The Israeli president post is largely ceremonial with limited powers, much less than those of the prime minister. The president has authority to pick a Knesset member from a majority party to fill the post of the prime minister, grant clemency to prisoners, and pick central bank governor, Magen David Adam (Israeli Red Cross) head, and judges of court of appeals for armed forces, and receive foreign ambassadors' credentials. As it appears, the president has no jurisdiction to make decisions on foreign policy or other significant state duties, something making his post largely ceremonial.
But the prime minister stands out as a powerful post holder in the parliamentary system with the duty to form a government as a head of parliament’s majority. The prime minister in fact has two cabinets, with the major cabinet being a security one and standing out as the most important part of the executive power.
In some cases, due to lack of an outright parliamentary majority there is a need to form a coalition government. The security cabinet, a form of inner cabinet within the main cabinet, contains ministers other than those of the main cabinet. Prime Minister, Acting Prime Minister, Vice Prime Minister, the Director-Generals of the Defense, Foreign, and Treasury ministries, as well as the Chief of General Staff, chief of Shin Bet, and the Military Secretary to Prime Minister, take part in the security cabinet meetings. This smaller forum of the cabinet members is designated to coordinate the diplomatic negotiations, and in times of crisis, especially war, it is designed to make quick and effective decisions. Beside the security section, the prime minister’s cabinet has a major civilian section with major offices.
But what is not focused on regularly is the Israeli regime’s political bureaucracy. In every ministry, there is an acting minister beside the main minister. Furthermore, every ministry has a general manager with specific duties appointed by the minister after taking the Selection Committee approval to be in charge of administrative works. The acting minister is in fact in charge of all of the minister and the ministry's services and policy adoption, and is aided and advised by a number of deputies.
The Israeli security institutions like foreign spying service Mossad and the internal security service Shin Bet are directly supervised by the prime minister’s office. Other institutions such as the Central Bureau of Statistics, which is responsible for publishing national figures every year, State Archives, as well as security, political, economic, and military advisors are active under the prime minister’s office.
In fact, the bureaucratic executive power and the united structure administration are the main features of the Israeli government. Beside the government that is responsible also for protecting the political unity, regional and local councils are also active. Their duties range from mobilizing the political leadership in the time of need and providing state services to boosting political relationship between people and the political leaders in six provinces. Additionally, the judiciary is fully independent with two ordinary and special courts.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are in three parts: ground force, air force, and the navy, all led by the Chief of General Staff who is predominantly a major general. The Israeli decision makers formed “Home Front Command”, a command of the IDF responsible to strengthen domestic and civilian readiness to react in critical conditions, in 1992, a year after the Persian Gulf War. The ground forces are categorized in four units: parachutist, infantry, armored and artillery, and combat engineering corps.
Besides, the intelligence agencies have a very special place. The military intelligence body, or Aman, is responsible for hostile fronts' data and news analysis, and is active directly under the defense minister, and is in full cooperation with the field spying and the military units. Aman is fully equipped when it comes to the data collection facilities and forms a strong intelligence body along with the field reconnaissance and spying units that gather information from behind the front lines. There is a “special assassination force”, charged with neutralizing opponents. The force has been behind many assassinations, majorly those that removed Palestine's military and political leaders during the second intifada in mid-2000.
Beside the military intelligence stands the globally famous Mossad, working directly under command of the prime minister and is tasked with spying outside Israeli borders and deterring foreign-backed operations against Israeli targets. Up to 1996, the Mossad director was anonymous. The Mossad “special operation units” are in close contacts with the US CIA. The Mossad has a secret branch dubbed “Matsad” which has a litany of assassination, sabotage, and psychological warfare operations. Matsad has “Kidon” unit which is responsible for foreign assassinations and relies on an aggressive military doctrine.
Shin Bet, is an internal version of Mossad and is also active under the prime minister and in the occupied Palestinian territories. Shin Bet carries out arrest and abduction operations and puts down the Palestinian protests. During south Lebanon occupation, Shin Bet managed to abduct or assassinate many Lebanese resistance’s leaders and commanders. Mista Aravim is another Shin Bet unit whose operatives are disguised in Arab clothing during operations. Mista Aravim is a Hebrew word or phrase meaning “to become an Arab.”
But these are not only Israeli intelligence agencies. The foreign ministry-directed Center for Strategic Studying and Planning, Likim or the Scientific Communication Office( mainly responsible for “stealing” scientific ideas that contribute to the Israeli military industries.), and Ministry of Defense Security Authority, or Malmab, which is responsible for sensitive departments and industries are inseparable parts of the Israeli intelligence community. The Likim, however, was relatively closed after revealed stealing of data from the Pentagon and other American departments. Now its duties are performed by other intelligence units.
Complexity and multitude of political parties makes many call the Israeli regime the state of parties which are growing days by day. Inconsistent policies along with partisan approaches to the events sometimes sink the government or lead to Knesset dissolution. Meanwhile, the religious circles have special power and influence and have their own orders. They sometimes carry out terrorist missions without prime minister’s authorization. They act as part of the Israeli regime’s political bureaucracy.