Israel flag Israel: Economic and Political Overview

The political framework of Israel

Political Outline

Current Political Leaders
President: Isaac HERZOG (since 7 July 2021)
Prime minister-designate : Naftali BENNETT (since 13 June 2021)
Next Election Dates
Presidential: 2028
Parliament: 2025
Current Political Context
Embroiled in a political crisis involving the two leaders Netanyahu, head of the Likud party, and Gantz, leader of the Blue and White party, Israel hold four elections in two years. In June 2021, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who dominated the political scene for more than a decade, was unseated by Naftali Bennett. Bennett formed a very disparate coalition, including the participation of an Arab-Israeli party. A rotating system is in place, allowing Bennett to remain as prime minister until August 2023 before being succeeded by Alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (CIA World Factbook). The government approved the 2021 and 2022 budgets in November, averting snap elections (Focus Economics).

Internationally, apart from persistent tensions with the Palestinian Territories, the risk of conflict with Iran and its allies has increased following the assassination on orders of US President Donald Trump of the powerful Iranian general Ghassem Suleimani on 3 January 2020. In October 2020, Lebanon and Israel, formally still at war after decades of conflict (since 2006), began talks to address a long-running dispute over their maritime border crossing the potentially gas-rich waters of the Mediterranean. Israel also signed normalization agreements with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco in late 2020 and with Sudan in early 2021 (CIA World Factbook).

Main Political Parties
The Israeli political system is based on proportional representation. No party is in a position to assume power independently, so political groups often co-operate and form coalition governments. The main political parties are:
- Likud: National Liberal Party, right-wing, nationalist
- Blue and White: centre, liberal
- Zionist Union: centre-left
- Joint List: consists of Arab parties
- Yesh Atid: centre, liberal
- Kulanu: centre, focuses on economic egalitarianism
Executive Power
The President is Head of the State and is elected by the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, for a seven-year term. His/Her role is essentially ceremonial. The President chooses the leader of the party or majority coalition in the Knesset to exercise the functions of the Prime Minister for a four-year term. The Prime Minister is head of the Government and holds the executive power, including the execution of the law and the management of the country's current affairs. The Cabinet is chosen by the Prime Minister before being approved by the Knesset.
Legislative Power
Legislative power is Israel is unicameral. The Knesset (parliament) consists of 120 members, elected by universal suffrage for a four-year term. The Knesset can decide to be dissolved by a simple majority through a vote of no confidence. The Prime Minister cannot dissolve or veto the Knesset. Israeli citizens have significant political rights.
 

Indicator of Freedom of the Press

Definition:

The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:
86/180
 

Indicator of Political Freedom

Definition:

The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Ranking:
Free
Political Freedom:
2/7

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House

 

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Latest Update: November 2022