Knesset: Israel's Parliament

The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel and serves as the supreme state body, holding complete control of the Israeli government with the exception of checks and balances from the courts and local governments. As the primary decision-making body of the government, the Knesset has numerous responsibilities, including passing laws, electing the president and prime minister, approving the cabinet, and overseeing the work of the government.

The Knesset also has the power to waive the immunity of its members, remove the president and state comptroller from office, dissolve the government in a constructive vote of no confidence, and dissolve itself and call for new elections. The prime minister also has the authority to dissolve the Knesset, though it maintains its current composition until a new election can be held.

Controversial Legislation

On December 27, the Knesset passed legislation that allows individuals convicted of offenses but not given a custodial sentence to serve as ministers. This law was likely passed in order to enable Aryeh Deri, a key ally from the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, to serve as a minister despite having previously plead guilty to tax offenses.

Another law passed by the Knesset allows for two ministers to serve in the same office, a measure aimed at the Defence Ministry where Bezalel Smotrich, leader of the extreme-right formation Religious Zionism, is to be the minister with control over civil affairs in the occupied West Bank.

In addition to these laws, the Knesset also voted to expand the powers of the National Security Minister, a position that is expected to be filled by Itamar Ben Gvir, another extreme-right figure.

Return of Benjamin Netanyahu

  • These laws have paved the way for the return of Benjamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister, following his election win on November 1 and his mandate to form a government backed by ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties and an extreme-right bloc.
  • This incoming government has raised concerns over the potential for military escalation in the West Bank due to the worst violence in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory in nearly 20 years.
  • Netanyahu, who is currently facing corruption allegations in court, has already served as premier for a record 12-year tenure from 2009 to 2021, and is the longest-serving prime minister in Israel’s history.

The Knesset plays a crucial role in the decision-making process of the Israeli government and has a range of responsibilities, including passing laws, electing government officials, and overseeing the work of the government. The passage of controversial legislation has paved the way for the return of Benjamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister, sparking concerns over potential military escalation in the West Bank. Despite facing corruption allegations, Netanyahu has already served as premier for a record-breaking tenure and is the longest-serving prime minister in Israel’s history.

Written by princy

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