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The Prime Minister of Israel
Israel
(Hebrew: רֹאשׁ הַמֶּמְשָׁלָה‬, Rosh HaMemshala, lit. Head of the Government, Hebrew acronym: רה״מ‬; Arabic: رئيس الحكومة‎, Ra'īs al-Ḥukūma) is the head of government of Israel
Israel
and the most powerful figure in Israeli politics. Although the President of Israel
President of Israel
is the country's head of state, the President's powers are largely ceremonial; the Prime Minister holds most of the real power. The official residence of the Prime Minister, Beit Aghion is in Jerusalem. The current Prime Minister is Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu
of Likud, the ninth person to hold the position (excluding caretakers). Following an election, the President nominates a member of the Knesset to become Prime Minister after asking party leaders whom they support for the position. The nominee then presents a government platform and must receive a vote of confidence in order to become Prime Minister. In practice, the Prime Minister is usually the leader of the largest party in the governing coalition. Between 1996 and 2001, the Prime Minister was directly elected, separately from the Knesset.[2]

Contents

1 History

1.1 Direct election 1.2 2003 onwards

2 Order of succession

2.1 Acting, Vice and Deputy Prime Minister 2.2 Interim government

3 Prime Minister's residence 4 List of Prime Ministers of Israel

4.1 Term of office
Term of office
in years 4.2 List of Prime Ministers by longevity

5 Living former Prime Ministers 6 See also 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links

History The office of Prime Minister came into existence on 14 May 1948, the date of the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, when the provisional government was created. David Ben-Gurion, leader of Mapai
Mapai
and head of the Jewish Agency
Jewish Agency
became Israel's first Prime Minister. The position became permanent on 8 March 1949, when the first government was formed. Ben-Gurion retained his role until late 1953, when he resigned in order to settle in the Kibbutz
Kibbutz
of Sde Boker. He was replaced by Moshe Sharett. However, Ben-Gurion returned in a little under two years to reclaim his position. He resigned for a second time in 1963, breaking away from Mapai
Mapai
to form Rafi. Levi Eshkol took over as head of Mapai
Mapai
and prime minister. He became the first Prime Minister to head the country under the banner of two parties when Mapai
Mapai
formed the Alignment with Ahdut HaAvoda in 1965. In 1968 he also became the only party leader to command an absolute majority in the Knesset, after Mapam
Mapam
and Rafi merged into the Alignment, giving it 63 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. On 26 February 1969, Eshkol became the first Prime Minister to die in office, and was temporarily replaced by Yigal Allon. However, Allon's stint lasted less than a month, as the party persuaded Golda Meir
Golda Meir
to return to political life and become prime minister in March 1969. Meir was Israel's first woman prime minister, and the third in the world (after Sirimavo Bandaranaike
Sirimavo Bandaranaike
and Indira Gandhi). Meir resigned in 1974 after the Agranat Commission published its findings on the Yom Kippur War, even though it had absolved her of blame. Yitzhak Rabin
Yitzhak Rabin
took over, though he also resigned towards the end of the eighth Knesset's term following a series of scandals. Those included the suicide of Housing Minister Avraham Ofer
Avraham Ofer
after police began investigating allegations that he had used party funds illegally, and the affair involving Asher Yadlin (the Governor-designate of the Bank of Israel), who was sentenced to five years in prison for having accepted bribes. Rabin's wife, Leah, was also found to have had an overseas bank account, which was illegal in Israel
Israel
at the time. Menachem Begin
Menachem Begin
became the first right-wing prime minister when his Likud
Likud
won the 1977 elections, and retained the post in the 1981 elections. He resigned in 1983 for health reasons, passing the reins of power to Yitzhak Shamir. After the 1984 elections had proved inconclusive with neither the Alignment nor Likud
Likud
able to form a government, a national unity government was formed with a rotating prime ministership – Shimon Peres took the first two years, and was replaced by Shamir midway through the Knesset
Knesset
term. Although the 1988 elections produced another national unity government, Shamir was able to take the role alone. Peres made an abortive bid to form a left-wing government in 1990, but failed, leaving Shamir in power until 1992. Rabin became prime minister for the second time when he led Labour to victory in the 1992 elections. After his assassination on 4 November 1995, Peres took over as prime minister. Direct election

Israel

This article is part of a series on the politics and government of Israel

Constitution

Basic Laws

Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Law Law of Return

Presidency

President (list)

Reuven Rivlin

Designated Acting President

Yuli-Yoel Edelstein

Executive

Prime Minister (list)

Benjamin Netanyahu

Office of the Prime Minister Deputy leaders Cabinet

Current (34th)

Security Cabinet Kitchen Cabinet

State Comptroller

Legislature

Speaker: Yuli Edelstein Members (Arab) Leader of the Opposition

Isaac Herzog

Knesset
Knesset
Guard

Elections

Political parties Elections Law Central Elections Committee Referendums

Judiciary

Supreme Court

President: Esther Hayut

Attorney General

Avichai Mandelblit

Administrative divisions

Districts Local government

Municipalities Local councils Regional councils

Foreign relations

Arab League

International law Status of territories Israel, Palestine, United Nations

Israel
Israel
and the European Union Ambassadors

Other countries Atlas

v t e

During the thirteenth Knesset
Knesset
(1992–1996) it was decided to hold a separate ballot for prime minister modeled after American presidential elections. This system was instituted in part because the Israeli electoral system makes it all but impossible for one party to win a majority. While only two parties—Mapai/Labour and Likud—had ever led governments, the large number of parties or factions in a typical Knesset
Knesset
usually prevents one party from winning the 61 seats needed for a majority. In 1996, when the first such election took place, the outcome was a surprise win for Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu
after election polls predicted that Peres was the winner.[3] However, in the Knesset
Knesset
election held at the same time, Labour won more votes than any other party (27%). Thus Netanyahu, despite his theoretical position of power, needed the support of the religious parties to form a viable government. Ultimately Netanyahu failed to hold the government together, and early elections for both prime minister and the Knesset
Knesset
were called in 1999. Although five candidates announced their intention to run, the three representing minor parties ( Benny Begin
Benny Begin
of Herut – The National Movement, Azmi Bishara
Azmi Bishara
of Balad and Yitzhak Mordechai
Yitzhak Mordechai
of the Centre Party) dropped out before election day, and Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak
beat Netanyahu in the election. However, the new system again appeared to have failed; although Barak's One Israel
Israel
alliance (an alliance of Labour, Gesher and Meimad) won more votes than any other party in the Knesset election, they garnered only 26 seats, the lowest ever by a winning party or alliance. Barak needed to form a coalition with six smaller parties in order to form a government. In early 2001, Barak resigned following the outbreak of the al-Aqsa Intifada. However, the government was not brought down, and only elections for prime minister were necessary. In the election itself, Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon
comfortably beat Barak, taking 62.4% of the vote. However, because Likud
Likud
only had 21 seats in the Knesset, Sharon had to form a national unity government. Following Sharon's victory, it was decided to do away with separate elections for prime minister and return to the previous system. 2003 onwards The 2003 elections were carried out in the same manner as prior to 1996. Likud
Likud
won 38 seats, the highest by a party for over a decade, and as party leader Sharon was duly appointed PM. However, towards the end of his term and largely as a result of the deep divisions within Likud
Likud
over Israel's unilateral disengagement plan, Sharon broke away from his party to form Kadima, managing to maintain his position as prime minister and also becoming the first prime minister not to be a member of either Labour or Likud
Likud
(or their predecessors). However, he suffered a stroke in January 2006, in the midst of election season, leading Ehud Olmert
Ehud Olmert
to become acting prime minister in the weeks leading to the elections. He was voted by the cabinet to be interim prime minister just after the 2006 elections, when Sharon had reached 100 days of incapacitation. He thus became Israel's third interim prime minister, only days before forming his own new government as the official Prime Minister of Israel. In 2008, amid accusations of corruption and challenges from his own party, Olmert announced that he would resign. However his successor Tzipi Livni
Tzipi Livni
was unable to form a coalition government. In the election in the following year, while Kadima
Kadima
won the most seats, it was the Likud
Likud
leader Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu
who was given the task of forming a government. He was able to do so, thus beginning his second term as Prime Minister of Israel. In the 2013 election, the Likud
Likud
Yisrael Beiteinu alliance emerged as the largest faction. After forming a coalition, Netanyahu secured his third prime ministership. Order of succession If the prime minister dies in office, the cabinet chooses an interim prime minister,[4] to run the government until a new government is placed in power. Yigal Allon
Yigal Allon
served as interim prime minister following Levi Eshkol's death, as did Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
following the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. According to Israeli law, if a prime minister is temporarily incapacitated rather than dies (as was the case following Ariel Sharon's stroke in early 2006), power is transferred to the acting prime minister, until the prime minister recovers ( Ehud Olmert
Ehud Olmert
took over from Sharon), for up to 100 days. If the prime minister is declared permanently incapacitated, or that period expires, the President of Israel
President of Israel
oversees the process of assembling a new governing coalition, and in the meantime the acting prime minister or other incumbent minister is appointed by the cabinet to serve as interim prime minister. In the case of Sharon, elections were already due to occur within 100 days of the beginning of his coma; thus, the post-election coalition-building process pre-empted the emergency provisions for the selection of a new prime minister. Nevertheless, Olmert was appointed interim prime minister on 16 April 2006, after the elections, just days before he had formed a government on 4 May 2006, to become the official prime minister. Acting, Vice and Deputy Prime Minister Main article: Deputy leaders of Israel Aside from the position of Acting Prime Minister, there are also Vice Prime Ministers and Deputy Prime Ministers. Interim government Main article: Deputy leaders of Israel
Israel
§ Interim Government Prime Minister's residence During his term of office, the prime minister lives in Jerusalem. Since 1974, the official residence of the prime minister is Beit Aghion, at the corner of Balfour and Smolenskin streets in Rehavia.[5] List of Prime Ministers of Israel Main article: List of Prime Ministers of Israel Term of office
Term of office
in years Main article: List of Prime Ministers of Israel
Israel
§ Term of office in years List of Prime Ministers by longevity Main article: List of Prime Ministers of Israel
Israel
by longevity Living former Prime Ministers As of March 2017, there are two living former Prime Ministers. The most recent Prime Minister to die was Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
(1977; 1984–1986; 1995–1996), who died on 28 September 2016. Benjamin Netanyahu, who served as Prime Minister from 1996 to 1999, is currently serving and is thus excluded from this list.

Ehud Barak (1999–2001) (1942-02-12) February 12, 1942 (age 76)

Ehud Olmert (2006–2009) (1945-09-30) September 30, 1945 (age 72)

See also

Prime Minister's Office (Israel) Beit Aghion Beit Rosh ha-Memshala

References

^ Flags of the Israel
Israel
Defense Forces ^ Basic Law: The Government (2001) Sections 7a, 13d. ^ Prime Minister Netanyahu. Remember? Maariv, 30 August 2005 ^ Q&A: Israel's political future BBC News, 11 January 2006 ^ From modesty to monstrosity Haaretz, 1 May 2009

Further reading

Avner, Yehuda (2010). The Prime Ministers: An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership. Israel: Toby Press. ISBN 978-1-59264-278-6. OCLC 758724969. 

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Prime ministers of Israel.

Official website All Prime Ministers of Israel
Israel
Knesset
Knesset
website The PM's Who Shaped Israel
Israel
– slideshow by The First Post Family Trees of all Prime Minister of Israel

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Prime Ministers of Israel
Israel

Ben-Gurion (1948–53) Sharett (1953–55) Ben-Gurion (1955–63) Eshkol (1963–69) Allon (acting) Meir (1969–74) Rabin (1974–77) Begin (1977–83) Shamir (1983–84) Peres (1984–86) Shamir (1986–92) Rabin (1992–95) Peres (1995–96) Netanyahu (1996–99) Barak (1999–2001) Sharon (2001–06) Olmert (2006–09) Netanyahu (2009–present)

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Prime minister

Prime Ministers by country

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Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 134074810

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