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Israel and Palestinian Authority, Arts

Richness and variety characterize the artistic and cultural life of Israel. Drawing inspiration from Jewish tradition, cultural activity of the Jewish population has been greatly influenced by Israelís struggle for independence and survival and by its rapid social change and state-building. These foundations were enriched by successive waves of immigration from more than 100 countries, each of which brought an element of cultural diversity and a wealth of artistic skills and traditions. Jews have always been prominent in literature, art, and music, but Israeli Jews have made a conscious effort to create a unique artistic tradition. Israeli Arabs maintain a rich heritage of music, theater, dance, and art that draws on traditions of the wider Arab world. Although the majority of Arabs and Jews of Israel remain separated socially and culturally, there has been significant collaboration between Arab and Jewish artists and writers in recent years. For example, a 1994 production of Romeo and Juliet by Jewish and Arab actors received international acclaim.

The following sections deal primarily with the arts of the Israeli Jewish population.

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