Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Israel – CCXLI. The Ma’abarot Stage (17 of 26)

Ha Mimshalah

The system of government in Israel  is more or less similar to that of the U.K., U.S., Canada, and Australia.  There is, however, an important difference which will be discussed later.

Israel relies on a parliamentary system to govern itself.  It has only one house, there is no senate.  The political system is predicated on a number of basic principles which are outlined in 11 basic laws.  Israel does not have a constitution.

Rosh Hamimshalah or the head of state is the Prime Minister; his cabinet invariably includes Ministers from various parties.

Hanasi or the President of the State has limited political power; he performs mainly ceremonial duties and is not part of the three branches of government.  He does play a role if there is a political crisis; he will use his neutral position to arbitrate between the warring parties.  Whether he has the power to impose a settlement (as is sometimes the case, under certain conditions, in Canada or Australia), I do not know.  What I do know, is that during my stay in Israel, the President was often called upon to defuse a crisis.

The three branches of government are:

The Knesset or the Legislature includes 120 members elected for a four years term.

The Executive is headed by the Prime Minister (PM); in turn the PM is elected in nationwide elections for a period of four years.  The Ministers are appointed by the Prime Minister, taking into consideration the parties in the coalition.  The PM does not have the freedom to select the members of his cabinet that, say, a Canadian Prime Minister has.  Israel’s PM is heading a coalition and has to give a certain degree of power to each party in his coalition.

The third branch is the judicial system.  The judiciary enjoys true independence from the above two branches.  The executive and the legislative are of necessity tied to each other, at least to some extent.  The members of the cabinet are themselves members of the Knesset.  (This is similar to the British, Canadian, or Australian system; in the U.S. system there is true independence between the executive and the legislative; but it has been pushed to such an extent that, on many occasions, this has created a Gordian knot, and has resulted in intractable crises).

Finally, cities in Israel are run by a mayor and the city council.  Elections take place every five years.

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