chapter  4
Politics
WithBernard Reich, Gershon R. Kieval
Pages 54

Israel's religious political parties are a direct response to the emergence of political Zionism at the end of the nineteenth century, and a point of difference among them has been their perspectives on Zionism. It may be categorized into three groupings: parties of the left, parties of the right, and the religious parties. The president, the government and the Knesset perform the basic political functions of the state within the framework provided by Israel's constitutional concensus. Those who have become involved in politics often take advantage of their military accomplishments, "charismatic" appeal, or established prestige and join parties representing diverse political views and ideologies. Israel's political system is characterized by a wide range and intensity of political and social viewpoints that are given expression not only in political parties but also in newspapers and a host of social, religious, cultural, and other organizations.