In 2008, Israel celebrates 60 years of statehood. Its naissance in 1948 was marked by the Holocaust: Some 6 million Jews had been murdered by the Nazis in Germany just a few years earlier. As a result, the United Nations supported the founding of a new Jewish state.
On May 14, 1948, Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion proclaimed the birth of Israel in Tel Aviv. Not long after, nearby Arab countries attacked the young nation and, even today, ties remain strained between Israel and its neighbors. It maintains peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. Since the Six Day War in 1967, Israel has occupied the West Bank region.
Despite the Holocaust -- which has left scars on the country -- several wars, domestic crises and threats by its Arab neighbors, Israel is seen as a model of success. It has become a modern, technologically advanced country with a lively culture and a diverse population of more than 7 million people.
Click on the links below for background information on Israel's 60 years of statehood, interviews and historical photographs.