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La Historia y Funciones del Knesset - Parlamento Israel

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Fecha de creación: 2005-02-08 23:09:15
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The Knesset History - Introduction

The Knesset is the house of representatives of the State of Israel. It is uni-cameral and has 120 Members representing numerous lists that are elected in general, country-wide, proportional elections once every four years (see electoral system).

Members of the fourth Assembly of Representatives, 12.9.1944.

 

The Proclamation of Independence: David Ben Gurion delivering the proclamation, 14.5.1948.

The name "Knesset" derives from the "Great Knesset" ("Great Assembly") which convened in Jerusalem after the return of the Jews to Eretz Yisrael from the Babylonian exile in the fifth century B.C.E. The number of Knesset Members was also determined on the basis of the number of members of the Great Knesset. The traditions of the Knesset and the way it functions were influenced by the Zionist Congress, which first convened in Basel in 1897, by the experience of the Assembly of Representatives (Assefat Hanivharim) of the Jewish community in mandatory Palestine and, to a certain extent, by the procedures and customs of the British Parliament - the "mother of parliaments."

 

On 18 April 1948, towards the proclamation of the state, the People's Council (Moetzet Ha'am) was established. This was turned on May 14 into the Provisional State Council, which functioned as the legislature of the new state until the elections for the Constituent Assembly (Ha'assefa Hamechonent).

The War of Independence: Raising the Israeli flag at Faluja, 28.2.1948.

 

Ratification of the
peace agreement
with Egypt: Prime
Minister Begin with
his deputy Yadin and
foreign minister, Dayan,
20.3.1979.

Until the end of 1949 the meetings of the Provisional State Council (Moetzet Hamedina Hazmanit) were held at the Tel Aviv Museum, the "Kessem" cinema, and the "San-Remo" hotel. On 26 December 1949, the Knesset moved to its temporary residence in "Beit Frumin" on King George Street in Jerusalem, and on 31 August, 1966 - to its permanent residence at Kiryat Ben Gurion.

The Knesset - Powers and Functions

The Knesset is the house of representatives (the parliament) of the State of Israel, in which the full range of current opinions are represented. Nevertheless, parties that reject the existence of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish People, its democratic nature, or that incite racism may not participate in the elections.

Within the framework of the Israeli democratic system, in which there is a separation of powers amongst the legislature, the executive branch, and the judiciary, the Knesset is the legislative branch, with the exclusive authority to enact laws. The Knesset may pass laws on any subject and in any matter, as long as a proposed law does not contradict an existing basic law, and the legislative process is carried out as required by the law. Legislation constitutes an important part of the Knesset's work.

As heir to the authority of the Constituent Assembly, the Knesset has a constituent-constitutional role, even though this role was denied by some in the past. According to the Proclamation of Independence, the constitution of the State of Israel should have been prepared by October 1, 1948, but even today Israel does not yet have a complete written constitution. Once all the basic laws are passed, they will together constitute the state's constitution.

The Knesset supervises the work of the Government, which is does by means of its committees and the work of the plenum.

The Knesset has several quasi-judicial functions, which include the power to lift the immunity of its members, and the power to have the President of the State and State Comptroller removed. On the basis of the Basic Law: the Government, passed in 1992, the Knesset can also remove the elected Prime Minister from his post.

The Knesset also has an elective function through which several public officials are elected.




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