name = Knesset
coa_pic = Coat of arms of Israel.svg
session_room = Knesset Building (South Side).jpg
house_type = Unicameral
leader1_type = Speaker
May 4, 2006
leader2_type = Deputy Speaker
May 4, 2006
members = 120
Meimad Shas Likud
March 28, 2006
meeting_place = Knesset,
website = [http://www.knesset.gov.il/index.html www.knesset.gov.il] :"For Beit Knesset, a
Jewish place of worship, see Synagogue."
The Knesset ( _he. כנסת, lit. "Assembly", _ar. الكنيست) is the
legislatureof Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.
The Knesset sits on a hilltop in western Jerusalem in a district known as
Sheikh Badrbefore 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. [ [http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/771564.html Defacement in Jerusalem monastery threatens diplomatic crisis] Haaretz, 8 October 2006] Before the construction of its permanent home, the Knesset met in the Jewish Agencybuilding 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 Rothschildinforms Prime Minister David Ben-Gurionof 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
legislative branchof 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 Israelmust be approved by a majority vote of the Knesset.
The Knesset has
de jure parliamentary supremacyand 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 Israelhas greatly expanded its authority through judicial reviewto nearly every aspect of Knesset legislation at the expense of the Knesset's authorityFact|date=September 2008. [ [http://www.cfisrael.org//a138.html?rsID=26 Models of Judicial Review] Constitution for Israel] The Knesset is guarded by the Knesset Guard.
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.
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, Moledetand Tkuma. **United Torah Judaism is an alliance of Agudat Israeland Degel HaTorah.
List of Knesset members
List of Knesset speakers
List of Likud Knesset Members
Arab Knesset members
* [http://www.knesset.gov.il/ Official website] en icon
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