Today our group visited the Supreme Court along with Professor Lefkovitz and Mr. Elie Friedman (Doctoral Candidate) who gave us a lecture in the early morning at Hadassah Academic College on the Israel government system, which was fascinating to me, and controversial at the same time.
Israel government system is based on parliamentary democracy. The prime minister of Israel who is the head of the government and the leader of a multi party system. The government exercises executive power. Legislative power is put in the hand of the Knesset. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. What brought my attention during this lecture, is that Israel has a variety of political power in the government, some of its current political parties are: Likud (which is the party that Benjamin Netanyahu current Israel prime minister belongs to) and it has 20 seats, Yesh Atid and it has 19 seats, Israel Labor Party and it has 15 seats, Jewish Home and it has 12 seats, Israel our Home and it has 11 seats (Mostly Russian), Shas and it has 11 seats, United Torah Judaism and it has 7 seats, Hatnuah and it has 6 seats (It is also known as The Movement), Meretz and it also has 6 seats, United Arab List -Ta-al- and it has 4 seats, Hadash and it also has 4 seats (it is the party that believes in Israel for all Israeli), Balad and it has 3 seats (It is mostly Muslims party, Mr. Friedman mentioned that the Knesset wants to get rid of this party), Kadima and it has 2 seats (and it is known to be Ariel Sharon party).
Our tour Guide Mrs. Gigit from Belgium mentioned to us that The Supreme Court is the highest judicial authority in Israel. The Judiciary, the executive and the legislature (The Knesset) constitute the three branches of government. Three justices usually constitute a Supreme Court panel (We had a chance to witness one of it, it was mostly in Hebrew, so it was difficult for most of us to understand what was going on, however in the way out, Mr. Friedman, who happens to speak Hebrew, mentioned to us that this case has to do with manslaughter). In special instances the Supreme Court may sit in odd numbered panels of more than three.
When we walked toward the library, we entered the pyramid area, a large space that serves as a turning point before the entrance to the courtrooms. This serene space acts as the inner gate of the Supreme Court building. It was mentioned to us that Natural light enters round windows at the top of the pyramid, forming circles of sunlight on the inside walls and on the floor.
It was interesting when the tour guide mentioned to us that while the courtrooms differ in size and interior design, their basic structure was similar. Natural light enters through skylights located between the outer walls and the columns. The columns themselves suggest a separation between inside and outside. Each courtroom has a prisoner’s dock and a press box. Lawyers sit at the semi circular table facing the justices.