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A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z   This menu features recently updated backgrounders on people, places and subjects. To view all backgrounders, click More...
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last updated March 11, 2009 4:00 PM (EST+7)
Tel Aviv
Read more: 
Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Yaffo, capital
Established in the region north of Jaffa in 1909, Tel Aviv translates to ‘hill of spring’ in the Hebrew language. Tel Aviv is the second largest city in Israel and its primary commercial, financial and industrial center.

EnlargeA housing protester confronts a right-wing demonstrator that joined the ten city against housing prices, Wednesday, August 3, 2011 (Activestills.org)
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Flash mob freeze demonstration, Tel Aviv
Sept. 25, 2010 10:11 AM (EST+7)
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Joseph Biden's Speech at Tel Aviv University

Since its declaration as Israel's capital city in 1948, it has grown in stature as the primary economic hub as well as a provisional political center of the country alongside Jerusalem, which is claimed by Israel as the official capital (although one not recognized by the international community).

CHANGED DEMOGRAPHIC

Initially formed as a small neighborhood numbering only a couple of thousand Jewish migrants, Tel Aviv’s population experienced spurts of growth due to an influx of Jewish immigration, quickly outpacing the Arab population of Jaffa.

Jaffa, an ancient port city with Biblical connections, had already experienced the rule of several powers from the Christian Crusaders who entered the city in 1099 to the Ottomans who conquered it in the 16th century. But it was the immigration trends of the 19th century that drastically changed its size and demographics. The resultant friction between the immigrants Jews and the resident Arabs during British rule led to the Jewish populations shifting northwards into Tel Aviv and expanding its community.

Over the decades following Israel’s formation, Tel Aviv incorporated Jaffa, eventually merging into a single municipality, presently referred to as the Tel Aviv-Yafo region.  Present demographics (drastically different from that of the 1800s) were largely a consequence of two major waves of Jewish immigration - the first in the 1880s and the second in the early 1900s.

The continued flow of Jewish migrants through the Aliyah system has transformed the community from 3,600 Jewish residents in 1914 to 120,000 in 1936. Presently, the  Tel Aviv – Yafo area comprises a Jewish majority of 93 percent and small Muslim and Christian populations each representing one percent.

ECONOMIC HUB

With a bustling stock exchange and a strong economy based largely on a services industry, Tel Aviv has often been referred to as the "bubble", largely unfazed by events pertaining to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

News on Tel Aviv
Explosion hits bus in central Tel Aviv, 10 woundedNov. 21, 2012 12:53 PM (EST+7)
Hackers disrupt Tel Aviv exchange, El Al websitesJan. 17, 2012 10:00 AM (EST+7)
Arab cinema comes to Jaffa and HaifaNov. 29, 2011 12:49 PM (EST+7)


Sources
Tel Aviv-Yafo government website
US Census bureau - Israel Demography



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