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Israel Government 2020

SOURCE: 2020 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK AND OTHER SOURCES











Israel Government 2020
SOURCE: 2020 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK AND OTHER SOURCES


Page last updated on January 27, 2020

Country name:
conventional long form: State of Israel
conventional short form: Israel
local long form: Medinat Yisra'el
local short form: Yisra'el
etymology: named after the ancient Kingdom of Israel; according to Biblical tradition, the Jewish patriarch Jacob received the name "Israel" ("He who struggles with God") after he wrestled an entire night with an angel of the Lord; Jacob's 12 sons became the ancestors of the Israelites, also known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel, who formed the Kingdom of Israel

Government type:
parliamentary democracy

Capital:
name: Jerusalem; note - the US recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017 without taking a position on the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty
geographic coordinates: 31 46 N, 35 14 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, Friday before the last Sunday in March; ends the last Sunday in October
etymology: Jerusalem's settlement may date back to 2800 B.C.; it is named Urushalim in Egyptian texts of the 14th century B.C.; "uru-shalim" likely means "foundation of [by] the god Shalim", and derives from Hebrew/Semitic "yry", "to found or lay a cornerstone", and Shalim, the Canaanite god of dusk and the nether world; Shalim was associated with sunset and peace and the name is based on the same S-L-M root from which Semitic words for "peace" are derived (Salam or Shalom in modern Arabic and Hebrew); this confluence has thus led to naming interpretations such as "The City of Peace" or "The Abode of Peace"

Administrative divisions:
6 districts (mehozot, singular - mehoz); Central, Haifa, Jerusalem, Northern, Southern, Tel Aviv

Independence:
14 May 1948 (following League of Nations mandate under British administration)

National holiday:
Independence Day, 14 May (1948); note - Israel declared independence on 14 May 1948, but the Jewish calendar is lunar and the holiday may occur in April or May

Constitution:
history: no formal constitution; some functions of a constitution are filled by the Declaration of Establishment (1948), the Basic Laws, and the Law of Return (as amended)
amendments: proposed by Government of Israel ministers or by the Knesset; passage requires a majority vote of Knesset members and subject to Supreme Court judicial review; 11 of the 13 Basic Laws have been amended at least once, latest in 2018 (2018)

Legal system:
mixed legal system of English common law, British Mandate regulations, and Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religious laws

International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; withdrew acceptance of ICCt jurisdiction in 2002

Citizenship:
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Israel
dual citizenship recognized: yes, but naturalized citizens are not allowed to maintain dual citizenship
residency requirement for naturalization: 3 out of the 5 years preceding the application for naturalization
note: Israeli law (Law of Return, 5 July 1950) provides for the granting of citizenship to any Jew - defined as a person being born to a Jewish mother or having converted to Judaism while renouncing any other religion - who immigrates to and expresses a desire to settle in Israel on the basis of the Right of aliyah; the 1970 amendment of this act extended the right to family members including the spouse of a Jew, any child or grandchild, and the spouses of children and grandchildren

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal; 17 years of age for municipal elections
[see also: Suffrage country ranks ]
[see also: Suffrage country ranks ]

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Reuben RIVLIN (since 27 July 2014)
head of government: Prime Minister Binyamin NETANYAHU (since 31 March 2009)
cabinet: Cabinet selected by prime minister and approved by the Knesset
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the Knesset for a single 7-year term; election last held on 10 June 2014 (next to be held in 2021); following legislative elections, the president, in consultation with party leaders, tasks a Knesset member (usually the member of the largest party) with forming a government
election results: Reuven RIVLIN elected president in second round; Knesset vote - Reuven RIVLIN (Likud) 63, Meir SHEETRIT (The Movement) 53, other/invalid 4; following the inconclusive 17 September 2019 Knesset election, Prime Minister NETANYAHU failed to form a new government, as did Benny GANTZ; on 11 December 2019, the Knesset voted to dissolve and hold a third election on 2 March 2020

Legislative branch:
description: unicameral Knesset (120 seats; members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by closed-list proportional representation vote, with a 3.25% threshold to gain representation; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 17 September 2019; note - on 11 December, the Knesset failed to submit a name for a new prime minister and dissolved itself; new elections to be held on 2 March 2020
election results: percent by party - Blue and White 26%, Likud 25.1%, Joint List 10.6%, Shas 7.4%, Yisrael Beiteinu 7%, United Torah Judaism 6.1%, Yamina 5.9%, Labor-Gesher 4.8%, Democratic Union 4.3%, other 2.8%; seats by party - Blue and White 33, Likud 32, Joint List 13, Shas 9, Yisrael Beiteinu 8, United Torah Judaism 7, Yamina 7, Labor-Gesher 6, Democratic Union 5; composition - men 92, women 28, percent of women 23%

Judicial branch:
highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and 14 judges)
judge selection and term of office: judges selected by the Judicial Selection Committee, consisting of 3 Supreme Court judges, 2 Cabinet members including the Minister of Justice as chairman, 2 Knesset members, and 2 representatives from the Israel Bar Association; judges can serve up to mandatory retirement at age 70
subordinate courts: Court for Administrative Matters; district and magistrate courts; national and regional labor courts; special and religious courts

Political parties and leaders:
Democratic Union [Nitzan HOROWITZ] (alliance includes Democratic Israel, Meretz, Green Movement)
Joint List [Ayman ODEH] (alliance includes Hadash, Ta’al, United Arab List, Balad)
Kahol Lavan [Benny GANTZ] (alliance includes Israeli Resilience, Yesh Atid, Telem)
Labor-Gesher [Amir PERETZ]
Likud [Binyamin NETANYAHU]
Otzma Yehudit [Itamar BEN-GVIR]
SHAS [Arye DERI]
United Torah Judaism, or UTJ [Yaakov LITZMAN] (alliance includes Agudat Israel and Degel HaTorah)
Yamina [Ayelet SHAKED]
Yisrael Beiteinu [Avigdor LIEBERMAN]
Zehut [Moshe FEIGLIN]

International organization participation:
BIS, BSEC (observer), CE (observer), CERN, CICA, EBRD, FAO, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW (signatory), OSCE (partner), Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
Ambassador Ron DERMER (since 3 December 2013)
chancery: 3514 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 364-5500
FAX: [1] (202) 364-5607
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador David M. FRIEDMAN (since 23 May 2017)
telephone: [972] (2) 630-4000
embassy: David Flusser St.14, Jerusalem, 9378322
FAX: NA
note: on 14 May 2018, the US Embassy relocated to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv; on 4 March 2019, Consulate General Jerusalem merged into US Embassy Jerusalem to form a single diplomatic mission

Flag description:
white with a blue hexagram (six-pointed linear star) known as the Magen David (Star of David or Shield of David) centered between two equal horizontal blue bands near the top and bottom edges of the flag; the basic design resembles a traditional Jewish prayer shawl (tallit), which is white with blue stripes; the hexagram as a Jewish symbol dates back to medieval times
note: the Israeli flag proclamation states that the flag colors are sky blue and white, but the exact shade of blue has never been set and can vary from a light to a dark blue

National symbol(s):
Star of David (Magen David), menorah (seven-branched lampstand); national colors: blue, white

National anthem:
name: "Hatikvah" (The Hope)
lyrics/music: Naftali Herz IMBER/traditional, arranged by Samuel COHEN
note: adopted 2004, unofficial since 1948; used as the anthem of the Zionist movement since 1897; the 1888 arrangement by Samuel COHEN is thought to be based on the Romanian folk song "Carul cu boi" (The Ox Driven Cart)


NOTE: 1) The information regarding Israel on this page is re-published from the 2020 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Israel Government 2020 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Israel Government 2020 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.
2) The rank that you see is the CIA reported rank, which may have the following issues:
  a) They assign increasing rank number, alphabetically for countries with the same value of the ranked item, whereas we assign them the same rank.
  b) The CIA sometimes assigns counterintuitive ranks. For example, it assigns unemployment rates in increasing order, whereas we rank them in decreasing order.






This page was last modified 27-Jan-20
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