symbols were introduced in the 1950s and 1960s by the Council of Europe. In addition to those of Pan-European identity, the EU has created symbols for itself through its integration. Europa was used as a term, for one of the great divisions of the known world. It became the term for the landmass west of the Tanais in the Roman-era geography by Strabo. Europa first began to be used in a sense, denoting the territory of Latin Christendom. Europa is a name, the name of a nymph in Hesiod, and in a legend first related by Herodotus. The classical legend of Europa being abducted not by Greek pirates, according to this account, Zeus took the guise of a tame white bull and mixed himself with the herds of Europas father. While Europa and her attendants were gathering flowers, she saw the bull. Zeus took that opportunity and ran to the sea and swam, with her on his back, there he revealed his true identity, and Europa became the first queen of Crete.
Zeus gave her a necklace made by Hephaestus and three additional gifts, Laelaps and a javelin that never missed, Zeus re-created the shape of the white bull in the stars, which is now known as the constellation Taurus. For instance, statues of Europa and the bull are located several of the European Unions institutions. Europas name appeared on postage stamps commemorating the Council of Europe, the dome of the European Parliaments Paul-Henri Spaak building contains a large mosaic by Aligi Sassu portraying the abduction of Europa with other elements of Greek mythology. The bull is in the corner of the new design of the residence permit card of all European Union countries. Europa regina is the depiction of the European continent as a queen. The first map to depict Europe in this manner was made by Johannes Bucius Aenicola in 1537, at the time, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V had united the lands of the Habsburgs in his hands, including Spain. Thus, the map is oriented westwards to have Spain as the crowned head, the most conspicuous reference to the Holy Roman Empire is the Carolingian hoop crown.
Another connection to Charles V is the gown, which resembles the contemporary dress code at the Habsburg court, and the face of the queen, which some say resembles Charles Vs wife Isabella
Israel, officially the State of Israel, is a country in the Middle East, on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. The country contains geographically diverse features within its small area. Israels economy and technology center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, in 1947, the United Nations adopted a Partition Plan for Mandatory Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency for Palestine, next year, the Jewish Agency declared the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel. Israel has since fought several wars with neighboring Arab states, in the course of which it has occupied territories including the West Bank, Golan Heights and it extended its laws to the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem, but not the West Bank. Israels occupation of the Palestinian territories is the worlds longest military occupation in modern times, efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have not resulted in peace.
However, peace treaties between Israel and both Egypt and Jordan have successfully been signed, the population of Israel, as defined by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, was estimated in 2017 to be 8,671,100 people. It is the worlds only Jewish-majority state, with 74. 8% being designated as Jewish, the countrys second largest group of citizens are Arabs, at 20. 8%. The great majority of Israeli Arabs are Sunni Muslims, including significant numbers of semi-settled Negev Bedouins, other minorities include Arameans, Assyrians, Black Hebrew Israelites, Circassians and Samaritans. Israel hosts a significant population of foreign workers and asylum seekers from Africa and Asia, including illegal migrants from Sudan, Eritrea. In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a Jewish, Israel is a representative democracy with a parliamentary system, proportional representation and universal suffrage. The prime minister is head of government and the Knesset is the legislature, Israel is a developed country and an OECD member, with the 35th-largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product as of 2016.
The country benefits from a skilled workforce and is among the most educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentage of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree. The country has the highest standard of living in the Middle East and the third highest in Asia, in the early weeks of independence, the government chose the term Israeli to denote a citizen of Israel, with the formal announcement made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Sharett. The names Land of Israel and Children of Israel have historically used to refer to the biblical Kingdom of Israel. The name Israel in these phrases refers to the patriarch Jacob who, jacobs twelve sons became the ancestors of the Israelites, known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Children of Israel. The earliest known artifact to mention the word Israel as a collective is the Merneptah Stele of ancient Egypt. The area is known as the Holy Land, being holy for all Abrahamic religions including Judaism, Islam