FAQ :: Is Israel a Democracy?

“Israel is an island of democracy in a sea of instability and despotism” (Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, July 4, 2013, Jerusalem Post ).

Israel is a republic with an uninterrupted tradition of parliamentary democracy going back to the nation’s rebirth in 1948. Relative to other regional countries, Israel’s system of government most closely resembles the Western standards of democracy. However, politics in Israel is heavily influenced by security considerations, a result of the perpetual state of confrontation forced upon them by the Palestinians.

Most Middle Eastern Arab nations have leaders who serve life-long mandates flexing their dictatorial powers. The executive powers in Israel are in the hands of the prime minister. Members of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset are elected for a four-year term in general elections, where voters chose party lists, rather than individual candidates.