Infobox Parliament
name = Knesset
coa_pic = Coat of arms of Israel.svg
session_room = Knesset Building (South Side).jpg
house_type = Unicameral
leader1_type = Speaker
leader1 = Dalia Itzik
party1 = Kadima
election1 = May 4, 2006
leader2_type = Deputy Speaker
leader2 = Majalli Wahabi
party2 = Kadima
election2 = May 4, 2006
members = 120
p_groups = Kadima
election3 = March 28, 2006
meeting_place = Knesset, Jerusalem, Israel
website = []
:"For Beit Knesset, a Jewish place of worship, see Synagogue."

The Knesset ( _he. כנסת, lit. "Assembly", _ar. الكنيست) is the legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.


The Knesset sits on a hilltop in western Jerusalem in a district known as Sheikh Badr before the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The building was financed by James A. de Rothschild as a gift to the State of Israel. It was built on land leased from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. [ [ Defacement in Jerusalem monastery threatens diplomatic crisis] Haaretz, 8 October 2006] Before the construction of its permanent home, the Knesset met in the Jewish Agency building in Jerusalem, the Kessem Cinema building in Tel Aviv and the Froumine building in Jerusalem.


*February 14, 1949: First meeting of the Constituent Assembly, Jewish Agency, Jerusalem
*March 8, 1949-December 14, 1949: Kessem Cinema in Tel Aviv (Migdal HaOpera is situated there today)
*December 26, 1949-March 8, 1950: Jewish Agency, Jerusalem
*March 13, 1950: Froumine Building, King George Street, Jerusalem.
*1957: James A. de Rothschild informs Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion of his decision to finance the construction of a permanent Knesset building
*October 14, 1958: Cornerstone-laying for new Knesset building
*August 31, 1966: Dedication of new building (in the days of the Sixth Knesset)
*1981: Construction of new wing begins
*1992: New wing opens
*2005: Construction of another new wing

Operation of the Knesset

The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset enacts laws, elects the prime minister (although s/he 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 February 14, 1949. Every 4 years (or less if early elections are held, as is often the case), 120 members of the Knesset (MK) 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 laws by a simple majority, even those that conflict with the Basic Laws of Israel, as it is also a Constituent Assembly. Nonetheless, the Knesset's right to function effectively has been greatly curtailedFact|date=September 2008 due to the inherent flawsFact|date=September 2008 of the low threshold party list proportional representation that usually results in a fractious government dependent on unstable coalitionsFact|date=September 2008. Hence, de facto, the Supreme Court of Israel has greatly expanded its authority through judicial review to nearly every aspect of Knesset legislation at the expense of the Knesset's authorityFact|date=September 2008. [ [ Models of Judicial Review] Constitution for Israel] The Knesset is guarded by the Knesset Guard.

Knesset Assemblies

Each Knesset session is generally 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 2006 is the Seventeenth Knesset.

*First Knesset
*Second Knesset
*Third Knesset
*Fourth Knesset
*Fifth Knesset
*Sixth Knesset
*Seventh Knesset
*Eighth Knesset
*Ninth Knesset
*Tenth Knesset
*Eleventh Knesset
*Twelfth Knesset
*Thirteenth Knesset
*Fourteenth Knesset
*Fifteenth Knesset
*Sixteenth Knesset
*Seventeenth Knesset

Current Knesset

The composition of the current Knesset was determined by the 2006 election. At present there are 18 parties represented in the Knesset on 12 lists (some parties run for election together on joint lists). Though it has not yet happened in the current session, in every Knesset to date parties have split up during the Knesset's term, leading to the creation of new parties or resulting in MKs sitting as independents.

The parties in the current Knesset are shown in the table below. Those in bold are part of the governing coalition.

* The National Union is an alliance of Ahi, Moledet and Tkuma.

** United Torah Judaism is an alliance of Agudat Israel and Degel HaTorah.

ee also

*List of Knesset members
*List of Knesset speakers
*List of Likud Knesset Members
*Arab Knesset members


External links

* [ Official website] en icon

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • KNESSET — (Heb. כְּנֶסֶת; Assembly ), the parliament and legislature of the State of Israel. The name of the assembly and the number of its members were both adopted from the Knesset ha Gedolah – the Great Assembly of the fifth century B.C.E. The Knesset… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • knesset — KNESSÉT s.n. Parlament unicameral al statului Israel. [Scris şi knesseth] – Din engl. knesset. Trimis de catalin caba, 15.07.2006. Sursa: DEX 98  knessét s. n. Trimis de siveco, 15.07.2006. Sursa: Dicţionar ortografic  KNESSÉT s.n. Parlament… …   Dicționar Român

  • knesset — le Parlement israélien: une seule Chambre; 120 représentants élus pour 4 ans à la proportionnelle. knesset [knesɛt] n. f. ÉTYM. Mot hébreu, « assemblée », nom propre. ❖ ♦ La Knesset : l assemblée nationale de l État d Israël …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Knesset — Israeli parliament, 1949, from Mishnaic Heb. keneseth gathering, assembly, from stem of Heb. kanas he gathered, assembled, collected …   Etymology dictionary

  • Knesset — [k nes′et] n. [ModHeb keneset, lit., assembly, gathering < kanas, to assemble] the unicameral legislature of Israel …   English World dictionary

  • Knesset — Die Knesset (כנסת, Hebräisch für Versammlung) ist das Einkammerparlament des Staates Israel. Sie besteht aus 120 Abgeordneten, die für eine Legislaturperiode von vier Jahren gewählt werden, und trat am 14. Februar 1949 erstmals zusammen. Die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Knesset — 31°46′36″N 35°12′19″E / 31.77667, 35.20528 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Knesset — (Parliament)    The Knesset is the supreme authority in the state, and its laws are theoretically the source of all power and authority, although in reality, decisions are made by the prime minister and the government (or cabinet) and ratified by …   Historical Dictionary of Israel

  • Knesset — /knes et/, n. the unicameral parliament of Israel. [1945 50; < ModHeb kneset, post Biblical Heb kaneseth gathering] * * * (Hebrew: Assembly ) Unicameral national legislature of Israel. The first Knesset opened in 1949. Its name and the number of… …   Universalium

  • Knesset — (hebreo: asamblea). Poder legislativo unicameral de Israel. El primer Knesset fue inaugurado en 1949. Su nombre y número de escaños (120) están basados en la asamblea judía de los tiempos bíblicos; sus tradiciones y organización están basadas en… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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