Israel flag Israel: Economic and Political Overview

The political framework of Israel

Political Outline

Current Political Leaders
President: Isaac HERZOG (since 7 July 2021)
Prime minister: Benjamin NETANYAHU (since 29 December 2022)
Next Election Dates
Presidential: June 2028
Parliament: November 2026
Current Political Context
The latest parliamentary election saw the right-wing bloc led by Binyamin Netanyahu, with four parties (Likud, Religious Zionism, Shas, and United Torah Judaism) securing a 64-seat majority (out of 120 total seats). A month after it was sworn in, Netanyahu’s sixth government proposed a set of five changes to the judicial system and the balance of powers aiming to curtail the role of Israel's Supreme Court and shift its authority to the Knesset (Parliament). This move ignited widespread protests across the country, drawing criticism from legal experts, opposition parties, and civil society organizations. The protests continued for several months, reflecting deep public concerns about the erosion of judicial independence and the potential for political interference in the justice system. On March 27, 2023, in response to public protests and general strikes, Netanyahu declared a halt to the reform process to facilitate discussions with opposition parties. Subsequently, on July 24, 2023, the Knesset approved a bill limiting the Supreme Court's authority to deem government decisions unreasonable. However, on January 1, 2024, the Supreme Court invalidated the bill.
On October 7, Palestinian militants, led by Hamas, initiated a large-scale attack and sustained rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel. In response, Israel undertook a substantial military reaction, mobilizing a significant number of reservists. On the evening of October 27, 2023, Israel initiated a large-scale invasion of the Gaza Strip aimed at dismantling Hamas and overthrowing the organization's governance of the Gaza Strip. Tensions in the region remain heightened, particularly with Syria, Lebanon, and Iran.
Main Political Parties
The Israeli political system is based on proportional representation. No party is in a position to assume power independently, so political groups often co-operate and form coalition governments. The political parties represented in the Parliament are:

- Likud: national liberal party, right-wing, nationalist
- Yesh Atid (There is Future): centre, liberal
- Zionist Union: centre-left
- National Unity: a political alliance made up of the Blue and White party and the New Hope party, centrist
- Shas: zionist, populist, conservatism
- United Torah Judaism: right-wing, conservatism, religious
- Yisrael Beiteinu: conservatism, nationalism
- United Arab List (Ra'am): Arab political party, it is the political wing of the Southern Branch of the Islamic movement
Hadash-Ta'al: a joint list of the Ta'al party and Hadash political coalition, left-wing, endorses the two-state solution
- Israeli Labor Party (HaAvoda): left-wing.
Executive Power
The President is the Head of the State and is elected by the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, for a seven-year term. His/Her role is essentially ceremonial. The President chooses the leader of the party or majority coalition in the Knesset to exercise the functions of the Prime Minister for a four-year term. The Prime Minister is the head of the Government and holds the executive power, including the execution of the law and the management of the country's current affairs. The Cabinet is chosen by the Prime Minister before being approved by the Knesset.
Legislative Power
Legislative power is Israel is unicameral. The Knesset (parliament) consists of 120 members, elected by universal suffrage for a four-year term. The Knesset can decide to be dissolved by a simple majority through a vote of no confidence. The Prime Minister cannot dissolve or veto the Knesset. Israeli citizens have significant political rights.

Indicator of Freedom of the Press


The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:

Indicator of Political Freedom


The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Political Freedom:

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House


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Latest Update: July 2024