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The State of Israel
The State of Israel


The State of Israel
Introduction

... in the multitude of advisers there is health.
(Proverbs 11:14)
The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel

The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, signed on May 14, 1948 by the members of the National Advice, which was representing the Jewish community in the country and to the Zionist movement abroad, constitutes the creed of the nation. It includes the historical imperatives of the renaissance of Israel; the frame of the democratic Jewish state based at the freedom, the justice and the peace, in accordance with the vision of the prophets of Israel; and called the mantención of good relations of neighborhood with the surrounding Arab countries, for the benefit of the whole region.

Eretz Israel (the Earth of Israel) was the cradle of the Jewish people. Here there was forged his spiritual, religious and national identity. Here it achieved for the first time his sovereignty, creating cultural values of national and universal meaning, and bequeathed to the world the eternal Book of the Books.

... the Jews tried in every generation to recover in his ancestral homeland.

... they made the desert bloom, re-lived through the Hebrew language, constructed cities and villages, and created a strong society, who controls his own economy and culture, lover of the peace, but capable of defending itself...

The State of Israel will be opened for the Jewish immigration... will promote the development of the country for the benefit of all his inhabitants; it will be based on the beginning of freedom, justice and peace, in view of the educations of the prophets of Israel; he will assure the finished equality of political and social rights to all his inhabitants without difference of creed, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of cult, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all the religions; and it will be faithful at the beginning of the Letter of the United Nations.

We extend our hand to all the nearby states and to his villages in an offer of peace and good neighborhood, and exhort them to establish ties of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people placed in his ground.

The flag of the State of Israel La flag of the State of Israel is based on the design of the Jewish cloak of prayers (taled), with David's shield blue (Maguén David).

The Menorá
The official shield of the State of Israel is a candelabrum (menorá), whose form originated, according to the tradition, from the plant of seven branches moriá. The olive tree branches on both sides represent the wish of the Jewish people for the peace.

The Menorá over the course of time

The Menorá (candelabrum of seven arms) of gold was an important ritual object in the Temple of King Salomón in the ancient Jerusalem. Throughout the years it has served as symbol of the undivided assets and the tradition Jews in countless places and in a variety of forms.

Hatikva - The National anthem

While the heart flutters
of a Jewish soul,
and in the direction of the East
direct the look.
Our hope will not be still lost,
this hope of two thousand years,
of being a free people in our ground,
the Earth of Zion and Jerusalem.

The presidency

Presidential residence The nasí (president), it supports the ancient title of the chief of the Sanhedrín, the supreme judicial and legislative entity of the Jewish people in the Earth of Israel in the ancient times. The president is the head of the State; his charge symbolizes the unit of the state, over the partisan politics. The president, is elect for simple most of the members of the Knéset between the presented candidates, be for his personal capacity or for his contribution to the state. A new legislation (1998) fixes the election of the president for only one period of seven years.

The presidential duties, which are in most cases protocolares and formal, are established by law. They include to open the first meeting of the Knéset; to designate a member of the Knéset to form a new government; to accept the credentials of the foreign envoys; to sign agreements and laws adopted as the Knéset; nomination of judges, of the governor of the Bank of Israel and of the chiefs of the diplomatic missions abroad, in accordance with the recommendation of the pertinent organisms; authorization of pardon to prisoners and commutation of the sorrow, advised by the Minister of Justice. Also, the president carries out civil services and such informal tasks like attending to citizens' appeals, granting prestige to community organizations and reinforcing campaigns to improve the quality of life in the society in general.

Presidents of Israel
Jaim Weizmann (1949-52), scientific Zionist, prominent leader
Itzjak Ben Tzvi (1952-63), chief of the Jewish Agency, historian
Zalman Shazar (1963-73), politician, student, historian, writer, poet
Efraim Katzir (1973-78), renowned biochemist
Itzjak Navón (1978-83), politician, educator, writer
Jaim Herzog (1983-93), lawyer, general of army, diplomat, writer
Ezer Weizman (1993-2000), general of the Air Force, political company man
Moshé Katsav (2000-), social, political leader

Executive power: the government

Office of the ministers headed by the Prime minister The executive authority of the state is the government (the ministers' office), been in charge to administer the internal and external matters, including safety matters. His political powers are very wide and it is authorized to operate in any matter that is not delegated by law to another authority. 
The government determines its own procedures of work and capture of resolutions. Generally it meets once per week, but additional meetings can be quoted in case of being necessary. Also, it can act by means of ministerial commissions.

Up to the date, all the governments have based on coalitions of several parties, since no party has managed to receive enough bankings in the Knéset to be able to form government himself. 

To form a government, the elected prime minister must present, within a period of 45 days from the publication of the results of the elections, a list of the ministers for his approval on the part of the Knéset, as well as the proposed government rules. 

Once approved, the ministers are responsible before the prime minister of the fulfillment of his duties and the Knéset of his actions they must report to. Most of the ministers are holders of a portfolio and they head a department; the ministers without portfolio, can be entrusted to assume the responsibility for specific projects. The prime minister can practise also as starter of portfolio. 

The number of the ministers, including to the prime minister, can be major neither than 18, nor minor of eight. At least half of the ministers must be members of the Knéset, but they all must fulfill the requisites to be able to be chosen as such. The prime minister, or another minister with the approval of the prime minister, can nominate all members of the Knéset vice-ministers, up to a whole of six. 

As the Knéset, the government in general practises for four years, but his period can be shy for the resignation or death of the prime minister or for a vote of suspicion of the Knéset. The prime minister and the ministers of a projecting government continue in his functions until a new prime minister and a new government initiate his exercise.

If the prime minister turns out to be disabled of continuing his exercise due to death, he resigns, accusation or a vote of suspicion of the Knéset, the government names one of his members (who also must be a member of the Knéset) like prime minister in exercise; this one assumes all the powers of the charge except the authority to dissolve the Kneset. Other ministers keep on fulfilling his duties until he is elected a new prime minister and assumes the charge. 

The first Ministers of Israel

David Ben Gurión (1948-53) 
Moshé Sharett (1954-55) 
David Ben Gurión (1955-63) 
Leví Eshkol (1963-69) 
Golda Meir (1969-74) 
Itzjak Rabín (1974-77 and 1992-95) 
Menajem Beguin (1977-83) 
Itzjak Shamir (1983-84 and 1986-95) 
Shimón Peres (1984-86 and 1995-96) 
Benjamín Netaniahu (1996-1999)
Ehud Barak (1999-2001)
Ariel Sharon (2001-)


Elections

The elections are general, national, direct, equal, secret and proportional. The entire country is considered to be only one electoral district and all the citizens have right to vote from 18 years of age. The day of the elections, the voters express a vote for a political party that will represent it in the Knéset.

The day of the elections is of national day off, it offers to itself free transport to the voters who this day are out of his electoral district, and install urns to him for military personnel, hospitalized patients and recluses, as well as for officials of the merchant marina and Israelis that fulfill official functions abroad. A central electoral committee headed by a judge of the Supreme Court and constituted by representatives of all the parties that have bankings in the Knéset, is responsible for the achievement of the elections. Regional electoral committees supervise the functioning of the committees of local urns, which there include representatives of at least three parties of the projecting Knéset. Up to the date, in all the elections, between 77 and 90 per cent of all the registered voters have expressed his vote, expressing the big interest of most of the Israelis in his national and local politics.

The elections to the Knéset are based on the vote to a list of party and not for an individual in particular, and the big quantity of political parties that postulate the Knéset they reflect a wide scale of positions and ideologies. Two principal parties - the Likud, basically national - liberal, and the Labour Party member, essentially social democrat - have roots and traditions previous to the establishment of the state in 1948 and both began crystallizing in his current form in 1965. In the last years they have happened to be more and more populist and relatively pragmatic compared to the parties that are to his left and right. No party has ever obtained most of the bankings of the Knéset. During decades, the together Labour Movement and the Likud were supporting about two third parts of the benches and the rest of the bankings was distributed between smaller parties, which reflect an opinions variety with regard to safety, social matters, religion and economy. Nevertheless, in the elections of 1999 two big parties obtained less than half of the bankings, and the small parties increased his force.

Previously to the elections, every party presents his platform and lists of candidates for the Knéset in order of precedence, determined by means of diverse internal procedures; the candidates must be Israeli citizens older than 21 years. The president, the comptroller of the State, the judges and tall civil servants, as well as the Chief of Staff of the Army and the official high places of the same one, cannot present his candidacy, unless they have resigned from his charges at least 100 days before the elections.

The parties represented in the projecting Knéset can be automatically reelect; the new parties can present lists of candidates obtaining the signatures of 2.500 persons with right to vote and doing a deposit that is reimbursed to them if they achieve at least 1,5 per cent of the national voting, which grants them a banking in the Knéset. The bankings of the Knéset are assigned to every party proportionally to the percentage of the national whole of votes. The surpluses of votes of a party, insufficient to obtain an additional bench, are redistributed between the diverse parties in accordance with his proportional size, or as it has been agreed by the parties before the elections. A monetary allocation of public funds is granted to every party to settle the electoral campaign, based on the quantity of benches with which the projecting Knéset is provided in. The new parties get retroactively a similar allocation for every elect member. The comptroller of the State verifies all the payments and expenses of the campaign.


Judicial power

The Supreme Court
The independence of the judicial power is guaranteed by the law. The judges are named by the president according to recommendation of a special commission of nine members, formed by judges of the Supreme Court, members of the Bar and public figures. The appointments are life, with an obligatory retirement 70 years after age.

Court of Magistrates
(1 judge) civil Cases and insignificant criminal crimes; jurisdiction in civil and criminal cases. 
Court of District
(1 or 3 judges) appeal Spanish Parliament for the mistakes expressed by the courts of magistrate; original jurisdiction for civil and criminal cases of major quantity. 
Supreme Court
(1, 3 or 5 judges or even a major odd number) Last national appeals instance; he has right to attend to cases in which it is necessary to intervene for the good of the justice; authority to liberate individuals arrested or imprisoned illegally; sesionando since Supreme Court attends to action orders against any entity or agent of the government, and is the court of the first and last instance. 
Special courts
(1 judge) Courts of transit, of the work, juvenile and municipal, with clearly definite jurisdictions; administrative tribunals. 
Religious courts
(1 or 3 judges) Jurisdiction in matters of personal status (marriage, divorce, maintenance, tutorship, adoption), granted to the judicial institutions of the respective religious communities: rabbinical courts for Jews; courts sharia for Muslims, polite religious drusas; ecclesiastic courts of ten Christian communities recognized in Israel.

Local government

The services given by the local government include education, culture, health, social welfare, mantención of public ways, it waters down, and public hygiene. Every local authority works by means of ordinances, which complement the national laws and must be approved by the Department of the Interior. Some authorities are provided with special courts in which one treats the trasgresores of the local ordinances. The financing of the local authorities comes from municipal taxes and from allocations of the government. Every authority is provided with a comptroller who prepares an annual report.

The law recognizes three types of local authorities: municipalities, which provide the frame for urban centers of more than 20.000 inhabitants; local councils that direct villages with a population between 2.000 and 20.000 inhabitants; and regional councils that are responsible for several villages grouped inside certainly I remove. Every local authority is administered by a mayor or chief and a council. The number of members of the council is determined by the Department of the Interior, in accordance with the population of the authority. At present there are 69 municipalities, 141 local councils and 54 regional councils.

All the municipalities and local councils are joined, in voluntary form, in a central body, the Union of Local Authorities, which represents them before the government, he watches the excellent legislation in the Knéset, and provides orientation in matters like labor agreements and legal matters. Affiliated to the International Association of Municipalities, the Union supports relations with similar organizations in all the world, concerta programs of twin cities and of exchange of international delegations.

Local elections

The elections for the local government are realized by secret voting every five years. All the permanent residents, although they are not Israeli citizens, of a certain authority, can vote in the local elections from 18 years, and can be elect from the 21.

The elections to the town councils and the places are realized by lists of parties, obtaining every list a bankings quantity in the council in accordance with the percentage of received votes. The mayors and the chiefs of local councils are chosen by direct voting.

In the elections to the regional councils, he is elected a candidate by every village for simple relative majority and the elect ones happen to be members of the council. The chiefs of regional councils are chosen of between the members of the regional council.

The local elections are financed by governmental allocation, based on the number of orders that every faction or list gains in the local authority.


Forces of Defense of Israel (FDI)

The FDI, founded in 1948, is one of the armed forces with major combative training in the world, be had one to defend to the country in five important wars. At present, the safety targets of the FDI are to defend the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the State of Israel, to dissuade all the enemies and to suppress all the forms of terrorism that commit an outrage against the everyday life. His principal tasks include to consolidate the peace arrangements; to guarantee the global safety in the Western Margin and the Stripe of Gaza in coordination with the Authority Palestine; to fight against the terrorism, both inside Israel and beyond his borders; and to support an aptitude of dissuasion to avoid the hostilidades explosion.

To assure his success, the doctrine of the FDI at strategic level is defensive, while his tactics are offensive. Due to the absence of territorial depth of the country, the FDI must take the initiative when it seems to be necessary, and, in case of being attacked, transferring quickly the battlefield to hostile territory. Although they have been always overcome numerically by his enemies, the FDI supports a qualitative advantage, opening advanced, great systems of armament of which they are developed and made in Israel for his specific needs. The principal resource of the FDI, nevertheless, is the high quality of his soldiers.

Prepared for the defense, the FDI supports a small permanent army (formed by conscripts and personnel of career) with capacity of regular early warning, and an air and marine force. A most of his force there are reservists, who are called regularly to training and service, and who, in times of war or of crisis, are mobilized quickly to his units from the whole country

Three military branches of the FDI (ground forces, air and marine force) work under a command unified, headed by the biggest head of state, with the grade of general lieutenant, who is responsible before the Minister of Defence. The biggest head of state is named by the government, on recommendation of the prime minister and the Minister of Defence, by a period of three years that usually extends for an additional year.

Out of the cases that imply combat obligation, welded males and women of all the status serve shoulder to shoulder like technical staff, specialists in communications and intelligence, combat instructors, cartographers, clerical staff and of batman, operators of computers, doctors, lawyers and other similar tasks.

The FDI is responsible for the education and the social needs of his soldiers, with recreational and cultural activities, as well as services of personal support. The recruits who have an incomplete educational level receive opportunities to raise his level, and the career officials are stimulated after the FDI continued a career at the expense of during his service. The integration of immigrant soldiers is facilitated by means of special courses of Hebrew language and other programs. You activate from his creation in the company of nation building, the FDI offers also therapeutic and supplementary education to civil populations, and contributes to the absorption of the newly arrived persons in the general population. In times of crisis or national emergency, the FDI answers immediately and assigns personnel trained to fulfill essential tasks or to carry out special missions.

Service periods in the FDI:

Obligatory service: All the males and women are recruited at the age of 18. The males serve three years and the women, twenty-one months. Outstanding students of institutions of secondary education can obtain deferment. New immigrants can receive deferment or serve for shorter periods, depending on his age and personal status on having entered to the country.

Reservations service: As soon as the obligatory service was finished, every soldier is assigned to a reservation unit. The males up to 51 years of age serve 39 days a year, period that can be extended in emergency times. 

Military career: Soldiers who have finished his obligatory military service and the FDI answers to the existing needs in that he can sign to serve like officials or subofficials of career. The military career service constitutes the spine of command and administration of the FDI. Postgraduates of schools of officials or pilots, or of special technical military schools they are requested to sign to serve like career soldiers.


Source: MFA - Foreign Office of Israel








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