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    The Knesset in the Government System
 

Powers and Functions of the Knesset

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 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.

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



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