Israel Government and Politics

According to, the political system in Israel is parliamentary-democratic and unified state. The head of state is a president, elected by the Knesset for seven (formerly five) years. The president can be re-elected once (immediately). He primarily has ceremonial functions, but with his public statements can have some influence.

The real power has traditionally sprung from the Knesset, elected in the general election for four years (but can be dissolved sooner, at his own discretion). Knesset has 120 members, chosen according to the ratio principle. The voting age is 18, and all of Israel is one constituency. The government is based on, and is responsible for, the Knesset. In 1996, direct elections were introduced for the prime minister, but this scheme was abandoned after the 2001 election.

Israel Country Flag

Reference: Israel Flag Meaning


Israel declared itself independent on May 14, 1948. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of IL and its meanings of Israel. Due to disagreement, among other things about the role of religion, failed to make a constitution. Instead, the National Assembly passed the Knesset in 1949, a transitional law that, in general terms, dealt with the role of the various state agencies.

In 1950, the Knesset decided that fundamental laws could be passed that would eventually constitute a constitution. Such laws have been gradually adopted; in addition, some older laws have been given the status of fundamental laws. But Israel has no separate constitution.


An Israeli citizen older than 18 is allowed to vote in elections. The polling stations are open from 0800 to 2200 on Election Day. The municipal councils are responsible for the polling stations, and the polling stations are shipped after 10.00. 2200 to 18 official counting stations located throughout the country. From 2015, the threshold for a party to enter the Knesset has been raised to 3.25 percent. In practice, this means that a party must have at least four seats to enter the Knesset.

The rules of the election campaign

The Independent Central Election Committee, chaired by this election by Israeli-Arab Supreme Court Judge Salim Joubran, is responsible for overseeing the election and ensuring all rules are properly observed. The main source of revenue for the parties is public funding, distributed on the basis of the seats of the current Knesset. The number of seats in the Knesset also determines the allocation of time on television for party political broadcasts. In the form of private funds, all parties must declare openly where they have obtained their funding. The parties have limits on the amount of international funds they can receive. There is also an upper limit for individual donations.

After the official results are known, the president contacts the leaders of all parties elected to the Knesset. A week after Election Day, the President formally invites the party leader who has received the most votes and/or who is most likely to be able to form a government. In order to build a coalition government, the government must have 61 or more votes in the Knesset. The law allows four weeks followed by a two week extension for this process, and it usually involves intensive negotiations on ministerial posts and government policy. The existing government continues to serve in a “janitorial function”, and the new government gains power only when it has been approved by the Knesset.

Party System

The party system is fragmented and coalition-dominated, to a large extent also personal. No party has had a majority in the Knesset alone; all governments have therefore been coalition governments. However, one party, the Labor Party, dominated politics and had the prime minister until 1977. By the formation of the conservative Likud alliance in 1973, the Labor Party became a rival of importance to the right. Likewise, the prime minister had in the periods 1977-83, 1986-92, 1996-99 and 2001-05, but the party was seriously weakened when Prime Minister Ariel Sharon broke out in 2005 and formed a separate liberal party, Kadima.

There is also a large group of small parties associated with ethnic or religiously based groups. The large number of parties has made parliamentary matters difficult, and small parties often use ultimatum and pressure to get their affairs through to the government, with frequent government crises as a result.


Israeli politics has been characterized by the struggle to establish, build and secure the state. Israel’s many wars and the extensive international condemnation the country has faced have caused the Israelis to have to rely on themselves and their own power. Among other things, through extensive assistance from the United States, it has been possible for Israel to maintain a comprehensive and very modern defense. The security situation has also characterized the economy, with a large state role in most business sectors and a large cooperative sector.

Domestic policy has also been largely characterized by contradictions that originate in the country’s conflict with the Palestinian inhabitants of the areas occupied by Israel and with most of the neighboring countries in the region. The controversy has mainly been about instruments and progress in the fragile peace process with the Palestinians, and not least about the contentious establishment and security of Jewish settlements in occupied Palestinian land, a policy that has, among other things, consisted in frequent closures of the border between Israel and the occupied territories. and building a security wall along the border.

Centralized State

Israel’s limited size, its settler character and the conflicts with its neighbors have contributed to the centralization of politics. The electoral system, with the whole country as one constituency, has made the parties national and nationally political oriented. Local elections are held simultaneously with national elections. At the local level, there are three types of advice chosen. At the intermediate level, the country is divided into six administrative districts, with its own boards. These boards have been based in Jerusalem, Nazareth, Haifa, Ramla, Tel Aviv and Beersheba.


Legal developments are particularly influenced by UK and US law, including in criminal and procedural law, however, no jury is used. Religious regulations are usually applied in personal and family law matters. There are both civil and religious courts. The Supreme Court has a chairman, a deputy chairman and up to 12 (currently 11) other judges, who are appointed for life by the president. Locally, there are 29 magistrate dishes; decisions in these can be appealed to the five district courts.

There are religious courts for the country’s various recognized religious communities – the Jewish, the Muslim, the Christian and the Drusian – who judge in personal and family matters. If a case concerns people from different communities, the chairman of the Supreme Court decides which court will handle the case. The judgments of the religious courts are enforced by the civil courts.

Israel is skeptical of international courts and normally does not recognize sentencing there.

Israel Head of Government

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