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 through its
committees and the work of the
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.
The Knesset also has an elective function
through which several public officials are elected.