Basic Guidelines of the Government of Israel

(July 6, 1999)


General

1.1 The main objectives of the Government are: national and personal security by way of a determined struggle against terrorism; an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict by achieving genuine peace; the prevention of war and bloodshed; the war on unemployment and the cultivation of stable, employment-creating growth; the reduction of social gaps; the promotion of immigration and immigrant absorption through integration and partnership; the creation of living conditions and an environment that offer a sense of purpose and hope, and promote immigration to Israel; the fortification of democracy, the rule of law, Jewish heritage and human rights, with respect for the courts; the promise of equal opportunity for all; the making education its top priority, ensuring an education for the young generation from kindergarten through university, and; the struggle against violence and traffic accidents.

1.2 The Government of Israel will act to bring an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict through peaceful means, and by standing firm on Israel's national security, integrity and development. The Government will strive to establish peace based on mutual respect, ensuring the security and other vital interests of the State and offering personal security for all its citizens.

1.3 The Government will work for national unity -- bringing together all citizens of Israel, cultivating tolerance, moderation and respect for others -- and to close rifts among the nation, giving hope for a better future for all citizens of the State, Arabs and Jews, secular and religious.

1.4 The Government will act to guarantee that Israel continues to be a Jewish, democratic and Zionist state with equal rights for all its citizens, and where immigration is encouraged.

1.5 The Government will base its policies on the principles of equality, justice and brotherhood, to be implemented in all sectors, communities and groups of Israeli society.

1.6 The Government will strive to fortify the basic values of democracy, as well as the values of Judaism, the rule of law and equality before the law, based on the ideas of social justice, human and civil rights, the values of Judaism, equality, brotherhood and freedom. The Government will strengthen the judicial apparatus and entrench respect for the law, in the spirit of democracy and Jewish tradition.

1.7 The Government will work to develop the economy in accordance with the principles of free and balanced economics, with a view toward increasing the amount of resources available to the State, being profoundly convinced that the prosperity of the State and its development are central components of its strength. The Government will view a reduction of gaps and the implementation of the principles of social justice as vital components in its economic policy and in the integrity of the State of Israel.

1.8 The Government will work to cultivate stable growth through integration in the international economy, to improve the standard of living, and to advance science, technology and industry. The Government will accomplish this by offering all citizens of Israel an equal opportunity to take a responsible part in the national enterprise.

1.9 The Government will work toward advancing broad groupings among the Israeli population, reducing gaps, raising the standard of living of weak social strata, and instituting a policy of advancement and progress for development towns, and rehabilitating underprivileged neighborhoods.

1.10 The Government will work toward genuine improvements in the spheres of public health, employment and housing conditions, with attention to the elderly, pensioners, the handicapped, multi-child and single parent families and people afflicted with economic or social distress.

1.11 The Government will show respect for the Jewish character of the State and for Jewish heritage, as well as for the religion and traditions of all other religious communities in Israel.

1.12 In determining its policy, the Government will act to preserve the respect of all individuals, their welfare, security and quality of life.

1.13 The Government will work toward gender equality, and toward creating conditions that will assist in the advancement of women in academia, government, the labor market and the economy. The Government will also combat the plague of violence against women and within the family.

1.14 The Government will cultivate cultural and artistic endeavors, and encourage artists, with a view toward creating a climate of creativity, developing talent and rejuvenating culture in Israel.

1.15 The Government will strengthen the ties between Israel and Jews in the Diaspora, through continuous dialogue, and find ways to enhance their Jewish identity and to assist in their struggle against assimilation. The Government, together with Jewish communities around the world, will combat manifestations of anti-Semitism and racism.

1.16 The Government will uphold international agreements signed by Israel.

1.17 The Government will undertake long-range strategic planning in an effort to advance Israel as a modern state, with effective and just management, marching into the next millennium in security and peace, and with hope for a better future.

 

The Peace, Security and Foreign Relations of Israel

2.1 The Government views peace as a basic value of life in Israel, whose sources draw on the vision of the Prophets, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and in the continued yearning of the Israeli people for peace and security. The Government believes that it is possible to bring an end to the cycle of bloodshed in our region. Making peace is grounded in the strength of the IDF and on the overall strength of Israel, on the deterrent capabilities of the State, and on the desire for stability in the Middle East -- that will allow resources to be directed toward economic and social development.

2.2 Peace is a component in the national security conception and the foreign relations of Israel. The arrangements and peace treaties to which Israel will be a partner will be grounded in the preservation of the security and national interests of Israel, resting on the broad support of the people in Israel.

2.3 The Government will cultivate the strength of the IDF as the defensive and deterrent force of Israel.

2.4 The Government will conduct an all-out war against terrorist organizations and the initiators and perpetrators of terrorism, and guarantee the personal security of all residents of Israel.

2.5 As part of its policy to bring about and establish peace in the Middle East, the Government will act toward the development of mechanisms for political, economic, scientific and cultural cooperation between peoples of the region.

2.6 The Government will act to accelerate the negotiations with the Palestinians, based on the existing process, with a view toward ending the conflict with a permanent settlement that guarantees the security and vital interests of Israel. The permanent settlement with the Palestinians will be submitted for approval in a referendum.

2.7 The Government will honor and implement the agreements which Israel has signed with the Palestinians, while, at the same time, insisting that the Palestinian Authority also honor and implement these agreements.

2.8 The Government will resume the negotiations with Syria with a view toward concluding a peace treaty therewith -- full peace that bolsters the security of Israel, grounded in UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and on the existence of a normal relationship between two neighboring states, living side by side in peace. The peace treaty with Syria will be submitted for approval in a referendum.

2.9 The Government will act toward bringing the IDF out of Lebanon, while guaranteeing the welfare and security of residents of the north, and aspiring to conclude a peace treaty with Lebanon.

2.10 The Government views Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority as important partners in the effort to establish peace in our region, and will conduct an on- going political dialogue with each of them. The Government will also work to advance understanding and friendship, as well as the development of the economy, commerce and tourism between the Israeli people and the Egyptian, Jordanian and Palestinian peoples.

2.11 The Government will conduct an on-going dialogue with the United States with regard to its positions on the permanent settlement. The dialogue will also relate to American political, economic and defense assistance to Israel. The Government will work to intensify the special friendship between the United States and Israel, and to continue and cultivate the strategic cooperation with the United States.

2.12 The Government will work to strengthen and enhance ties with the European Union and its member states. The Government will also act to strengthen ties with Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States and China, as well as with the entire international community.

2.13 The Government will do everything in its power to bring about the release of Israeli prisoners of war and missing soldiers, and to bring them back to Israel.

 

Jerusalem

3.1 Greater Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel, will remain united and complete under the sovereignty of Israel.

3.2 Members of all religions will be guaranteed free access to the holy places, and freedom of worship.

3.3 The Government will work toward the development and prosperity of Jerusalem, and for continued construction therein -- for the welfare of all its residents.

 

Settlement

4.1 The Government views all forms of settlement as a valued social and national enterprise, and will work to improve its ability to contend with the difficulties and challenges it faces.

4.2 Until the status of the Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza is determined, within the framework of the permanent settlement, no new communities will be built and no existing communities will be detrimentally affected.

4.3 The Government will work to ensure the security of the Jewish residents in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and to provide regular Government and municipal services -- equal to those offered to residents of all other communities in Israel. The Government will offer a response to the on-going development needs of existing communities. Socio-economic standards will be equally applied to all communities everywhere.

 

Constitution, Law, Governance and Municipal Government

5.1 The Government will work to ensure social justice, equality, human dignity and freedom, integrity, proper norms of administrative conduct, the cultivation of mutual respect between people, the strengthening of democratic rule in Israel, the preservation of Jewish heritage, and the enshrining of a recognition of the importance of the rule of law and human rights.

5.2 The Government will work, within the framework of the 15th Knesset, to complete the Basic Laws and to formulate the State Constitution. The Constitution and the Basic Laws will ensure a balance between the values that are essential to all sectors of society in Israel -- including human rights and the defense of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. The enactment of the Constitution will be carried out in an effort to formulate a broad national consensus.

5.3 The Government will work to strengthen the standing of the Knesset and of the secular and religious courts, of the review process, and of law enforcement authorities, while carefully preserving the principle of the separation between branches of government. The Government will work to improve and reform the Civil Service.

5.4 The Government will combat crime and violence -- including violence among youth, and against women and the defenseless -- through education, deterrence and rehabilitation.

5.5 The Government will work to strengthen the judicial system, implement reform in the courts, improve service to the public and shorten the pre-trial waiting period.

5.6 The Government will institute fixed, clear, overt and equal criteria for the distribution of various Government grants, and ensure their implementation.

 

Change in the Order of National Priorities

6.1 The Government will determine the order of priorities in the allocation of available resources. Priority will be given, first and foremost, to education. Priority will also be given to health, the war on unemployment and poverty, the creation of jobs, immigrant absorption, the development of infrastructures vital for economic growth and the quality of life, the strengthening of the settlement enterprise, the struggle against traffic accidents, the promotion of research and the the development of advanced technology.

6.2 The Government will re-examine national priority areas and communities. Subject thereto, the status of Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza will be equal to that of communities inside Israel, without preference, except for preference given for reasons related to security.

6.3 The distribution of Government resources will be carried out only in accordance with criteria based on practical considerations, national objectives and the needs of the citizens of Israel, and not in accordance with any political standard.

 

Economics and Society

7.1 The Government, in its policies, will work to build a welfare state and a just society with sensitivity for the needs of the individual. The Government will place concern for the citizen, and the war on unemployment and poverty, at the center of its policy. The Government will implement a comprehensive policy of to reduce social gaps and the dimensions of poverty.

7.2 The Government will work to improve the standard of living and the quality of life for the individual and the collective. The Government will invest in improving the economic situation of residents of development towns and underprivileged neighborhoods. The Government will make efforts to improve education, employment and quality of life for all.

7.3 In accordance with the concept of free and balanced economics, the Government will work to increase economic competition, while restricting monopolies, removing barriers and limiting centralization, with a view towards integration into the international economy.

7.4 The Government will act to accelerate the improvement of infrastructure networks in the area of water, to develop agriculture in Israel, to ensure reasonable water quotas for farmers and to increase agricultural exports. The Government will work toward developing alternative employment for cooperative communities.

7.5 The Government will activate a budgetary policy that will enable a graduated reduction of the tax burden, and bring about gradual and steady economic growth over time, in order to allow for a reduction of the budget deficit.

7.6 In order to stimulate employment and growth, the Government will prepare a plan for tax reform, with a view toward reducing the rate of taxation -- particularly for the middle class -- and expanding the tax base. The Government will intensify efforts at tax collection and ensure a just distribution of the tax burden.

7.7 The Government will promote the privatization of businesses under State ownership, through dialogue with employees, and, to the extent possible, by giving employees the opportunity to acquire stock in the businesses being sold. In each instance, a dialogue will be conducted with employee unions at the business, plant or corporation, in an effort to honor the collective agreement which have been signed with the employees.

7.8 The Government will work to implement the Public Housing Law, with consideration for budget restrictions. The Government will also work to enable multi-child families, young couples, new immigrants, discharged soldiers and residents of underprivileged neighborhoods to purchase or rent -- at reasonable cost and under reasonable conditions -- apartments, with the aid of a mortgage. The Government will work to guarantee housing solutions, including public housing, for those in need.

7.9 The Government will work to improve the situation of pensioners and the elderly, and examine further pension arrangements, via legislation or other means, to prevent senior citizens from becoming caught up in difficulties in functioning and the cycle of poverty. The Government affirms its commitment to the veteran pension funds, in accordance with its decision of March 1995.

7.10 The Government will give particular attention to special populations: the handicapped, single parent families, children with special needs and others.

7.11 The Government will develop the tourism industry in advance of the year 2000 and the next millennium, and substantially bolster the scope of domestic and foreign tourism, as well as tourist sites and infrastructure.

7.12 The Government will appoint a committee to examine the problem of foreign workers in Israel, in order to find a solution for the moral failure and the socio-economic hazards involved in their employment.

7.13 The Government will appoint a committee to examine the rights of workers employed by human resource companies. The committee will also examine the extension of collective labor agreements to all workers, regardless of nationality or gender, or the manner in which they were hired.

Immigration and Immigrant Absorption

8.1 The Government will work to promote immigration and immigrant absorption. The integration of immigrants into Israeli society will be achieved only through dialogue and cooperation with the immigrants themselves. The Government will work for the rapid integration of new immigrants without patrons in Israel, while showing sensitivity and understanding for their distress. Immigrant absorption policy will emphasize the prevention of discrimination, the use of stigmas, and alienation. The Government will cultivate pride as Israeli society becomes stronger and is enriched by the contribution of immigrants to the economy, science and culture of Israel.

8.2 The Government will invest special efforts in the immigration and absorption of immigrants from distressed countries.

8.3 The Government will ensure that all immigrants are able to learn Hebrew regardless of their age. The State will assist immigrants in their training, conversion of profession and employment.

8.4 The Government will work to integrate immigrant scientists and academics into the Israeli economy, the industrial-business sector, and institutes of higher education and research.

8.5 The Government will respect the cultural differences of all groups and try to strengthen that which is shared between them. The Government will implement the principle of multiculturalism and, in this spirit, work to open channels of communication, given the fact that we are one people.

8.6 The Government will strive to cease wage discrimination for identical work, in all spheres, by immigrant and veteran Israelis.

8.7 The Government will work to release public lands in order to lower the cost of construction and facilitate the availability of reasonably priced housing, for purchase and long-term rental, while maintaining the rights of the renter.

8.8 The Government will work to integrate immigrants into education programs, networks and reforms, taking advantage of their cultural and scientific potential for the benefit of the education system.

8.9 The Government will give particular attention to immigrant populations requiring assistance, such as: the elderly, single parent families, the handicapped and the ill.

8.10 The Government will initiate legislation to guarantee the rights and obligations of new immigrants to Israel.

8.11 The Government will work to legislate the Veterans Law, which determines that 9 May is a special, historic day, and grants benefits and assistance to World War II veterans living with us.

8.12 The Government will work to integrate new immigrants into the Government and Civil Service at all levels.

8.13 The Government and the Jewish Agency will strengthen their relationship and take joint action to promote immigration and strengthen Jewish-Zionist education in the Diaspora. Simultaneously, the Government will examine its overall relations with the Jewish Agency.

 

Education

9.1 The Government will place education at the top of the national order of priorities, and will view investment in the human infrastructure as a primary lever for economic and social growth and, in the long term, for extracting groups of citizens from the cycle of poverty and and distress.

9.2 The Government will act gradually to ensure equal educational opportunities for all, compulsory education for ages 3-5, the gradual extension of the school day, an increase in the number of those eligible for matriculation certificates, the development of the special education system, the expansion of the higher education system and the guarantee of an advanced education, as well as a gradual reduction of tuition at institutes of higher education and student loans -- all subject to budget restrictions.

9.3 The Government will offer incentives for the advancement of the education system in national priority communities and welfare neighborhoods under rehabilitation. The Government will also offer incentives and grants to encourage discharged IDF soldiers to study and remain in Israel.

9.4 The Government will work to intensify educational curricula on democracy, social sensitivity and respect for the law in Israel. The Government will also work, within the framework of the Jewish school system, to intensify educational curricula on Zionism, Judaism and Jewish heritage.

9.5 The Government will ensure that students in the Jewish education system study, among other topics, the eternal values of the Jewish people -- including the Torah, Love of Israel, respect for all people created in His image, love of the Land, Jewish history and the Zionist idea -- as well as the universal and humanistic values of respect for individuals and their freedom.

9.6 The Government will work to improve the training, status and working conditions of teachers and researchers.

9.7 The Government will develop scientific and technological education to mold the new generation of scientists, researchers and teachers, enabling Israel to be integrated into the top tier of research and industry in the spheres of science and technology.

9.8 The Government will ensure the education, within the framework of the State education system, of children from underprivileged families.

9.9 The Government will support cultural, artistic, literary, theater, musical, dance and film endeavors, as well as museums and libraries, with a view toward creating a climate of creativity, talent development and prosperity for Israeli culture, in accordance with practical, equal and public guidelines. The Government will also continue promoting the various branches of sport in Israel.

9.10 An emphasis will be placed on safety and the correction of safety-related shortcomings in educational institutions.

 

Religion

10.1 The Government recognizes the need to design an appropriate solution for the relationship between religion and state, through dialogue and the establishment of a covenant between the religious and secular populations - - to be grounded in consensus, based upon mutual tolerance and bringing together all parts of the nation.

10.2 The Government will work for the passage of Knesset legislation, in accordance with High Court of Justice rulings, and through prior dialogue and efforts to reach an understanding with all relevant parties, regarding military conscription and the exemption from military service given to yeshiva students.

10.3 The Government will guarantee the religious needs of members of all communities and religions in Israel, without political linkage, but in accordance with the principles of equality, reason and propriety.

10.4 The Government will work to strengthen the status of the Chief Rabbinate.

10.5 The Government will work to preserve the places sacred to all religions, to arrange for the possibility of Jewish prayer at all sites sacred to Jews, and to arrange for the possibility of prayer at sites sacred to all other religions, with consideration for public security and order.

10.6 Religious services in Israel will be improved.

 

Gender Equality

11.1 The Government will conduct policies that will create gender equality.

11.2 The Government will examine the wages and advancement of women in the Civil Service and work to create equal opportunity between men and women in the spheres of wages and advancement.

11.3 The Government will examine the introduction of structural changes in the economy to enable parents of young children to continue working: flexible hours, a long school day, day-care centers, support and training for working parents.

11.4 The Government will act to recognize expenses related to child-care in instances when both parents are working, and work to increase the economic viability of employment for parents of young children.

11.5 The Government will combat violence against women.

 

The Status of Israeli Arabs

12.1 The Government will work toward full and equal rights for all Arab, Bedouin, Druze, Circassian and other citizens of Israel. The Government will work for equality in education, employment, housing and infrastructure, and to correct past inequalities in the allocation of resources and availability of public services.

12.2 The Government will act to improve the situation of Arab authorities and to create jobs, through the industrialization of Arab and Druze communities, while gradually closing the gaps between various populations in Israel with respect to economic and social infrastructure.

12.3 The Government will work to improve the education system in the Arab, Bedouin, Druze and Circassian sectors, as in the Jewish sector. The Government will work to promote Arab and Druze culture, in the spirit of these communities.

12.4 The Government will work toward creating an economic and social infrastructure in Arab, Bedouin Druze and Circassian communities that is of equal quality to that in Jewish communities.

12.5 The Government will advance arrangements for the settlement of Bedouins in the Negev -- to be based upon an integrated solution for their settlement and an arrangement to resolve the land problem.

12.6 The Government will act to create jobs for the Arab sector at the highest levels of the Government and Civil Service. The Government will allocate additional jobs for the integration of Arab academics in Government and public institutions.

12.7 The Government will work to formulate solutions for chronic problems such as the problems of recognition for unrecognized Arab communities, the appropriation of lands for public use, the problems of Bedouins in the Negev, accelerated approval for master plans, the definition of disputed jurisdictions, solutions for the housing problems of young couples and the underprivileged, and the return of those uprooted from Ikrit and Biram -- in accordance with the principles approved by the ministerial committees of previous governments.

 

Health

13.1 The Government will work to give all citizens of Israel the benefit of health insurance, within the framework of which they will receive all the health services they require for the sake of treatment, basic prevention and rehabilitation.

13.2 The Government will re-examine the payments for visits to physicians and for medicines. The Government will examine the sources of funding for the National Health Insurance Law.

13.3. The Government will place a special emphasis on providing appropriate health services for pensioners and on arranging long-term hospitalized care.

13.4 The Government will work to supplement the number of hospital beds and the availability of modern medical equipment at hospitals and clinics, and to shorten bureaucratic procedures and waiting periods for medical treatment.

 

Transportation

14.1 The Government will make efforts to resolve the transportation difficulties in Israel and combat the phenomenon of traffic accidents.

14.2 The Government will work toward instituting rapid train lines along main traffic arteries, paving roads, constructing bridges and interchanges, shortening drive time, improving access routes to communities and easing the traffic burden.

14.3 The Government will support the creation of mass transit systems and the introduction of advanced technology into these systems. The Government will also act to open the sphere of public transportation to competition.

 

Environment

15.1 The Government will preserve the environment, and work to prevent water and air pollution and to eliminate or reduce the impact of various ecological hazards, poisonous substances and nuclear radiation.


Source: Israeli Foreign Ministry