The 72 Most Israeli Things

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

For Israel's 72nd Yom Ha'atzmaut, we decided to make a list, with your help of course, of the 72 things that define Israel, in 9 different categories.

A young girl eating a falafel wearing glasses with Israeli flags to celebrate Israel

Today is our wonderful country's 72nd birthday. Wow, who would have thought? Although in "country terms" 72 really isn't that much and compared to the rest of the world, Israel has gone through so much in these 7 decades that sometimes it feels more like 720 years and not 72.


Seven wars, four Eurovision titles, countless military operations, terrorist attacks, two peace treaties, the Declaration of Independence, Prime Minister assassination...these are just a drop in the sea of events this country has been through and witnessed during these 72 years and what a ride it has been.

Remember we asked you for your input about what is "Most Israeli"? Well, this is what we put together!


The 72 Most Israeli Things

Songs / Singers / Places / People / Food / Historical Events /

Books / Movies / Words


# 1 Most Israeli Songs

♫ Hallelujah

After the song won the 1979 Eurovision contest, it was announced on the radio that it will replace Hatikvah as the Israeli National Anthem, which later turned out to be an April Fools' prank.

♫ Ani VeAtah

A year after the song was released in 1971, an Italian rock band named "Capsicum Red" turned it into an Italian rock song. They used that version without receiving copyright permissions from its writer until 2002!

♫ Hatikvah

We were so shocked you chose this song! Just kidding, we knew it would be a top result, and we couldn't be happier! We are always proud of our National Anthem!

♫ Hava Nagila

This song is one of the most famous Israel-related songs in the world and has received major international PR over the years. It is sung by the Ajax and Tottenham Hotspurs soccer club fans, as these clubs are famous for their large Jewish fanbase.

♫ Yerushalaim Shel Zahav

The song that Naomi Shemer released right before the Six-Day War has gained some criticism over the years, due to its political connotations. Nevertheless, most people believe that this song is what declared Naomi Shemer as an Israeli National Poet.

♫ Shir HaFreha

The meaning of the word Freha has racial connotations in Israel, so the song has caused many disputes over the years. At some point in the 1990s, Ofra Haza refused to sing the song at her performances.

♫ Hevenu Shalom Aleihem

Some people believe the song is based on an old German commercial for the cigarette brand Sa'alam Aleikum.

♫ Shir Hasticker

This protest song was written by none other than David Grossman and is comprised solely of slogans from political stickers he began collecting after Rabin's assassination in 1995.

♫ Loo Yehi

The song was written by Naomi Shemer during the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and became a main symbol of the war. Even before the war, Shemer decided she wanted to write a Hebrew version for the Beatles song Let it be.

♫ Shevet Ahim VaAhayot

The catchy song includes recordings of no less than 34 different Israeli artists. The song's clip is a collage comprised of selfies that each artist took, after choosing where they wanted their picture to be taken.

# 2 Most Israeli Musicians

Shlomo Artzi

Artzi began his singing career in the IDF navy band and gained his fame after winning the Israel Song Festival in 1970.


Omer Adam

In 2009, Omer Adam participated in Star is Born competition, but was kicked out after telling them he was 16 when he was in fact still 15. 11 years later, Adam is one of the most successful singers in Israel, we guess he showed them.

Arik Einstein

Israeli radio host Yoav Kutner gave Einstein the accurate description: "Arik Einstein is more than just the greatest Israeli singer. Einstein is the real Israel". Naomi Shemer Naomi Shemer began learning to play the piano at the age of 6, and her first job was as a rhythmic teacher. Surprising huh? We feel like she became our national poet from birth!


Ofra Haza

Haza's parents came to Israel from Yemen and named her Bat Sheva, but for some reason, her sisters didn't like the name and changed it to Ofra.


Netta Barzilai This internationally loved singer was close to missing her ticket to the Eurovision, but the judges for the song contest decided to keep her on the show, and we all know how that ended..

Eyal Golan

Golan is one of the most successful artists in Israeli history. He has sold over three million albums over the years.

Sarit Hadad

Sarit Hadad used to run away from home as a kid to perform at nightclubs, and even won a talent contest due to her skillful piano playing, even though she didn't know how to read the notes.

Shalom Hanoh

Hanoh is one of the frontiers in Israeli rock music and is considered a pillar in Israeli music.

Dudu Aharon

You might not know this, but Dudu Aharon participated in the Israeli version of The Bachelor. And no, we're not kidding. He really did.


# 3 Most Israeli Places


The city of Jerusalem

Jerusalem



An aerial view of the Kinneret

Kinneret



A young IDF soldier praying at the Western Wall

Kotel



A young woman reading a paper while floating in the Dead Sea

Dead Sea


The Mount Hermon sky slope covered in snow

Mount Hermon


People enjoying the beach in Eilat

Eilat


Piles of fruit at the Jerusalem Shuk

Shuk Mahane Yehuda, Jerusalem

An aerial view of the beaches of Tel Aviv

Israel's Beaches


The Azrieli Towers in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv


A plane parked at Ben Gurion Airport

Ben Gurion Airport


# 4 Most Israeli People

Yehoram Gaon The Jerusalem-born singer is what we call a true Sabra. He is a successful singer, writer, actor, and much, much more. He played in dozens of films and shows, including the role of Yoni Netanyahu in the Mivtza Yonatan film about the Entebbe Operation.

David Ben Gurion

Ben Gurion started doing headstands after his doctor recommended it to him. He told him it would help his health because his head was too big for his body.

Sivan Rahav Meir

Rahav Meir published her first book at the age of 17 and received her Bachelor's Degree by the age of 18.

Benjamin Netanyahu

Bibi, your choice as one of the most Israeli people, secretly married Sarah, his third wife, in his parent's home, with a shortlist of 25 attendants.

Arik Einstein

He was a pioneer of Israeli rock music and was named "the Voice of Israel".

# 5 Most Israeli Food

Falafel

The falafel is originally an Egyptian dish that quickly became an Israeli national dish, and it even had a song written all about it in the 1950s in Israel (Shir HaFalafel).


Shakshuka

We're sorry to inform you, but this Israeli favorite is, in fact, a North African dish. Not that it really matters, we love it either way.

Shawarma

Like most of the other Israeli favorites, this dish was imported from one of our neighbor countries, this time from Turkey.

Bamba

Every fourth snack purchased in Israel is a bag of Bamba. In one minute 450 bags are manufactured in Israel, that's 27,000 in an hour!

Hummus

93% of Israelis eat hummus on a weekly basis, and yet it is only mentioned in 55 songs.

Sabih

Originally brought over by Iraqi Jews, and the name originated from the Arabic word sabah (morning) since the Jews in Iraq used to eat this dish on the Sabbath morning.

Kubeh

Everyone loves kubah in Israel. The dish that was brought by Iraqi and Syrian Jews has more than 20 versions.

Jahnun

This Yemenite delicacy was originally eaten as a sweet dish, with halva and sugar, and not with tomatoes and hard-boiled eg