What Type Of Government Does Israel Have?

The Knesset, the Israeli parliament, building, in Jerusalem. Editorial credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com.
The Knesset, the Israeli parliament, building, in Jerusalem. Editorial credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com.

The President And Prime Minister Of Israel

The government of Israeli is composed of the president, the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. The president is the head of government. His position is a ceremonial one and is not part of any government branch. His roles include signing laws and treaties, appointing the prime minister, endorsing ambassadors and overseeing foreign affairs. He has the power to pardon prisoners, to appoint the governor of the Bank of Israeli and leaders of other institutions. The prime minister is the head of the executive branch and leader of a multi-party system.

Executive Branch Of The Government Of Israel

The executive branch is composed of the prime minister who is the head of the government and the cabinet of ministers. The president appoints the prime minister upon the recommendation of party representatives in the Knesset. The cabinet consists of ministers, deputy ministers, and ministers without portfolio. The prime minister appoints the ministers who must be approved by the members of the Knesset. He also chairs cabinet meetings which take place weekly on Sundays. The security cabinet is a small select group led by the prime minister and it outlines and implements foreign and defense policy

The Legislative Branch Of The Government Of Israel

The legislative branch of Israel is the Knesset. It has 120 members who are elected by the citizens to serve for a four-year term. The Knesset has the mandate to enact and repeal laws through a simple majority, amend and adopt laws, and supervises government activities through its committees. It nominates the prime minister, approves the cabinet and elects the president and the state comptroller. It can also revoke the immunity of its members and to dissolve itself.

The Judiciary Of Israel

The judicial branch of Israel is an independent branch and includes all secular and religious courts throughout the country. The judicial selection committee appoints all the judges of the courts. The members of the committee include two members of the cabinet, two Knesset members, two members of Israeli bar association and three Supreme Court justices. The minister of justice chairs the committee.

Local Government Of Israel

Israeli has six districts which are subdivided into fifteen sub-districts and fifty natural regions. There are three forms of local government which are city council, local councils, and regional councils. The city councils are in charge of city municipalities; local councils govern small municipalities, and regional councils govern communities. The local government is responsible for urban planning, water provision, emergency services, education, and culture. The mayor chairs the council meetings.

Elections In Israel

Elections take place after every four years to elect the members of the Knesset. However, when the Knesset dissolves itself, it can call for general elections before the end of a four-year term. Voting during the general elections uses the highest averages method of party-list representation. They use closed lists where voters only vote for party lists and can not affect the order of candidates on the list.

Political Parties Of Israel

Israeli has only three political parties in the country, the social democrats called Labor Zionism, conservative called Revisionist Zionism, and Centrist religious Zionism party. These parties always reflect ethnic or religious groupings. Israel lacks the constitution, but it has some basic laws that govern the structure of the government and rights of the people. The parliamentary democracy system tries to represent every segment and viewpoint of the society. However, it limits the measures that the executive can adopt in particular matters of concern.


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