Israel marks its 60th birthday

Israel marks its 60th birthday

Yuli Khromchenko

Yuli describes herself as a secular and liberal Israeli

Shoshana Shilo

Shoshana Shilo is an Israeli settler in the West Bank

Mohammed Dawalshi

Mohammed: "a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship"

Jonathan Rosenblum

Jonathan Rosenblum is a Haredi immigrant from the US

Milla Bilkis

Milla Bilkis emigrated to Israel from Russia 18 years ago

Israel is a relatively young country born out of a philosophy, Zionism, that only really emerged at the end of the 19th Century.

In the six decades since its founding, Israel has undergone enormous changes.

What do Israelis themselves make of their country now? And where do they believe it's heading?

Throughout this week the BBC's Middle East correspondent, Tim Franks, will be hearing from five very different people who hold Israeli citizenship.

First a trainee teacher, Yuli Khromchenko, who describes herself as a secular and liberal Israeli.

Listen Listen to Yuli Khromchenko (2 mins 35 secs)

Next we go to one of the most controversial areas: the Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories.

There are almost half a million settlers and despite international calls for settlement expansion to stop, their numbers go on growing.

Tim Franks reports from the West Bank.

Listen Listen to his report (3 mins 6 secs)

Conversely, more than a million Israelis - or around one in five - are of Arab descent, and not Jewish.

Tim Franks travels to the north of the country to speak to one of them.

Listen Listen to Tim Franks' report on Israelis of Arabic descent (2 mins 25 secs)

The Haredi community are ultra-orthodox, highly religiously observant Jewish people. Tim Franks spoke to one of them.

Listen Listen to Tim Franks on the Haredi community (3 mins 39 secs)

One of the biggest changes Israel has undergone in the last twenty years has been with the huge influx of Russians since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Tim Franks travelled to the south of Israel, to the small town of Gedera, to speak to one of these Russian immigrants.

Listen Listen to Milla Bilkis (2 mins 36 secs)

End of Section

An international political movement for self-determination of the Jewish people - Jonathan Marcus takes a look at Zionism for Analysis.

Listen Listen to Jonathan Marcus on Zionism (9 mins)

End of Section

Beitar Jerusalem has always been the bad boy of Israeli football.

Fans of the club boast that an Arab never has and never will play for the club.

David Goldblatt explores the heady mix of politics and football in Israel.

Listen Listen to Assignment on Beitar Jerusalem (23 mins)

First broadcast 5 - 9 May 2008

To read some facts and figures about the people and economy of Israel 60 years after its creation, click here