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The Cabinet of Israel (officially: Hebrew: ממשלת ישראלMemshelet Yisrael, English: Government of Israel) is a formal body composed of government officials, ministers, chosen and led by a Prime Minister. Its composition must be approved by a vote in the Knesset. Under Israeli law, the Prime Minister may remove members of the Cabinet, but must do so in writing, and new appointees must again be approved by the Knesset. Most ministers are heads of government departments, though some are Ministers without portfolio. Also most ministers are members of the Knesset, though only the Prime Minister and the Designated Acting Prime Minister are actually required to be Knesset members. Some ministers are called also Deputy and Vice Prime Ministers. Unlike the Designated Acting Prime Minister, these roles have no statutory meanings. The cabinet operates according to the Basic Law: The Government.

The cabinet meets weekly on Sundays in Jerusalem. There may be additional meetings if circumstances require it. The prime minister chairs the meetings.


Use of terms

The body discussed in this article is referred to in Israeli official documents as the Government of Israel. This is in accordance to the normal translation of its Hebrew name, (Hebrew: ממשלה‎, Memshala). In Israel, the term cabinet (Hebrew: קבינט‎) is generally used for the Political-Security Cabinet (Hebrew: הקבינט המדיני-ביטחוניHaKabinet haMedini-Bitachoni), a smaller forum of cabinet members that decides on defense and foreign policy issues and may consist of up to half of the (full) cabinet members. Another term in use is the Kitchen Cabinet (Hebrew: המטבחון‎, HaMitbahon, lit. "The kitchenette"), a collection of senior officials, or unofficial advisers to the Security Cabinet of Israel.


Interim Government

First Cabinet

The first cabinet was the provisional government of Israel (HaMemshela HaZmanit) which governed Israel from shortly before independence until the formation of the first government in March 1949 following the first Knesset elections in January that year. It was formed as "Minhelet HaAm" (People's Administration) on 12 April 1948, in preparation for independence just over a month later. All its thirteen members were taken from Moetzet HaAm, the temporary legislative body set up at the same time.

Current Cabinet

Following the 2009 Knesset elections, a new government was formed on 31 March 2009. It consisted of a coalition of Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu, Shas, the Labor Party, The Jewish Home, and on April 1, United Torah Judaism joined as well. It is the largest cabinet in the country's history, in terms of the number of ministers: it contains 30 ministers and nine deputy ministers.[1], and is also known as "2nd Netanyahu Government". [2]

Basic Policy Guidelines

A paper presented to the Knesset's approval alongside the Government [2]:

  • The Government will actively seek to fortify the national security and bestow personal security on its citizens while vigorously and determinedly fighting against violence and terror.
  • The Government will advance the political process and act to promote peace with all our neighbors, while preserving the security, historic and national interests of Israel.
  • The Government will advance a program to deal with the economic crisis and act to create economic conditions that will allow for sustainable growth, as well as create and maintain jobs in the economy.
  • The Government will strive for social justice by reducing social gaps and uncompromisingly fight against poverty through education, employment and an increase in assistance to the weaker segments of the population.
  • The Government will place the issue of immigration and immigrant absorption at the top of its list of priorities and will work vigorously to increase immigration from all countries of the world.
  • The Government will place education at the center of its list of national priorities and will act to advance reforms in the education system.
  • The Government will preserve the Jewish character of the State and the legacy of Israel, as well as honor the religions and traditions of members of other religions in the country in accordance with the values of the Declaration of Independence.
  • The Government will act to advance governmental reforms to improve stability and governability.
  • The Government will act to fortify the rule of law in Israel.
  • The Government will act to protect the environment in Israel, improve the quality of life for the residents of the country and increase Israel’s participation in contributing to the global effort with regard to the climate and the environment.

Cabinet members

Portfolio Minister Party
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Likud
Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom Likud
Moshe Ya'alon Likud
Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Barak Labor Party
Avigdor Lieberman Yisrael Beitenu
Dan Meridor Likud
Eli Yishai Shas
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Shalom Simhon Labor Party
Minister of Communications Moshe Kahlon Likud
Minister of Culture and Sport Limor Livnat Likud
Minister of Defense Ehud Barak Labor Party
Minister of the Development of the Negev and Galilee Silvan Shalom Likud
Minister of Economic Strategy Benjamin Netanyahu Likud
Minister of Education Gideon Sa'ar Likud
Minister of Environmental Protection Gilad Erdan Likud
Minister of Finance Yuval Steinitz Likud
Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman Yisrael Beitenu
Minister of Health Benjamin Netanyahu Likud
Minister of Housing and Construction Ariel Atias Shas
Minister of Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver Yisrael Beitenu
Minister of Improvement of Government Services Michael Eitan Likud
Minister of Industry, Trade, and Labour Binyamin Ben-Eliezer Labor Party
Minister of Information and Diaspora Yuli-Yoel Edelstein Likud
Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy Dan Meridor Likud
Minister of Internal Affairs Eli Yishai Shas
Minister of Internal Security Yitzhak Aharonovich Yisrael Beitenu
Minister of Justice Ya'akov Ne'eman Not an MK
Minister of Minorities Avishay Braverman Labor Party
Minister of National Infrastructure Uzi Landau Yisrael Beitenu
Minister of Pensioner Affairs Benjamin Netanyahu Likud
Minister of Regional Development Silvan Shalom Likud
Minister of Religious Services Ya'akov Margi Shas
Minister of Science and Technology Daniel Hershkowitz The Jewish Home
Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Ya'alon Likud
Minister of Tourism Stas Misezhnikov Yisrael Beitenu
Minister of Transportation and Road Safety Yisrael Katz Likud
Minister of Welfare and Social Services Isaac Herzog Labor Party
Minister without Portfolio Benny Begin Likud
Meshulam Nahari Shas
Yossi Peled Likud

Deputy Ministers

Portfolio Minister Party
Deputy Minister of Defense Matan Vilnai Labor Party
Deputy Minister of the Development of the Negev and Galilee Ayoob Kara Likud
Deputy Minister of Education Meir Porush United Torah Judaism
Deputy Minister of Finance Yitzhak Cohen Shas
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Daniel Ayalon Yisrael Beitenu
Deputy Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman[3] United Torah Judaism
Deputy Minister of Industry, Trade and Labour Orit Noked Labor Party
Deputy Minister of Pensioner Affairs Lea Nass Likud
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Gila Gamliel Likud


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