israel01Sabra is the name of the fruit that grows on the prickly pear cactus throughout the middle east. It is also the word used to describe a native-born Israeli.

For the Israelis the sabra defines the national character; sharp and prickly on the outside, soft and sweet on the inside.

The word comes from the Hebrew name of the plant - tzabar. In Arabic sabr is both the word for cactus and for patience. The Palestinians have adopted the sabra as a national symbol representing patience and perseverance.

The first time sabra was used to describe Israeli character dates back to an article published in 1931 by journalist Uri Kesari entitled 'We Are the Leaves of the Sabra!'