Why is Israel considered to be a European country while it is geographically situated in Africa-Asia?
There is a very logical reason for that. Half of the Jewish population in Israel is of European descent, so much so that for example contrary to the ancestors of Hungarians that arrived to Europe from the Asian steppe only about 1000 year ago, Ashkenazi Jews were forged as a distinct people in the Roman era. And have been an intrinsic part of Europe's cultural,economic and political development. They played an important role in the Enlightenment and especially in the spread of those values later on and they also became one of the most secular people of Europe by the 20th century. The great tragedies of that century did not erase this past nor its meaning, from language to culture to cuisine many of the traits of Israeli Jews come from their past in Europe.
I would also not claim that Israel's territory is not part of Europe historically speaking. It was a region that was Hellenised, which came under the Roman Empire, was controlled by the Byzantine Empire and is part of a pan-Mediterranean culture that was controlled by European powers for a very long time. The Jewish culture and religion cannot be understood without this influence.
Today Israel is more European as per an immense number of indicators than Russia or Ukraine will ever be, definitely far more European than the EU candidate, Turkey. I for one would love to see Israel as part of the EU, I believe that the Jewish population of Israel deserve all the privileges the EU can offer, from freedom of movement and work, to having the opportunity to study at European universities as an EU student, for free.
People talk about sports a lot here but that doesn't explain Israel's partnership with Europe in other international organizations like:
Also I think the widespread myth of anti-Israel Europe is mainly because, Europe feels more entitled to reprimand Israel for its domestic and foreign policies due to historical and cultural links. It's easy for countries like China to be a bystander that does not hurt your feelings, because they don't have much stake in this; but Israel is situated at the peripheral of Europe and its actions will affect Europe. So its simply impossible for Europe to keep quiet.
Now for the Israeli part. Just like Brexit and Donald Trump, Netanyahu's priority is the Israeli sovereignty. It is his dream that the government exercise its authority without any obstruction, foreign or domestic, to the point that he would trade anything so that the world would leave Israel alone. Of course he will accuse anyone who is interfering with whatever he deemed as ‘domestic affair'.
After the creation of Israel* Israel participated in the Olympic and other sports organizations in their Asian divisions. However, the Muslim/Arab/Communist block had majorities in these organizations and Israel was kicked out of them. Thus this cultural-geographical anomaly.
Between 1954 and 1974 Israel took part in the Asian Games, but political pressure exerted by Arab countries led to Israel's exclusion from the re-organized Olympic Council of Asia in 1981. In the early 1990s Israel was admitted into European sports organizations, and became full member of European Olympic Committees in 1994. Israel has participated in the biannual European Youth Olympic Festival, since 1995, and the European Games since 2015.
In 1954, the Israel Football Association was admitted to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). In 1974, the Israel Football Association was expelled from the AFC due to political pressure from Arab and Muslim members that refused to play against Israel. In the late 1970s and 1980s, the Israel Football Association was not affiliated with any confederation. During this period, the Israeli national teams were only playing in FIFA competitions occasionally in OFC, UEFA and CONMEBOL qualifying tournaments.
In 1992, the IFA was admitted to UEFA as an associate member, and 2 years later as a full member. Since 1992, Israeli clubs have been playing in the various UEFA club competitions and the Israeli national teams play in UEFA championships.
*Contrary to some of the other answers claims, Israel Jewish majority are descendants of Jews who were made refugees of Muslim-Arab states (around a million people) following the creation of the State of Israel.
Israel is not an European country. The bond is mainly cultural. Being a free-market driven secular democracy, and embracing liberal values - unlike all their authoritarian and theocratic neighbors - it's all too natural that Israel has a special relation to the so called western world. We could also say that the judeo-christian common heritage, and the large and ancient Jewish diaspora (and the important role they played on the unfolding of the so called western civilization), have some say in the matter. But the fact is western governments also have strong bonds to moderate Jordan, for instance. No to mention the Arab monarchies, which also benefit a lot from Europe and America...
Turkey, Kazakhstan or Azerbaijan are not European countries and they are in the European football association. It doesn't mean much. Anyway, I doubt that Israel would be welcome in a Middle East league...
Israel Football Association was EXPELLED from Asian Football Confederation. It wasn't because of any choice made by the Israelis. As a matter of fact, Israel was one of the founding members of the Asian Football Confederation in 1954, won the continental tournament in 1964 and came in second in 1968.
Unfortunately due to boycott and pressure from Arab States, Israel had to exit from the their own continent's Football governing body in 1974. Only twenty years later it was invited to become a member of UEFA so that it could play World Cup qualifiers like any other normal country. And by the way, playing in UEFA instead of AFC is not a privilege AT ALL, considering ho much harder it is for a country to qualify for the WC finals against all European nations. The only World Cup that Israel has ever participated was in 1970... while still competing in Asia.
As for the first half of your question, I'm sorry but it didn't make sense to me.
I just asked an Israeli friend, she told me 'only for sports as the Asians hate her'.
Anyway, I know that The State of Israel is a country in the Middle East on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. Well it takes part in the Eurovision Song. Israelis are immigrants from Europe. Same as South Africa and the Brits who settled there. But geographically it's not a part of Europe.
The reason why Israel takes part in European things entertainment-wise, is because Arabs don't like to play nice. Just see the map. Which one is closer to Europe? Turkey, Israel, Syria. :D ... He is also saying such - israel is the only democracy in middle east
Check out these links-
How and Why is Israel a European country?
Israel–European Union relations