The Knesset: Major Knesset Debates
(1948 - 1981)
The Knesset: Table of Contents|History & Overview|Historical Highlights
- The Altalena Incident - June 23, 1948 [pdf]
- On May 26, 1948, an agreement had been reached between representatives of the Haganah and the Irgun Zvai Leumi (IZL), according to which the IZL would voluntarily disband "within the frontiers of Israel" and its members join the Israel Defense Forces. Since Jerusalem had not been formally incorporated into the state, the IZL insisted on its right to maintain its independent existence there, and during the first truce brought a ship - the Altalena - to Israel, loaded with volunteers and arms.
- Jerusalem and the Holy Places - December 5, 1949 [pdf]
- Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion's statement concerning Jerusalem and holy sites as the UN debated making Jerusalem an international city.
- Law of Return - July 3, 1950 [pdf]
- Two years after the establishment of the state, the government presented the Law of Return to the Knesset, granting every Jew the right to immigrate to Israel.
- Post-World War II Reparations from Germany - Janauary 7, 1952 [pdf]
- The State of Israel came into existence only a few years after the end of World War II. In September 1951, German Chancellor Adenauer declared that he considered an "obligation of the German people to make compensation to the Jews." The issue gave rise to one of the most dramatic, soul-searching and heated debates in the Knesset, which took place against the background of a violent demonstration in which stones were thrown into the building.
- The Eichmann Trial - June 8, 1960 [pdf]
- While the trial of one of the most notorious Nazi criminals, Adolf Eichmann, was being conducted, a significant constitutional issue was raised in the Knesset.
- The Dimona Reactor - July 5, 1966 [pdf]
- A debate over revealing the nature of the Dimona reactor.
- The Six-Day War - June 5, 1967 [pdf]
- Speech by Prime Minister Levi Eshkol describing the course of the Six-Day War. During his statement, Jordanian artillery was shelling Jerusalem, including the Knesset building, and the session took place in the basement shelter.
- Treatment of the Arab Population in the Administered Areas - June 21, 1967 [pdf]
- Following the Israeli conquest of territory in the Six-Day War, the government was prompted to decide how services should be provided to Arabs living in the territories.
- Reunification of Jerusalem - June 27, 1967 [pdf]
- Following the Six-Day War, the Israeli government decided to effect the incorporation of east Jerusalem into the territory of the state.
- Municipal Services in East Jerusalem - March 4, 1968 [pdf]
- The reunification of Jerusalem gave rise not only to legal questions but also to the multitude of daily problems facing its residents.
- The Yom Kippur War - October 16, 1973 [pdf]
- The Knesset was called in from recess to meet for the first time since the outbreak of the war on October 6, 1973.
- The Allon Plan - September 21, 1976
- Following the publication of an article in Foreign Affairs detailing the principles underlying Israel's defenition of secure and defensible borders, the Knesset convened to debate Foreign Minister Yigal Allon's plan.
- Israel's Peace Plan with Egypt - December 28, 1977 [pdf]
- Prime Minister Menachem Begin discusses peace efforts with Egypt.
- The Camp David Accords - September 25, 1978 [pdf]
- On September 5, 1978, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat arrived at Camp David, Maryland, a White House retreat. After twelve days in isolation, they signed the Camp D
- Basic Law: Jerusalem the Capital of Israel - July 23, 1980 [pdf]
Sources: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs