The State of Israel, also known as the Jewish State, is one of the few democracies in the Middle East and the world's only Jewish-majority nation. Israel is the ancient homeland of the Jewish people.
Israel's capital of Jerusalem is important to the world's three largest faiths, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. To the Jews, it features the Temples of Solomon and Herod and where Abraham offered to sacrifice his son Isaac. For Muslims, it's where their prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven. For Christians, it's where their Messiah Jesus Christ was crucified.
In 1099, Crusaders liberated Jerusalem from a Muslim empire and established the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The kingdom was retaken by the Muslims under Saladin in 1187. The Christians negotiated a return of Jerusalem in 1229 but it was taken again in 1244.
Officially founded in 1948 as a home for Jews displaced by the Holocaust, the state has been controversial ever since it became recognized by the United Nations, due to the alleged displacement of hundreds of the area's Palestinian residents and being constant targets of anti-Semitic Islamic terrorists and anti-Semitic countries like Iran. This controversy has spilled over into the New York courts on a few occasions. The United States' politically, economic, and military support for Israel since 1948 was the main motive for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the September 11 attacks.
In 2002, Robert Goren and Alexandra Eames investigated a terrorist bomb maker's hideout. There, Goren found rat poison. He mentioned suicide bombers in Israel used rat poison in their bombs to make their victims bleed to death. (CI: "The Pilgrim")
Rebekkah Meisner, the daughter of Leah Glaser, lived in Israel. (L&O: Evil Breeds). In 2006, the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad had a young American woman, Sarah Myers, infiltrate a Palestinian rights group with suspected terrorist ties. She was killed in action, and though the agency scrambled to cover up the incident, it was captured on camcorder. This footage eventually fell into the hands of reporter Rebecca Slater, leading to an attempt on her life that killed her colleague Josh Lemle. (CI: "30")