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Government (66)[1]

     Likud
Likud
(30)      Kulanu
Kulanu
(10)      The Jewish Home
The Jewish Home
(8)

     Tkuma (2)

     Shas
Shas
(7)      United Torah Judaism
United Torah Judaism
(6)

     Agudat Yisrael
Agudat Yisrael
(4)      Degel HaTorah (2)

     Yisrael Beiteinu
Yisrael Beiteinu
(5)

Opposition (54)

     Zionist Union
Zionist Union
(24)

     Labor (19)      Hatnuah
Hatnuah
(5)

     Green Movement (1)

     Joint List
Joint List
(13)

     Hadash
Hadash
(5)      Balad (3)      Ra'am (3)      Ta'al
Ta'al
(2)

     Yesh Atid
Yesh Atid
(11)      Meretz
Meretz
(5)      Independent (1)

Elections

Voting system

Party-list proportional representation D'Hondt method

Last election

17 March 2015

Next election

2019 or earlier

Meeting place

Knesset, Givat Ram, West Jerusalem, Israel

Website

www.knesset.gov.il

The Knesset
Knesset
(Hebrew: הַכְּנֶסֶת‬ [haˈkneset] ( listen); lit. the gathering[2] or assembly; Arabic: الكنيست‎ al-K(e)neset) is the unicameral national legislature of Israel. As the legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset
Knesset
passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister (although the latter is ceremonially appointed by the President), approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government. In addition, the Knesset
Knesset
elects the State Comptroller. It also has the power to waive the immunity of its members, remove the President and the State Comptroller from office, dissolve the government in a constructive vote of no confidence, and to dissolve itself and call new elections. The Prime Minister may also dissolve the Knesset. However, until an election is completed, the Knesset maintains authority in its current composition.[3] The Knesset
Knesset
is located in Givat Ram, Western Jerusalem.

Contents

1 Name 2 Role in Israeli government 3 Committees 4 Size 5 Elections 6 Functioning 7 History

7.1 Location and construction timeline 7.2 Knesset
Knesset
assemblies

8 Tourism 9 Security 10 Public perception 11 See also 12 References 13 External links

Name[edit] The term "Knesset" is derived from the ancient Knesset
Knesset
HaGdola (Hebrew: כְּנֶסֶת הַגְּדוֹלָה‎) or "Great Assembly", which according to Jewish tradition was an assembly of 120 scribes, sages, and prophets, in the period from the end of the Biblical prophets to the time of the development of Rabbinic Judaism – about two centuries ending c. 200 BCE.[4] There is, however, no organisational continuity and – aside from the number of members – little similarity, as the ancient Knesset
Knesset
was a religious, completely unelected body. Role in Israeli government[edit] As the legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the president, approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government through its committees. It also has the power to waive the immunity of its members, remove the President and the State Comptroller from office, and to dissolve itself and call new elections. The Knesset
Knesset
has de jure parliamentary supremacy, and can pass any law by a simple majority, even one that might arguably conflict with the Basic Laws of Israel, unless the basic law includes specific conditions for its modification; in accordance with a plan adopted in 1950, the Basic Laws can be adopted and amended by the Knesset, acting in its capacity as a Constituent Assembly.[5] In addition to the absence of a formal constitution, and with no Basic Law
Law
thus far being adopted which formally grants a power of judicial review to the judiciary, the Supreme Court of Israel
Israel
has in recent years asserted its authority, when sitting as the High Court of Justice, to invalidate provisions of Knesset
Knesset
laws it has found to be inconsistent with a Basic Law.[5] The Knesset
Knesset
is presided over by a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker. Committees[edit]

Israel

This article is part of a series on the politics and government of Israel

Constitution

Basic Laws

Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Law Law
Law
of Return

Presidency

President (list)

Reuven Rivlin

Designated Acting President

Yuli-Yoel Edelstein

Executive

Prime Minister (list)

Benjamin Netanyahu

Office of the Prime Minister Deputy leaders Cabinet

Current (34th)

Security Cabinet Kitchen Cabinet

State Comptroller

Legislature

Speaker: Yuli Edelstein Members (Arab) Leader of the Opposition

Isaac Herzog

Knesset
Knesset
Guard

Elections

Political parties Elections Law Central Elections Committee Referendums

Judiciary

Supreme Court

President: Esther Hayut

Attorney General

Avichai Mandelblit

Administrative divisions

Districts Local government

Municipalities Local councils Regional councils

Foreign relations

Arab League

International law Status of territories Israel, Palestine, United Nations

Israel
Israel
and the European Union Ambassadors

Other countries Atlas

v t e

The Knesset
Knesset
is divided into committees, which amend bills on the appropriate subjects. Committee chairpersons are chosen by their members, on recommendation of the House Committee, and their factional composition represents that of the Knesset
Knesset
itself. Committees may elect sub-committees and delegate powers to them, or establish joint committees for issues concerning more than one committee. To further their deliberations, they invite government ministers, senior officials, and experts in the matter being discussed. Committees may request explanation and information from any relevant ministers in any matter within their competence, and the ministers or persons appointed by them must provide the explanation or information requested.[3] There are four types of committees in the Knesset. Permanent committees amend proposed legislation dealing with their area of expertise, and may initiate legislation. However, such legislation may only deal with Basic Laws and laws dealing with the Knesset, elections to the Knesset, Knesset
Knesset
members, or the State Comptroller. Special committees function in a similar manner to permanent committees, but are appointed to deal with particular manners at hand, and can be dissolved or turned into permanent committees. Parliamentary inquiry committees are appointed by the plenum to deal with issues viewed as having special national importance. In addition, there are two types of committees that convene only when needed: the Interpretations Committee, made up of the Speaker and eight members chosen by the House Committee, deals with appeals against the interpretation given by the Speaker during a sitting of the plenum to the Knesset
Knesset
rules of procedure or precedents, and Public Committees, established to deal with issues that are connected to the Knesset.[6][7] Permanent committees:

House Committee Finance Committee Economic Affairs Committee Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Interior and Environment Committee Immigration, Absorption, and Diaspora Affairs Committee Education, Culture, and Sports Committee Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee Labour, Welfare, and Health Committee Science and Technology Committee State Control Committee Committee on the Status of Women

Special
Special
committees:

Committee on Drug Abuse Committee on the Rights of the Child Committee on Foreign Workers Israeli Central Elections Committee Public Petitions Committee

The other committees are the Arrangements Committee and the Ethics Committee. The Ethics Committee is responsible for jurisdiction over Knesset
Knesset
members who violate the rules of ethics of the Knesset, or involved in illegal activities outside the Knesset. Within the framework of responsibility, the Ethics Committee may place various sanctions on a member, but is not allowed to restrict a members' right to vote. The Arrangements Committee proposes the makeup of the permanent committees following each election, as well as suggesting committee chairs, lays down the sitting arrangements of political parties in the Knesset, and the distribution of rooms in the Knesset building to members and parties.[8] Size[edit]

Knesset
Knesset
chamber, celebrating 61 years of the Knesset

The Knesset
Knesset
numbers 120 members, after the size of the Great Assembly. The subject of Knesset
Knesset
membership has often been a cause for proposed reforms. In 1996, then-Justice Minister Yossi Beilin, backed the ultimately unsuccessful institution of the so-called "Norwegian law", which would require appointed members of the cabinet to resign their seats in the Knesset
Knesset
and allow other members of their parties to take their positions while they serve in the cabinet; this would have resulted in more active members of the legislature being present in regular sessions and committee meetings. This proposed law has also been favoured by other politicians, including Benjamin Netanyahu.[9] Elections[edit]

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Main article: Elections in Israel The 120 members of the Knesset
Knesset
(MKs)[10] are popularly elected from a single nationwide electoral district to concurrent four-year terms, subject to calls for early elections (which are quite common). All Israeli citizens 18 years or older may vote in legislative elections, which are conducted by secret ballot. Knesset
Knesset
seats are allocated among the various parties using the D'Hondt method of party list proportional representation. A party or electoral alliance must pass the election threshold of 3.25%[11] of the overall vote to be allocated a Knesset
Knesset
seat. Parties select their candidates using a closed list. Thus, voters select the party of their choice, not any specific candidate. The electoral threshold was previously set at 1% from 1949 to 1992, then 1.5% from 1992 to 2003, and then 2% until March 2014 when the current threshold of 3.25% was passed (effective with elections for the 20th Knesset).[12] As a result of the low threshold, a typical Knesset
Knesset
has 10 or more factions represented. With such a large number of parties, it is nearly impossible for one party or faction to govern alone, let alone win a majority. No party or faction has ever won the 61 seats necessary for a majority; the closest being the 56 seats won by the Alignment in the 1969 elections (the Alignment had briefly held 63 seats going into the 1969 elections after being formed shortly beforehand by the merger of several parties, the only occasion on which any party or faction has ever held a majority). Every Israeli government has been a coalition of two or more parties. After an election, the President meets with the leaders of every party that won Knesset
Knesset
seats and asks them to recommend which party leader should form the government. The President then nominates the party leader who is most likely to command the support of a majority in the Knesset
Knesset
(it is not required that the leader be from the party that won the most seats), and they have 42 days to put together a viable coalition. The Prime Minister-designate must then win a vote of confidence in the Knesset
Knesset
before taking office. Functioning[edit] Despite numerous motions of no confidence being tabled in the Knesset, a government has only been defeated by one once,[13] when Yitzhak Shamir's government was brought down on 15 March 1990 as part of a plot that became known as the dirty trick (Hebrew: התרגיל המסריח, HaTargil HaMasriaḥ, lit. the stinking trick). However, several governments have resigned as a result of no-confidence motions, even when they were not defeated. These include the fifth government, which fell after Prime Minister Moshe Sharett resigned in June 1955 following the abstention of the General Zionists (part of the governing coalition) during a vote of no-confidence;[14] the ninth government, which fell after Prime Minister Ben-Gurion resigned in January 1961 over a motion of no-confidence on the Lavon Affair;[15] and the seventeenth government, which resigned in December 1976 after the National Religious Party (part of the governing coalition) abstained in a motion of no-confidence against the government. History[edit]

Historic engraving on the Frumin House, King George St., Jerusalem

The Knesset
Knesset
first convened on February 14, 1949, following the 20 January elections, replacing the Provisional State Council
Provisional State Council
which acted as Israel's official legislature from its date of independence on May 14, 1948 and succeeding the Assembly of Representatives that had functioned as the Jewish community's representative body during the Mandate era. The Knesset
Knesset
compound sits on a hilltop in western Jerusalem
Jerusalem
in a district known as Sheikh Badr
Sheikh Badr
before the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, now Givat Ram. The main building was financed by James de Rothschild as a gift to the State of Israel
Israel
in his will and was completed in 1966. It was built on land leased from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem.[16] Over the years, significant additions to the structure were constructed, however, these were built at levels below and behind the main 1966 structure as not to detract from the original assembly building's appearance. Before the construction of its permanent home, the Knesset
Knesset
met in the Jewish Agency
Jewish Agency
building in Jerusalem, the Kessem Cinema building in Tel Aviv and the Froumine building in Jerusalem.[17] Location and construction timeline[edit]

The Knesset
Knesset
in winter

February 14, 1949: First meeting of the Constituent Assembly, Jewish Agency, Jerusalem March 8, 1949 – December 14, 1949: Kessem Cinema in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
(the Opera Tower, Migdal HaOpera, is situated there today) December 26, 1949 – March 8, 1950: Jewish Agency, Jerusalem March 13, 1950: Froumine Building, King George Street, Jerusalem. 1950–1955: Israeli government holds architectural competitions for the permanent Knesset
Knesset
building 1955: Government approves plans to build the Knesset
Knesset
in its current location 1957: James de Rothschild informs Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion
David Ben-Gurion
of his desire to finance the construction of the building October 14, 1958: Cornerstone-laying for new Knesset
Knesset
building August 31, 1966: Dedication of new building (during the sixth Knesset) 1981: Construction of new wing begins 1992: New wing opens 2001: Construction starts on a large new wing that essentially doubles the overall floorspace of the Knesset
Knesset
compound. 2007: New large wing opens

Knesset
Knesset
assemblies[edit] Each Knesset
Knesset
session is known by its election number. Thus the Knesset elected by Israel's first election in 1949 is known as the First Knesset. The current Knesset, elected in 2015, is the Twentieth Knesset.

First Knesset
Knesset
(1949–1951) Second Knesset
Knesset
(1951–1955) Third Knesset
Knesset
(1955–1959) Fourth Knesset
Knesset
(1959–1961) Fifth Knesset
Knesset
(1961–1965) Sixth Knesset
Knesset
(1965–1969) Seventh Knesset
Knesset
(1969–1974) Eighth Knesset
Knesset
(1974–1977) Ninth Knesset
Knesset
(1977–1981) Tenth Knesset
Knesset
(1981–1984) Eleventh Knesset
Knesset
(1984–1988) Twelfth Knesset
Knesset
(1988–1992) Thirteenth Knesset
Knesset
(1992–1996) Fourteenth Knesset
Knesset
(1996–1999) Fifteenth Knesset
Knesset
(1999–2003) Sixteenth Knesset
Knesset
(2003–2006) Seventeenth Knesset
Knesset
(2006–2009) Eighteenth Knesset
Knesset
(2009–2013) Nineteenth Knesset
Knesset
(2013–2015) Twentieth Knesset
Knesset
(2015–present)

Tourism[edit] The Knesset
Knesset
holds morning tours in Hebrew, English, French, Spanish, Arabic, German and Russian, on Sunday and Thursday and there are also live session viewing times on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday mornings.[18] Security[edit]

A member of the Knesset
Knesset
Guard

The Knesset
Knesset
is protected by the Knesset
Knesset
Guard, a protective security unit responsible for the security of the Knesset
Knesset
building and Knesset members. Guards are stationed outside the building to provide armed protection, and ushers are stationed inside to maintain order. The Knesset Guard
Knesset Guard
also plays a ceremonial role, participating in state ceremonies which includes greeting dignitaries on Mount Herzl
Mount Herzl
on the eve of Israeli Independence Day. Public perception[edit] A poll conducted by the Israeli Democracy Institute
Israeli Democracy Institute
in April and May 2014 showed that while a majority of both Jews and Arabs in Israel
Israel
are proud to be citizens of the country, both groups share a distrust of Israel's government, including the Knesset. Almost three quarters of Israelis surveyed said corruption in Israel’s political leadership was either "widespread or somewhat prevalent." A majority of both Arabs and Jews trusted the Israel
Israel
Defense Forces, the President of Israel
Israel
and the Supreme Court of Israel, but Jews and Arabs reported similar levels of mistrust, with little more than a third of each group claiming confidence in the Knesset.[19] See also[edit]

Israel
Israel
portal

Great Assembly Elections in Israel Politics of Israel Knesset
Knesset
Guard List of Arab members of the Knesset List of Knesset
Knesset
members List of Knesset
Knesset
speakers List of legislatures by country

References[edit]

^ News announcing coalition ^ The Oxford Dictionary of English, Oxford University Press, 2005 ^ a b The Knesset. Jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved September 8, 2011. ^ Synagogue, The Great (Heb. כְּנֶסֶת הַגְּדוֹלָה, Keneset ha-Gedolah) Jewish Virtual Library ^ a b "Basic Laws - Introduction". Knesset. Retrieved 2010-03-05.  ^ Legislation. Knesset.gov.il. Retrieved September 8, 2011. ^ Knesset
Knesset
Committees. Knesset.gov.il. Retrieved September 8, 2011. ^ The Organisation of the Work of the Knesset. Knesset.gov.il (February 17, 2003). Retrieved September 8, 2011. ^ Netanyahu considering forcing ministers to vacate Knesset
Knesset
seats Haaretz, 13 February 2009 ^ "All 120 incoming Knesset
Knesset
members". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 2017-06-06.  ^ www.knesset.gov.il ^ Lis, Jonathan (12 March 2014). " Israel
Israel
raises electoral threshold to 3.25 percent". Haaretz. Retrieved 8 January 2015.  ^ The Plenum - Motions of No-Confidence Knesset
Knesset
website ^ Factional and Government Make-Up of the Second Knesset
Knesset
Knesset website ^ Factional and Government Make-Up of the Fourth Knesset
Knesset
Knesset website ^ Defacement in Jerusalem
Jerusalem
monastery threatens diplomatic crisis Haaretz, October 8, 2006 ^ Beit Froumine. Knesset.gov.il (August 30, 1966). Retrieved September 8, 2011. ^ Knesset
Knesset
Times to Visit. Knesset.gov.il. Retrieved September 8, 2011. ^ "Tamar Pileggi 'Jews and Arabs proud to be Israeli, distrust government: Poll conducted before war shows marked rise in support for state among Arabs; religious establishment scores low on trust' (4 Jan 2015) The Times of Israel" http://www.timesofisrael.com/jews-and-arabs-proud-to-be-israeli-distrust-government/

External links[edit]

Official website

v t e

Elections in Israel

Parliamentary elections

1920* 1923** 1925* 1931* 1944* 1949 1951 1955 1959 1961 1965 1969 1973 1977 1981 1984 1988 1992 1996 1999 2003 2006 2009 2013 2015 next

Prime ministerial elections

1996 1999 2001

Municipal elections

1950 1955 1959 1965 1969 1973 1978 1983 1989 1993 1998 2003 2008 2013 2018

* Assembly of Representatives elections   ** Legislative Council elections

v t e

Members of the Knesset
Knesset
by term

1 (1949–51) 2 (1951–55) 3 (1955–59) 4 (1959–61) 5 (1961–65) 6 (1965–69) 7 (1969–74) 8 (1974–77) 9 (1977–81) 10 (1981–84) 11 (1984–88) 12 (1988–92) 13 (1992–96) 14 (1996–99) 15 (1999–2003) 16 (2003–06) 17 (2006–09) 18 (2009–2013) 19 (2013–2015) 20 (2015–)

v t e

Parliaments of Asia

Sovereign states

Afghanistan Armenia Azerbaijan Bahrain Bangladesh Bhutan Brunei Cambodia China Cyprus East Timor (Timor-Leste) Egypt Georgia India Indonesia Iran Iraq Israel Japan Jordan Kazakhstan North Korea South Korea Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Lebanon Malaysia Maldives Mongolia Myanmar Nepal Oman Pakistan Philippines Qatar Russia Saudi Arabia Singapore Sri Lanka Syria Tajikistan Thailand Turkey Turkmenistan United Arab Emirates Uzbekistan Vietnam Yemen

States with limited recognition

Abkhazia Artsakh Northern Cyprus Palestine South Ossetia Taiwan

Dependencies and other territories

British Indian Ocean Territory Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Hong Kong Macau

v t e

National unicameral legislatures

Federal

Comoros Iraq Federated States of Micronesia United Arab Emirates Venezuela

Unitary

Albania Andorra Angola Armenia Azerbaijan Bangladesh Benin Botswana Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Faso Cape Verde Central African Republic Chad China Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Denmark Djibouti Dominica East Timor Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Eritrea Estonia Fiji Finland Gambia Georgia Ghana Greece Guatemala Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Honduras Hungary Iceland Iran Israel Kiribati North Korea South Korea Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macedonia Malawi Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Mauritania Mauritius Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Mozambique Nauru New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Norway Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Peru Portugal Qatar Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino São Tomé and Príncipe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Solomon Islands Sri Lanka Suriname Sweden Syria Tanzania Thailand Togo Tonga Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine Vanuatu Vatican City Vietnam Yemen Zambia

Dependent and other territories

Åland Islands Anguilla Aruba British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Curaçao Falkland Islands Faroe Islands French Polynesia Gibraltar Greenland Guam Guernsey Hong Kong Jersey Macau Montserrat New Caledonia Pitcairn Islands Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena Saint Martin Saint Pierre and Miquelon Sint Maarten Tokelau Turks and Caicos Islands U.S. Virgin Islands Wales Wallis and Futuna

Non-UN states

Abkhazia Artsakh Cook Islands Kosovo Niue Northern Cyprus Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic South Ossetia Taiwan Transnistria

Historical

Czechoslovakia (1948–1969) Irish Republic (1919–22) Scotland Sicily South African Republic

Related

Bicameralism List of legislatures by country

National bicameral legislatures National lower houses National upper houses

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 140374502 LCCN: n81034943 ISNI: 0000 0004 0631 3657 GND: 506404-1

Coordinates: 31°46′36″N 35°12′19″E / 31.77667°N 35.20528°E /

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