On this day in 1949, Israeli democracy was born

UK Media Watch

Written by CAMERA intern Aron White

February 14th is Valentine’s Day, but for Israel it is a special anniversary, as the Knesset marks its 68th birthday. On February 14th 1949, the First Israeli Knesset convened, lead by the elected Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion, marking a pivotal event in one of the most exceptional and underappreciated elements of Israel’s story – the story of Israeli democracy.

The first government of Israel The first government of Israel

Most people take for granted that Israel is a democracy, but in fact, there are at least three features that make Israeli democracy a significant accomplishment worth celebrating:

1. The non-democratic culture from which it sprung

One unique feature of Israeli democracy is that it seems to have come out of nowhere. Israel did not inherit a democratic system – at the turn of the 20th century, when the Zionist dream was beginning to…

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