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The Home of Academic Studies on Israel

PART I - Israeli History [+ / -]

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PART II - Israeli Society & Culture [+ / -]

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PART III - Israeli Democracy [+ / -]

Israel's Partial Constitution: The Basic LawsAuthor: Amnon Rubinstein

Israel has no formal constitution but it does have constitutional laws that are among the most progressive and liberal of any democratic nation. This is due to "the constitutional revolution," the adoption by the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, of two basic laws concerning human rights. The saga of Israel's Basic Laws can be traced back to the country's birth in 1948. The Declaration of Independence prescribes a clear course for the development of a future constitution of the Jewish State.

The Values of Israel as Jewish & Democratic StateAuthor: Aharon Barak

Despite a common misconception, Israel does have a formal constitution as well as judicial review of constitutionality. The Constitution is embodied in several documents called the Basic Laws. Two of these basic laws, Basic Law: Dignity and Liberty and Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation - were constituted in 1992. Their main focus is human rights and they serve as the Israeli equivalent of the Bill of Rights.

Human Rights & the Supreme Court in IsraelAuthor: Doron Shultziner

Coincidentally, the year 1948 marks the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel (May 14) as well as the enactment of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration on Human Rights (December 10). The preambles of both declarations mention the atrocities of World War II as a motivating historical cause for their enactment, and both include a commitment to democratic and universal principles of human rights. The two documents serve as a useful point of entry and reference regarding the topic of human rights in Israel.

Israeli National Government InstitutionsAuthor: David Nachmias

Israel is a representative parliamentary democracy with a multi-party system. Its national government institutions are made up of the Knesset (legislative branch), the government (executive branch) and the court system (the judiciary). The three branches of government operate according to the democratic tradition of "checks and balances" that was designed to ensure that each branch acts only within the confines of its authority and that no branch will obtain unlimited powers. The president serves as the head of the state. Israel has no formal written constitution but rather eleven basic laws that take precedence over other legislation and together make up a partial constitutional framework. Four basic laws concern Israel ’s three branches of government and the presidency.

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PART IV - Israeli Wars & the Peace Process [+ / -]

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PART V - Israel's International Relations [+ / -]

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