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The Knesset is the legislative branch of the Zionist regime. The Knesset enacts laws, elects the president and prime minister (although he or she is ceremonially appointed by the President), supervises the work of the government, reserves the power to remove the President of the State and the State Comptroller from office and to dissolve itself and call new elections.

The Knesset first convened on 14 February 1949, following the 20 January elections, succeeding the Assembly of Representatives that had functioned as the Jewish community's parliament during the Mandate era. Every 4 years (or sooner if an early election is called, as is often the case), 120 members of the Knesset (MKs) are elected by Israeli citizens who must be at least 18 years old to vote. The Government of Israel must be approved by a majority vote of the Knesset.

The 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; in accordance with a plan adopted in 1950, the Basic Laws have themselves been adopted (and occasionally amended) over the course of the years by the Knesset, acting in its capacity as a Constituent Assembly. In practice, the Knesset's ability to legislate has often been limited in consequence of the system of low-threshold party list proportional representation, which has tended to produce governments formed of unstable coalitions of multiple factions. Also, even though no Basic Law adopted thus far has formally granted a power of judicial review to the courts, the Supreme Court of Israel has in recent years asserted its authority, when sitting as the High Court of Justice, to invalidate provisions of laws it finds to be inconsistent with a Basic Law.[1][2]

Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.


  1. Basic Laws
  2. Models of Judicial Review Constitution for Israel