Politics of Israel

Politics of Israel

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The Israeli system of government is based on parliamentary democracy. The Prime Minister of Israel
Prime Minister of Israel
The Prime Minister of Israel is the head of the Israeli government and the most powerful political figure in Israel . The prime minister is the country's chief executive. The official residence of the prime minister, Beit Rosh Hamemshala is in Jerusalem...

 is the head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

 and leader of a multi-party system
Multi-party system
A multi-party system is a system in which multiple political parties have the capacity to gain control of government separately or in coalition, e.g.The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in the United Kingdom formed in 2010. The effective number of parties in a multi-party system is normally...

. Executive power
Executive Power
Executive Power is Vince Flynn's fifth novel, and the fourth to feature Mitch Rapp, an American agent that works for the CIA as an operative for a covert counter terrorism unit called the "Orion Team."-Plot summary:...

 is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in the Knesset
Knesset
The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.-Role in Israeli Government :The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister , approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government...

. The Judiciary
Judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

 is independent of the executive and the legislature. The political system of the State of Israel and its main principles are set out in 11 Basic Laws
Basic Laws of Israel
The Basic Laws of Israel are a key component of Israel's constitutional law. These laws deal with the formation and role of the principal state's institutions, and the relations between the state's authorities. Some of them also protect civil rights...

. Israel does not have a written constitution.

Executive branch


The Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Israel
The Prime Minister of Israel is the head of the Israeli government and the most powerful political figure in Israel . The prime minister is the country's chief executive. The official residence of the prime minister, Beit Rosh Hamemshala is in Jerusalem...

 is the chief executive of Israel, and the most powerful political figure in the country. The Prime Minister is elected by the Knesset
Knesset
The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.-Role in Israeli Government :The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister , approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government...

, and makes foreign and domestic policy decisions which are voted on by the cabinet
Cabinet of Israel
The Cabinet of Israel is a formal body composed of government officials called ministers, chosen and led by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister must appoint members based on the distribution of votes to political parties during legislative elections, and its composition must be approved by a...

. The Prime Minister is The cabinet is composed of minister
Minister
Minister can mean several things:* Minister , a Christian who ministers in some way* Minister , the rank of diplomat directly below ambassador* Minister , a politician who heads a ministry...

s, most of whom are the heads of government departments, though some are deputy ministers and ministers without portfolio
Minister without Portfolio
A minister without portfolio is either a government minister with no specific responsibilities or a minister that does not head a particular ministry...

. Cabinet ministers are appointed by the Prime Minister, who must appoint members based on the distribution of votes to political parties. The cabinet's composition must also be approved by the Knesset. The Prime Minister may dismiss cabinet members, but any replacements must be approved by the Knesset. Most ministers are members of the Knesset, though only the Prime Minister is required to be one. The cabinet meets weekly on Sundays, and there may be additional meetings if circumstances require it. Each cabinet meeting is chaired by the Prime Minister.

A select group of ministers led by the Prime Minister forms the security cabinet
Security Cabinet of Israel
The Political-Security Cabinet or The Ministers Committee on Security Affairs is a narrow forum of 'Inner Cabinet' within the Israeli Cabinet, headed by the Prime Minister of Israel, with the purpose of outlining a foreign and defense policy and implementing it...

, responsible for outlining and implementing a foreign and defense policy. This forum is designed to coordinate diplomatic negotiations, and to make quick and effective decisions in times of crisis and war.

The Israeli government has 28 ministries
Ministry (government department)
A ministry is a specialised organisation responsible for a sector of government public administration, sometimes led by a minister or a senior public servant, that can have responsibility for one or more departments, agencies, bureaus, commissions or other smaller executive, advisory, managerial or...

, each of them responsible for a sector of public administration
Public administration
Public Administration houses the implementation of government policy and an academic discipline that studies this implementation and that prepares civil servants for this work. As a "field of inquiry with a diverse scope" its "fundamental goal.....

. Each ministry is led by a minister, who is also a member of the cabinet and is usually a member of the Knesset. The Office of the Prime Minister
Office of the Prime Minister (Israel)
Office of the Prime Minister is the governmental ministration office with the responsibility of coordinating the actions of the work of all governmental ministry offices, on various matters, and serving and assisting the Israeli Prime Minister in his daily work...

 coordinates the actions of the work of all government ministries, and serving and assisting the Prime Minister in his daily work.

The President of the State
President of Israel
The President of the State of Israel is the head of state of Israel. The position is largely an apolitical ceremonial figurehead role, with the real executive power lying in the hands of the Prime Minister. The current president is Shimon Peres who took office on 15 July 2007...

 is the de jure head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 of Israel, but the position is largely an apolitical and ceremonial role, with real executive powers lying in the hands of the Prime Minister. The President's ceremonial roles include signing every law (except those pertaining to the President's powers) and international or bilateral treaty, ceremonially appointing the Prime Minister, confirms and endorses the credentials of ambassadors, and receives the credentials of foreign diplomats. The President also has several important functions in government. The President is the only government official with the power to pardon or commute prisoners. The President also appoints the Governor of the Bank of Israel
Bank of Israel
The Bank of Israel is the central bank of Israel. It is located in Kiryat HaMemshala in Israel's capital city of Jerusalem, with a branch office in Tel Aviv. The current governor is Stanley Fischer.-History:...

, the State Comptroller upon recommendation of the Knesset House Committee, judges to the Supreme Court
Supreme Court of Israel
The Supreme Court is at the head of the court system and highest judicial instance in Israel. The Supreme Court sits in Jerusalem.The area of its jurisdiction is all of Israel and the Israeli-occupied territories. A ruling of the Supreme Court is binding upon every court, other than the Supreme...

 and to secular, religious, and military courts upon nomination of the Judicial Selection Committe
Judicial Selection Committee (Israel)
The Israeli Judicial Committee is the body that nominates Judges for Israeli courts. After their selection the judges are appointed by the President.The committee was established in 1953, following the enactment of the Judges Bill...

, the President of Magen David Adom
Magen David Adom
The Magen David Adom is Israel's national emergency medical, disaster, ambulance and blood bank service. The name means "Red Star of David"...

, and the members and leaders of several national institutions.

Knesset


The Knesset
Knesset
The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.-Role in Israeli Government :The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister , approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government...

  is Israel's unicameral legislature and is seated in Jerusalem. Its 120 members are elected to 4-year terms through party-list proportional representation
Party-list proportional representation
Party-list proportional representation systems are a family of voting systems emphasizing proportional representation in elections in which multiple candidates are elected...

. (see electoral system, below), as mandated by the 1958 Basic Law: The Knesset. Knesset seats are allocated among parties using the D'Hondt method
D'Hondt method
The d'Hondt method is a highest averages method for allocating seats in party-list proportional representation. The method described is named after Belgian mathematician Victor D'Hondt who described it in 1878...

 of party list proportional representation. Parties select candidates using a closed list
Closed list
Closed list describes the variant of party-list proportional representation where voters can only vote for political parties as a whole and thus have no influence on the party-supplied order in which party candidates are elected...

. Thus, voters select the party of their choice, rather than any specific candidate. Israel requires a party to meet an election threshold
Election threshold
In party-list proportional representation systems, an election threshold is a clause that stipulates that a party must receive a minimum percentage of votes, either nationally or within a particular district, to obtain any seats in the parliament...

 of 2% to be allocated a Knesset seat. All Israeli citizens 18 years of age or older may participate in legislative elections, which are conducted by secret ballot
Secret ballot
The secret ballot is a voting method in which a voter's choices in an election or a referendum are anonymous. The key aim is to ensure the voter records a sincere choice by forestalling attempts to influence the voter by intimidation or bribery. The system is one means of achieving the goal of...

.

As the legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset has the power to enact and repeal all laws. It enjoys de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

parliamentary supremacy, and can pass any law by a simple majority, even one that might arguably conflict with a Basic Law
Basic Laws of Israel
The Basic Laws of Israel are a key component of Israel's constitutional law. These laws deal with the formation and role of the principal state's institutions, and the relations between the state's authorities. Some of them also protect civil rights...

, unless it has specific conditions for its modification. The Knesset can adopt and amend Basic Laws acting through its capacity as a Constituent Assembly
Constituent assembly
A constituent assembly is a body composed for the purpose of drafting or adopting a constitution...

. The Knesset also supervises government activities through its committees, elects the Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Israel
The Prime Minister of Israel is the head of the Israeli government and the most powerful political figure in Israel . The prime minister is the country's chief executive. The official residence of the prime minister, Beit Rosh Hamemshala is in Jerusalem...

 and approves the cabinet
Cabinet of Israel
The Cabinet of Israel is a formal body composed of government officials called ministers, chosen and led by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister must appoint members based on the distribution of votes to political parties during legislative elections, and its composition must be approved by a...

, elects the President of the State
President of Israel
The President of the State of Israel is the head of state of Israel. The position is largely an apolitical ceremonial figurehead role, with the real executive power lying in the hands of the Prime Minister. The current president is Shimon Peres who took office on 15 July 2007...

, and recommends the State Comptroller. It also has the power to remove the President and State Comptroller from office, revoke the immunity of its members, and to dissolve itself and call new elections.

The February 2009 elections
Israeli legislative election, 2009
Elections for the 18th Knesset were held in Israel on 10 February 2009. These elections became necessary due to the resignation of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as leader of the Kadima party, and the failure of his successor, Tzipi Livni, to form a coalition government...

 produced five prominent political parties
Political Parties
Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy is a book by sociologist Robert Michels, published in 1911 , and first introducing the concept of iron law of oligarchy...

; Kadima
Kadima
Kadima is a centrist and liberal political party in Israel. It was established on 24 November 2005 by moderates from Likud largely to support the issue of Ariel Sharon's unilateral disengagement plan, and was soon joined by like-minded Labor politicians...

, Likud
Likud
Likud is the major center-right political party in Israel. It was founded in 1973 by Menachem Begin in an alliance with several right-wing and liberal parties. Likud's victory in the 1977 elections was a major turning point in the country's political history, marking the first time the left had...

, Israel Beytenu
Israel Beytenu
Yisrael Beiteinu is a nationalist political party in Israel. The party describes itself as "a national movement with the clear vision to follow in the brave path of Zev Jabotinsky", the founder of Revisionist Zionism. The party traditionally represents immigrants from the former Soviet Union, but...

, Labor and Shas
Shas
Shas is an ultra-orthodox religious political party in Israel, primarily representing Sephardic and Mizrahi Haredi Judaism.Shas was founded in 1984 by dissident members of the Ashkenazi dominated Agudat Israel, to represent the interests of religiously observant Sephardic and Mizrahi ...

, each with more than ten seats in the Knesset. Three of these parties were ruling parties in the past. However, only once has a single party held the 61 seats needed for a majority government (the Alignment
Alignment (political party)
The Alignment was an alliance of the major left-wing parties in Israel between the 1960s and 1990s. It was established in 1965 as an alliance of Mapai and Ahdut HaAvoda but was dissolved three years later when the two parties and Rafi formally merged into the Israeli Labor Party...

 from 1968 until the 1969 elections
Israeli legislative election, 1969
Elections for the seventh Knesset were held in Israel on 28 October 1969. Voter turnout was 81.7%.-Results:¹ Meir Avizohar defected from the National List to the Alignment² Avner Shaki left the National Religious Party and remained a single MK...

). Therefore, aside from that one exception, since 1948 Israeli governments have always comprised coalitions
Coalition government
A coalition government is a cabinet of a parliamentary government in which several political parties cooperate. The usual reason given for this arrangement is that no party on its own can achieve a majority in the parliament...

. As of 2009, there are 12 political parties represented in the Knesset, spanning both the political and religious spectra.

Electoral system


Israel's electoral system operates within the parameters of a Basic Law (The Knesset) and of the 1969 Knesset Elections Law
Knesset Elections Law
Knesset Elections Law is crucial legal document governing the process of elections in the Israeli parliament or the Knesset.The law was created in 1958 and updated in 1987.-References:* *...

.

The Knesset's 120 members are elected by secret ballot to 4-year terms, although the Knesset may decide to call for new elections before the end of the 4-year term, and a government can change without a general election; since the 1988 election, no Knesset has finished its 4-year term. In addition a motion of confidence may be called. Voting in general elections takes place using the highest averages method
Highest averages method
The highest averages method is the name for a variety of ways to allocate seats proportionally for representative assemblies with party list voting systems....

 of party-list proportional representation
Party-list proportional representation
Party-list proportional representation systems are a family of voting systems emphasizing proportional representation in elections in which multiple candidates are elected...

, using the d'Hondt formula
D'Hondt method
The d'Hondt method is a highest averages method for allocating seats in party-list proportional representation. The method described is named after Belgian mathematician Victor D'Hondt who described it in 1878...

.

General elections use closed list
Closed list
Closed list describes the variant of party-list proportional representation where voters can only vote for political parties as a whole and thus have no influence on the party-supplied order in which party candidates are elected...

s: voters vote only for party lists and cannot affect the order of candidates within the lists. Since the 1992 Parties Law, only registered parties may stand. There are no separate electoral districts; all voters vote on the same party lists. Suffrage
Suffrage
Suffrage, political franchise, or simply the franchise, distinct from mere voting rights, is the civil right to vote gained through the democratic process...

 is universal among Israeli citizens aged 18 years or older, but voting is optional. Polling locations are open throughout Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

; absentee ballots are limited to diplomatic staff and the merchant marine. While each party attains one seat for 1 in 120 votes, there is a minimum threshold (recently increased to 2%) for parties to attain their first seat in an election. This requirement aimed to bar smaller parties from parliament but spurred some parties to join together simply to overcome the threshold. The low vote-threshold for entry into parliament, as well as the need for parties with small numbers of seats to form coalition governments, results in a highly fragmented political spectrum, with small parties exercising extensive power (relative to their electoral support) within coalitions.

The president selects the prime minister as the party leader most able to form a government, based on the number of parliament seats his or her coalition has won. After the president's selection, the prime minister has forty-five days to form a government. The Knesset collectively must approve the members of the cabinet. This electoral system, inherited from the Yishuv
Yishuv
The Yishuv or Ha-Yishuv is the term referring to the body of Jewish residents in Palestine before the establishment of the State of Israel...

 (Jewish settlement organization during the British Mandate), makes it very difficult for any party to gain a working majority in the Knesset and thus governments generally form on the basis of coalitions. Due to the difficulties in holding coalitions together, elections often occur earlier than scheduled. The average life-span of an Israeli government is 25 months. Over the years, the peace process, the role of religion in the state, and political scandals have caused coalitions to break apart or have produced early elections.

Judicial system


The Judicial branch is an independent branch of the government, including secular and religious courts for the various religions present
Religion in Israel
Religion in Israel is a central feature of the country and plays a major role in shaping Israeli culture and lifestyle, and religion has played a central role in Israel's history. Israel is also the only country in the world where a majority of citizens are Jewish...

 in Israel. The court system involves three stages of justice.

Judges for all courts are appointed by the President
President of Israel
The President of the State of Israel is the head of state of Israel. The position is largely an apolitical ceremonial figurehead role, with the real executive power lying in the hands of the Prime Minister. The current president is Shimon Peres who took office on 15 July 2007...

 upon nomination by the Judicial Selection Committee
Judicial Selection Committee (Israel)
The Israeli Judicial Committee is the body that nominates Judges for Israeli courts. After their selection the judges are appointed by the President.The committee was established in 1953, following the enactment of the Judges Bill...

. The committee is composed of nine members: two cabinet members (one being the Minister of Justice), two Knesset
Knesset
The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.-Role in Israeli Government :The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister , approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government...

 members, two members of the Israel Bar Association
Israel Bar Association
The Israel Bar Association is the bar association for all Israeli lawyers.The Israel Bar is organized as a corporation, with a Central Committee, a National Assembly and five districts. Membership is mandatory for lawyers licensed in Israel. The top positions are filled by elections held every...

, and three Supreme Court justices (one being the President of the Supreme Court). The committee is chaired by the Minister of Justice.

In December 1985, Israel informed the United Nations Secretariat
United Nations Secretariat
The United Nations Secretariat is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and it is headed by the United Nations Secretary-General, assisted by a staff of international civil servants worldwide. It provides studies, information, and facilities needed by United Nations bodies for...

 that it would no longer accept compulsory International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands...

 jurisdiction.

Judicial courts


Israeli judicial courts consist of a three-tier system:
  • Magistrate Courts serve as the court of first instance
  • District Courts serve as the appellate courts and the court of first instance for some cases;
  • The Supreme Court
    Supreme Court of Israel
    The Supreme Court is at the head of the court system and highest judicial instance in Israel. The Supreme Court sits in Jerusalem.The area of its jurisdiction is all of Israel and the Israeli-occupied territories. A ruling of the Supreme Court is binding upon every court, other than the Supreme...

     is located in Jerusalem and acts as both a court of first instance in matters concerning the legality of decisions of state authorities, and as a supreme appellate court.

Religious courts


Some issues of family law (marriage and divorce in particular) fall either under the jurisdiction of religious courts or under parallel jurisdiction of those and the state's family courts. The state maintains and finances Rabbinical, Sharia and various Canonical courts for the needs of the various religious communities. All judges are civil servants, and required to uphold general law in their tribunals as well. The Supreme Court serves as final appellate instance for all religious courts.

Jewish
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 religious courts are under control of the Prime Minister's Office and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel
Chief Rabbinate of Israel
The Chief Rabbinate of Israel is recognized by law as the supreme halakhic and spiritual authority for the Jewish people in Israel. The Chief Rabbinate Council assists the two chief rabbis, who alternate in its presidency. It has legal and administrative authority to organize religious...

. These courts have jurisdiction in only five areas: Kashrut
Kashrut
Kashrut is the set of Jewish dietary laws. Food in accord with halakha is termed kosher in English, from the Ashkenazi pronunciation of the Hebrew term kashér , meaning "fit" Kashrut (also kashruth or kashrus) is the set of Jewish dietary laws. Food in accord with halakha (Jewish law) is termed...

, Sabbath
Shabbat
Shabbat is the seventh day of the Jewish week and a day of rest in Judaism. Shabbat is observed from a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until a few minutes after when one would expect to be able to see three stars in the sky on Saturday night. The exact times, therefore, differ from...

, Jewish burial, marital
Jewish view of marriage
In Judaism, marriage is viewed as a contractual bond commanded by God in which a man and a woman come together to create a relationship in which God is directly involved. Though procreation is not the sole purpose, a Jewish marriage is also expected to fulfill the commandment to have children. The...

 issues (especially divorce), and Jewish status of immigrants. However, except for determining a person's marital status, all other marital issues may also be taken to secular Family Courts.

The other major religious communities in Israel, such as Muslims
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 and Christians
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, have their own religious courts. These courts have similar jurisdiction over their followers as Jewish religious courts, although Muslim religious courts have more control over family affairs.

Labor courts


There are five regional labor court
Labor court
A labor court is a governmental judiciary body which rules on labor or employment-related matters and disputes. In a number of countries, labor cases are often taken to separate national labor high courts...

s in Israel as a tribunal of first instance, and a National Labor Court in Jerusalem to hear appeals and few cases of national importance. The labor courts have exclusive jurisdiction over cases involving employer-employee relationship, employment, strikes and labor union disputes, labor-related complaints against the National Insurance Institute, and Health Insurance claims.

Military courts


The Israel Defense Forces
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

 (IDF) maintains a series of district military courts and special military tribunals. The Military Court of Appeals is the IDF's supreme appelate court. It considers and judges over appeals submitted by the Military Advocate General
Military Advocate General
The Military Advocate General assists the Israel Defense Forces in imposing rules of conduct through legal advice, legal instruction, maintaining the mechanisms for military prosecution and legal defense, and fulfilling special legal tasks...

, which challenges decisions rendered by the lower courts.

Court of Admiralty


In all matters having to do with admiralty, commercial shipping, accidents at sea, and other maritime matters, the Haifa
Haifa
Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 268,000. Another 300,000 people live in towns directly adjacent to the city including the cities of the Krayot, as well as, Tirat Carmel, Daliyat al-Karmel and Nesher...

 District Court, sitting as the Court of Admiralty, has exclusive statewide jurisdiction.

Membership in International organizations


BSEC
Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation
On 25 June 1992, the Heads of State and Government of eleven countries signed in Istanbul the Summit Declaration and the Bosporus Statement giving birth to the Black Sea Economic Cooperation ...

 (observer), CE
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation...

 (observer), CERN
CERN
The European Organization for Nuclear Research , known as CERN , is an international organization whose purpose is to operate the world's largest particle physics laboratory, which is situated in the northwest suburbs of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border...

 (observer), EBRD
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Founded in 1991, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development uses the tools of investment to help build market economies and democracies in 30 countries from central Europe to central Asia. Its mission was to support the formerly communist countries in the process of establishing their...

, ECE
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe was established in 1947 to encourage economic cooperation among its member states. It is one of five regional commissions under the administrative direction of United Nations headquarters. It has 56 member states, and reports to the UN Economic and...

, FAO
Food and Agriculture Organization
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is a specialised agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and...

, IADB
Inter-American Development Bank
The Inter-American Development Bank is the largest source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean...

, IAEA
International Atomic Energy Agency
The International Atomic Energy Agency is an international organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons. The IAEA was established as an autonomous organization on 29 July 1957...

, IBRD
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development is one of five institutions that compose the World Bank Group. The IBRD is an international organization whose original mission was to finance the reconstruction of nations devastated by World War II. Now, its mission has expanded to fight...

, ICAO
International Civil Aviation Organization
The International Civil Aviation Organization , pronounced , , is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth...

, ICC
International Chamber of Commerce
The International Chamber of Commerce is the largest, most representative business organization in the world. Its hundreds of thousands of member companies in over 130 countries have interests spanning every sector of private enterprise....

, ICFTU
International Confederation of Free Trade Unions
The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions was an international trade union. It came into being on 7 December 1949 following a split within the World Federation of Trade Unions , and was dissolved on 31 October 2006 when it merged with the World Confederation of Labour to form the...

, IDA
International Development Association
The International Development Association , is the part of the World Bank that helps the world’s poorest countries. It complements the World Bank's other lending arm — the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development — which serves middle-income countries with capital investment and...

, IFAD
International Fund for Agricultural Development
The International Fund for Agricultural Development , a specialized agency of the United Nations, was established as an international financial institution in 1977 as one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference. IFAD is dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries...

, IFC
International Finance Corporation
The International Finance Corporation promotes sustainable private sector investment in developing countries.IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States....

, ILO
International Labour Organization
The International Labour Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that deals with labour issues pertaining to international labour standards. Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland. Its secretariat — the people who are employed by it throughout the world — is known as the...

, IMF
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

, IMO
International Maritime Organization
The International Maritime Organization , formerly known as the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization , was established in Geneva in 1948, and came into force ten years later, meeting for the first time in 1959...

, Inmarsat
International Mobile Satellite Organization
The International Mobile Satellite Organization is the intergovernmental organization that oversees certain public satellite safety and security communication services provided via the Inmarsat satellites...

, Intelsat
Intelsat
Intelsat, Ltd. is a communications satellite services provider.Originally formed as International Telecommunications Satellite Organization , it was—from 1964 to 2001—an intergovernmental consortium owning and managing a constellation of communications satellites providing international broadcast...

, Interpol
Interpol
Interpol, whose full name is the International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL, is an organization facilitating international police cooperation...

, IOC
International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee is an international corporation based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre de Coubertin on 23 June 1894 with Demetrios Vikelas as its first president...

, IOM
International Organization for Migration
The International Organization for Migration is an intergovernmental organization. It was initially established in 1951 as the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration to help resettle people displaced by World War II....

, ISO
International Organization for Standardization
The International Organization for Standardization , widely known as ISO, is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. Founded on February 23, 1947, the organization promulgates worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial...

, ITU
International Telecommunication Union
The International Telecommunication Union is the specialized agency of the United Nations which is responsible for information and communication technologies...

, OAS
Organization of American States
The Organization of American States is a regional international organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States...

 (observer), OPCW
Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is an intergovernmental organization, located in The Hague, Netherlands. The organization promotes and verifies the adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention which prohibits of the use of chemical weapons and requires their destruction...

, OECD, OSCE
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe is the world's largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization. Its mandate includes issues such as arms control, human rights, freedom of the press and fair elections...

 (partner), PCA
Permanent Court of Arbitration
The Permanent Court of Arbitration , is an international organization based in The Hague in the Netherlands.-History:The court was established in 1899 as one of the acts of the first Hague Peace Conference, which makes it the oldest institution for international dispute resolution.The creation of...

, UN
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

, UNFM
Union for the Mediterranean
The Union for the Mediterranean is a multilateral partnership that encompasses 43 countries from Europe and the Mediterranean Basin: the 27 member states of the European Union and 16 Mediterranean partner countries from North Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans...

, UNCTAD
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development was established in 1964 as a permanent intergovernmental body. It is the principal organ of the United Nations General Assembly dealing with trade, investment, and development issues....

, UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

, UNHCR
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees , also known as The UN Refugee Agency is a United Nations agency mandated to protect and support refugees at the request of a government or the UN itself and assists in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to...

, UNIDO
United Nations Industrial Development Organization
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization , French/Spanish acronym ONUDI, is a specialized agency in the United Nations system, headquartered in Vienna, Austria...

, UPU
Universal Postal Union
The Universal Postal Union is an international organization that coordinates postal policies among member nations, in addition to the worldwide postal system. The UPU contains four bodies consisting of the Congress, the Council of Administration , the Postal Operations Council and the...

, WCO
World Customs Organization
The World Customs Organization is an intergovernmental organization headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. With its worldwide membership, the WCO is recognized as the voice of the global customs community...

, WHO
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

, WIPO
World Intellectual Property Organization
The World Intellectual Property Organization is one of the 17 specialized agencies of the United Nations. WIPO was created in 1967 "to encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world"....

, WMO
World Meteorological Organization
The World Meteorological Organization is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 189 Member States and Territories. It originated from the International Meteorological Organization , which was founded in 1873...

, WTO
World Tourism Organization
The World Tourism Organization , based in Madrid, Spain, is a United Nations agency dealing with questions relating to tourism. It compiles the World Tourism rankings. The World Tourism Organization is a significant global body, concerned with the collection and collation of statistical information...

, WTO
World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

.

Local government



For governmental purposes, Israel is divided into six districts: Central, Haifa
Haifa District
Haifa District is an administrative district surrounding the city of Haifa, Israel. The district is one of six administrative districts of Israel, and its capital is Haifa...

, Jerusalem
Jerusalem District
The Jerusalem District is one of six administrative districts of Israel. The district capital is Jerusalem. The Jerusalem District has a land area of 652 km². The population of 910,300 is 67.8% Jewish and 30.6% Arab...

, Northern
North District (Israel)
The Northern District is one of Israel's six administrative districts. The Northern District has a land area of 4,478 km², which increases to 4,638  km² when both land and water are included...

, Southern, and Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv District
The Tel Aviv District is the smallest and most densely populated of six administrative districts of Israel with a population of 1.2 million residents...

. The districts are further divided into fifteen sub-districts and fifty natural regions. Administration of the districts is coordinated by the Ministry of Interior.

There are three forms of local government
Local government
Local government refers collectively to administrative authorities over areas that are smaller than a state.The term is used to contrast with offices at nation-state level, which are referred to as the central government, national government, or federal government...

 in Israel: city councils
City council (Israel)
A City council is the official designation of a city within Israel's system of local government.City council status may be granted by the Interior Minister to a municipality, usually a local council, whose population surpasses 20,000 and whose character is urban, defined as having areas zoned for...

, local councils
Local council (Israel)
Local councils are one of the three types of local government found in Israel, with the other two being cities and regional councils. As of 2003, there were 144 local councils in Israel, these being settlements which pass a minimum threshold enough to justify their operations as independent...

, and regional councils
Regional council (Israel)
Regional councils are one of the three types of local government entities found in Israel, with the other two being cities and local councils. As of 2003, there were 53 regional councils in Israel, usually responsible for governing a number of settlements spread across rural areas...

. City councils govern municipalities classified as cities, local councils govern small municipalities, and regional councils govern groups of communities. These bodies are responsible for public services such as urban planning
Urban planning
Urban planning incorporates areas such as economics, design, ecology, sociology, geography, law, political science, and statistics to guide and ensure the orderly development of settlements and communities....

, zoning
Zoning
Zoning is a device of land use planning used by local governments in most developed countries. The word is derived from the practice of designating permitted uses of land based on mapped zones which separate one set of land uses from another...

, the provision of water, emergency services, and education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

 and culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

, as per guidelines of the Ministry of Interior. Local governments consist of a governing council chaired by a mayor
Mayor
In many countries, a Mayor is the highest ranking officer in the municipal government of a town or a large urban city....

. The mayor and all council members are chosen in municipal elections.

The Ministry of Defense
Ministry of Defense (Israel)
The Ministry of Defence of the government of Israel, is the governmental department responsible for defending the State of Israel from internal and external military threats...

 is responsible for the administration of the occupied territories
Israeli-occupied territories
The Israeli-occupied territories are the territories which have been designated as occupied territory by the United Nations and other international organizations, governments and others to refer to the territory seized by Israel during the Six-Day War of 1967 from Egypt, Jordan, and Syria...

.

See also

  • List of political parties in Israel
  • Etrog (political term)
    Etrog (political term)
    Etrog has become an epithet in the Israeli politics for a politician whom journalists prefer not to criticize in order to pave his way to a certain political position, or in order to promote common interests. The first use of this metaphor is attributed to the Israeli journalist Amnon Abramovich...

  • Israeli judicial system
    Israeli judicial system
    The Israeli judicial system consists of secular courts and religious courts. The law courts constitute a separate and independent unit of Israel's Ministry of Justice...

  • List of Knesset members
  • List of Knesset speakers

External links