Country Analysis - Israel

Israel is unique in its circumstance and history. With long ties to its land prior to it officially, with its ancient history coming from the Hebrew Bible, with the origins of Israel being traced as far back as the tribes of Abraham (History of Israel). Israel has taken many forms before becoming a modern state, being a part of kingdoms (Israel, Judah, Babylonian), and empires (Greek, roman, Arab, Turk, Egyptian, and many more) (History of Israel). Israel, before the end of world war one, was a province of the ottoman empire (History of Israel), falling into British control once this empire fell at the conclusion of the war (History of Israel). Modern Israel begins to take shape at this moment, with the Zionist movement gaining immense momentum, a movement defined as the advocation for “a movement for (originally) the re-establishment and (now) the development and protection of a Jewish nation in what is now Israel” (Merriam-Webster). After the British seized control of Israel from the ottomans, they promised a state for the Jewish people, what is known as Balfour’s promise (History of Israel). Eventually, after the Holocaust, the British government attempted to split the land of Israel and Palestine into two states with Resolution 181 (also known as the partition resolution) (United Nations), however the Arab world failed to agree with this, as they were angry that their promise with the British empire for their own Palestinian state was not honored (Balfour project). From there, Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, declared Israeli Independence in May 1948, claiming the Jewish partitioned area as a state, sparking war with the Arab world (United Nations).
To understand Israel, one must look further than its situational history, and look at her history within the areas of ethnic conflict. As she is the center of western religious thought, all three major religious Judo-Christian religions have a presence in this area. As of 2019, Israel was 74.2% Jewish, 17.8% Muslim, 2.0% Christian, and 6.4% people of other faith (Pew Center for Research). The ethnicities within Israel are Jews (75% of population), Arabs, (20% of population) and Minorities (5% of population) (Pew Center for Research). With these ethnicities and religions often intertwined, and the sheer number of cultural landmarks within Israel for all of these religions, it is clear that problems will arise. Notably, the continued tensions between Israel and the Arab world be an ongoing problem for Israel, throughout the history of the nation, to its presence day. Consistently, Israel has been under attack from Arab States, fighting wars from its founding (1948 Arab Israeli War), and constantly battling the Arab states (History of Israel). Israel has never formerly not been at war, nor have they ever lost a war (History of Israel), defeating several nations much larger than itself. Several times it has captured land, for example in the six-day war, only for it to be contested and the international community forcing Israel to return land it has rightfully taken from its aggressors (History of Israel).
Scholars point to several reasons for the ongoing conflict between the Israelis and Arab world. Chiefly, imperial mishaps and the poor administration attributed to such lead to this turmoil. The British during world war one, promised the Arabs in the ottoman empire freedom, in exchange for their help with world war one in defeating the ottoman axis power, in an agreement known as the McMahon correspondence of 1915-16 (Balfour project). However, a later agreement with France, the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916, divided the Middle east between France and Britain (Balfour project), which made the freedom of the Arabic world from foreign holders impossible as these lands were not solely in British hands. Further, Britain again went against its word with the Balfour agreement of 1917, which was what promised the Jewish people a homeland in the area of Palestine (History of Israel). This history of Imperial mishandling these people and the land that encompasses them can be attributed to perhaps the main causation of the turmoil between these two peoples.
The state of Israel is a Parliamentary Republic, consisting of the Legislature, Executive, and Judiciary Branches (Knesset). Also, in Israel there is the mostly ceremonious title of President, however it is considered apolitical, not a part of any branches of government. The president’s main function is to sign all laws barring the ones that regard his power, appoints leaders of several institutions, including the Bank of Israel and giving the Prime Minister the mandate to form government (Israeli Judicial Authority). However, the function of the state is largely outside of the presidential office. The Judiciary branch— the Knesset— a unalarmed legislature, that passes all laws, elects the president, prime minister, and state comptroller, as well as approving the cabinet while simultaneously supervising its work (Knesset). The Knesset is voted for through National elections, which are held once every four years, unless there is an earlier election called (Knesset). The MK (Members of Knesset), are elected by Party list proportional representation (Knesset), meaning that Israelis vote for Parties, not candidates. Once a party has achieved the threshold of 3.25%, it will be in the Knesset (Knesset). A party within the Knesset receives seats proportional to the number of votes it receives (Knesset). Due to the very low threshold, the Knesset typically has at least 10 or more parties in it (Knesset) and has prevented Israel from ever forming a majority government. This inability to formulate a majority government can be problematic as the Knesset shapes the executive branch by recommending the Prime Minister and approving his cabinet (Knesset). The Prime minister is the most important figure of the executive branch, as he makes all foreign and domestic policy decisions, appoints all 28 ministers. From these ministers, the president forms his cabinet, which holds the power to vote on his various decisions. For his cabinet to be approved it must have equal representation of the parties in the Knesset, and to be then approved by the Knesset (Knesset). Lastly, Israel has its judiciary branch, comprised of the supreme court, the district courts, and the Magistrates’ courts (Supreme Court of Israel). The supreme court of Israel is its highest court, which is comprised of 15 judges (Supreme Court of Israel). This courts are an appellate court, so its function is to consider cases on appeal of all cases civil, criminal and military, and other judgements from district courts (Supreme Court of Israel). The candidates are put forth for judges by the Judicial selection committee — comprised of 9 members; three court judges, two cabinet members, two Knesset members, and two representatives of the Israel Bar association. Candidates that receive the required 7 of 9 majority vote, are then appointed by the President of Israel (Supreme Court of Israel).
The Israeli system of governance has many examples of vertical and horizontal accountability. The vertical system of accountability within Israel is considered weak, as there are only displays of it in the national elections of the Knesset (Magen). However, this is even considered weak due to the electoral system in which members are voted into office from national lists (Magen). The lack of local constituencies limit the voice of people in distinct regions. The system of vertical accountability is further weakened by this system, as the low the Knesset minimum to have representation, hampers the ability to formulate a consistent coalition government (Magen). Yada yada yada vertical accountability yada yada yada. Horizontal accountability, on the other hand is prevalent throughout Israel system of governance. The Supreme court, largely independent, reserves the right to issue rulings and rulings, checking the power of the other branches (Supreme Court of Israel). Further, the Cabinet of the Prime minister performs these tasks as well, by voting on the Prime Minister’s foreign and domestic actions (Magen). More examples of horizontal accountability include: the judicial selection committee (as they are in the Knesset and ministry, and approve those who become Judges), the Prime Minister as he holds the power to veto legislation passed by the Knesset (Magen), among many other examples.
Israel’s current political climate is unique to the fact that Israel has such a volatile legislative body, and that Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister, is currently under indictment by the Attorney General, including for charges of Bribery (Huggard and Sachs). In the past 11 months, 3 elections for the Knesset have been made (Huggard and Sachs). For the 21st Knesset, Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government, leading for the Knesset to dissolve itself, rather than another MK attempting to form a governing majority (Huggard and Sachs). The 22nd Knesset, the second Knesset election of 2019, resulted in a nearly Split decision for who attempted to form government first (Huggard and Sachs). Netanyahu garnered 55 of the 120 recommendations from the Knesset to put forth government, one more than Benny Gantz (Huggard and Sachs). Therefore, Netanyahu attempted to form government first, but failed to do so, and returned his mandate to form after 28 days. Gantz, does the same (Huggard and Sachs). The following open period, a period when any MK can attempt to get the majority support of the Knesset, also passed, leading to the most recent election for the Knesset (Huggard and Sachs). As recently as March 2020, Israelis voted for a third time for the Knesset, in attempts to form government. Gantz, who was given the mandate for government, has tried to form a unity government with Netanyahu, but have thus far failed to do so, failing to agree on politics (Huggard and Sachs). As a result, the current election results for Israel, are inconclusive, as their government continues in its failure to form.
In conclusion, the state of Israel is a unique Democratic regime, as it faces particular challenges to its position in the geo-political sphere. The nation struggles with giving its populous a loud enough voice, yet finds its strength rooted in its bureaucracy. Balancing its divide against the Arab world, and a diverse political atmosphere, the nation struggles to find common ground between its people, in both terms of ethnicity and politics. Homeworkfor.me is a place where you can have a look at various samples of observation essay topic ideas. They are absolutely free and can be used to do your own assignments.