Israel is a country in the Middle East, situated at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. The country is bounded to the north by Lebanon, to the northeast by Syria, to the east and southeast by Jordan, to the southwest by Egypt, and to the west by the Mediterranean Sea. Jerusalem is the seat of government and the proclaimed capital, although the latter status has not received wide international recognition.
Israel is a small country with a relatively diverse topography, consisting of a lengthy coastal plain, highlands in the north and central regions, and the Negev desert in the south. Running the length of the country from north to south along its eastern border is the northern terminus of the Great Rift Valley.
About two-thirds of the population was born in Israel. All other Israelis come from over 100 different countries. Most Israeli Jews live a lifestyle similar to western Europeans and North Americans.