Map of Israel
Over the years, the Land was known by many names - Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel); Zion, one of Jerusalem's hills which came to signify both the city and the Land of Israel as a whole; Palestine, derived from Philistia, and first used by the Romans; the Promised Land; and the Holy Land, to mention but a few. However, to most Israelis today, the country is simply Ha'aretz - the Land.
Some 7.8 million people live in Israel today; some 5.9 million Jews and 1.6 million Arabs. A wide spectrum of lifestyles characterizes the country, ranging from religious to secular, from modern to traditional, from urban to rural, from communal to individual.