Israel Government

What is the capital of Israel?

Country Name Israel
Full Country Name State of Israel
Local - Long Medinat Yisra'el
Local - Short Yisra'el
Etymology- history of name named after the ancient Kingdom of Israel; according to Biblical tradition, the Jewish patriarch Jacob received the name "Israel" ("He who struggles with God") after he wrestled an entire night with an angel of the Lord; Jacob's 12 sons became the ancestors of the Israelites, also known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel, who formed the Kingdom of Israel
Government Type parliamentary democracy
Capital Name Jerusalem: note - while Israel proclaimed Jerusalem as its capital in 1950, the international community does not recognize it as such; the US, like all other countries, maintains its embassy in Tel Aviv-Yafo
Capital - geographic coordinate 31 46 N, 35 14 E
Capital Time Difference UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Daylight Savings Time +1hr, Friday before the last Sunday in March; ends the last Sunday in October
Independence 14 May 1948 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)
National Holiday Independence Day, 14 May (1948); note - Israel declared independence on 14 May 1948, but the Jewish calendar is lunar and the holiday may occur in April or May
Constitution no formal constitution; some functions of a constitution are filled mostly by the Declaration of Establishment (1948), the Basic Laws, and the Law of Return (as amended); Basic Laws amended several times, last in 2014

Israel Capital City Map

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Israel Government and Politics

Who is the president of Israel?

Executive Branch:

chief of state: President Reuben RIVLIN (since 27 July 2014)

head of government: Prime Minister Binyamin NETANYAHU (since 31 March 2009)

cabinet: Cabinet selected by prime minister and approved by the Knesset

elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the Knesset for a single 7-year term; election last held on 10 June 2014 (next to be held in 2021); following legislative elections, the president, in consultation with party leaders, tasks a Knesset member (usually the member of the largest party) with forming a government

election results: Reuven RIVLIN elected president in second round; Knesset vote - Reuven RIVLIN (Likud) 63, Meir SHEETRIT (The Movement) 53, other/invalid 4; following the inconclusive 17 September 2019 Knesset election, Prime Minister NETANYAHU failed to form a new government, as did Benny GANTZ; on 11 December 2019, the Knesset voted to dissolve and hold a third election on 2 March 2020

Citizenship Criteria:

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Israel

dual citizenship recognized: yes, but naturalized citizens are not allowed to maintain dual citizenship

residency requirement for naturalization: 3 out of the 5 years preceding the application for naturalization

note: Israeli law (Law of Return, 5 July 1950) provides for the granting of citizenship to any Jew - defined as a person being born to a Jewish mother or having converted to Judaism while renouncing any other religion - who immigrates to and expresses a desire to settle in Israel on the basis of the Right of aliyah; the 1970 amendment of this act extended the right to family members including the spouse of a Jew, any child or grandchild, and the spouses of children and grandchildren

Legal System:

mixed legal system of English common law, British Mandate regulations, and Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religious laws

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Legislative Branch:

description: unicameral Knesset (120 seats; members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by closed-list proportional representation vote, with a 3.25% threshold to gain representation; members serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 2 March 2020 ( next to be held in 2024)

election results: percent by party (preliminary) - Likud 29.2%, Blue and White 26.4%, Joint List 13.1%, Shas 7.7%, United Torah Judaism 6.2%, Yisrael Beiteinu 5.9%, Labor-Gesher-Meretz 5.7%, Yamina 5%, other 0.8%; seats by party (preliminary) - Likud 36, Blue and White 33, Joint List 15, Shas 9, United Torah Judaism 7, Yisrael Beiteinu 7, Labor-Gesher Meretz 7, Yamina 6; composition - NA

Judicial Branch:

highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and 14 judges)

judge selection and term of office: judges selected by the Judicial Selection Committee consisting of 3 Supreme Court judges, 2 Cabinet members including the Minister of Justice as chairman, 2 Knesset members, and 2 representatives from the Israel Bar Association; judges can serve up to mandatory retirement at age 70

subordinate courts: district and magistrate courts; national and regional labor courts; special and religious courts

Regions or States:

6 districts (mehozot, singular - mehoz); Central, Haifa, Jerusalem, Northern, Southern, Tel Aviv

Political Parties and Leaders:

Balad [Jamal ZAHALKA]

Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (HADASH) [ODEH]

Kulanu [Moshe KAHLON]

Labor [Yitzhak HERZOG]

Likud [Binyamin NETANYAHU]

Meretz [Zehava GALON]

SHAS [Arye DERI]

Tekumah/National Union (Ichud Leumi) [Uri ARIEL]

The Jewish Home (Habayit Hayehudi) [Naftali BENNETT]

The Movement (Hatnuah) [Tzipora "Tzipi" LIVNI]

United Arab List-Ta'al [Masud GANAIM]

United Torah Judaism or UTJ [Yaakov LITZMAN] (an alliance of three parties)

Yesh Atid [Yair LAPID]

Yisrael Beiteinu [Avigdor LIEBERMAN]

International Law Organization Participation:

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; withdrew acceptance of International Criminal Court jurisdiction in 2002

International Organization Participation:

BIS, BSEC (observer), CE (observer), CERN, CICA, EBRD, FAO, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW (signatory), OSCE (partner), Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic Representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Ron DERMER (since 3 December 2013)

chancery: 3514 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 364-5500

FAX: [1] (202) 364-5607

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco

Diplomatic Representation from US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Daniel B. SHAPIRO (since 29 September 2011)

embassy: 71 Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv 6343229

telephone: [972] (3) 519-7475

FAX: [972] (3) 516-4390

consulate(s) general:

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