Israel 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. 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