Israel’s parliament is known as the Knesset הַכְּנֶסֶת. The Knesset passes all of the country’s laws, elects the President and Prime Minister, approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government. It also elects the State Comptroller and has the power to waive the immunity of its members, remove the President and the State Comptroller from office, dissolve the government in a constructive vote of no confidence, and to dissolve itself and call new elections. The Prime Minister may also dissolve the Knesset. However, until an election is completed, the Knesset maintains authority in its current composition. The Knesset is located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem. The Knesset was temporarily dissolved on 30 May 2019
The Knesset Visitor Centre, which runs the activities for visiting members of the general public, offers tours and activities for visitors on a variety of subjects and invites visitors to experience democracy in action.
Visits to the Knesset are possible only in the framework of tours, which are offered free of charge. Individuals and small groups may join general tours, which take place on Sundays and Thursdays and do not require reservations. Groups of ten or more must reserve a tour in advance through the Visitor Centre Reservations Department. A passport or Israeli ID card must be presented to enter the Knesset.
The tours and activities are accessible to visitors with special needs in order to ensure that all visitors can make the most of their visit to Israel’s parliament.
The tour introduces visitors to the nature of Israeli democracy, to the Knesset’s roles and responsibilities, and to the works of art displayed throughout the building. The tour visits the Knesset Committees Wing, the Plenary Hall, Chagall Hall, and the exhibit of Israel’s Declaration of Independence.
The tour lasts approximately about one hour. On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, tours are only held for groups. Tours for individuals and groups are held on Sundays and Thursdays between 8:30 A.M. and 2:00 P.M., according to the schedule below. The maximum number of participants in a single tour is 50; groups of ten or more people must reserve a tour in advance through the Visitor Centre Reservations Department. Tours are conducted in Hebrew, Arabic, English, French, Spanish, German, Russian and Amharic.
Tours are held on Sundays and Thursdays:
Hebrew: 10:00; 11:00; 13:00
English: 8:30; 12:00; 14:00
Amharic: By prior arrangement
The Knesset’s Roles and Responsibilities
This tour introduces visitors to all facets of the Knesset’s parliamentary roles and responsibilities. It focuses on the election process in Israel and the roles of Knesset members and Knesset committees, and it emphasizes how the Knesset’s parliamentary work affects the daily lives of Israeli citizens.
The tour is primarily an in-depth discussion of democracy in Israel and at the Knesset, and it makes stops at the Knesset Committee rooms, the Plenary Chamber, and the exhibit of Israel’s Declaration of Independence. The tour is offered in Hebrew, Arabic, English, Russian, French, Spanish, and German.
Target Audience: Groups of adults
Duration: 90 minutes
Maximum number of participants: 50
Tour Schedule: Sundays through Thursdays
The tour highlights the tapestries and mosaics by Marc Chagall in the Chagall State Hall; works by Moshe Castel and Reuven Rubin on the Government Floor; an exhibit of photographs by the Knesset’s former official photographer, David Rubinger; the Second Temple period catacombs; the Archaeological Garden; and more.
This tour does not address the Knesset’s parliamentary work.
The Knesset Archaeological Park features artefacts found during excavations in Jerusalem, which represent six periods in history: the Second Temple period, the Late Roman period, the Byzantine period, the Islamic period, the Crusader period, and the period of the Ottoman Empire.
The tour includes the Knesset Courtyard, the Plenary Hall, Chagall Hall, the Knesset Library, the Government Floor, the Parliamentary Groups Floor, and the Committees Wing.
This tour points out the purpose and use of each of the Knesset’s wings as well as the various ways in which the unique architectural plan gives expression to democratic values.
Knesset’s Environmental Protection Efforts and the Green Knesset Initiative
Visitors learn about the Knesset’s roles—representation, legislation, and oversight—as manifested in past and present environmental efforts.
The tour is largely educational and includes a tour of the Knesset Committees Wing, the exhibit of Israel’s Declaration of Independence, and the Plenary Hall.
Combined Tour of the Knesset and the Supreme Court
The tour begins at the Knesset where visitors learn about the legislative process in the State of Israel. They then examine how the laws are interpreted and implemented by the justices of the Supreme Court.
The main stops on the Knesset tour are the Knesset Committees Wing and the Plenary Hall.
Target Audience: Groups of adults interested in legislation and the interactions between the legislature and judiciary
Duration: Three hours (both tours, including the security screening at the entrance to each institution)
Maximum number of participants:50
Tour Schedule: Every other Wednesday
Note: This tour is offered in Hebrew, Arabic and English.
Visitors arriving by public transportation should take Egged bus lines 7, 7A, 14, 35 or 66 to the Knesset. Alternatively, visitors may park their vehicles at the HaLeom parking garage (10 Yitzhak Rabin Blvd.) and board a special shuttle bus for visitors that leaves for the Knesset every few minutes.
In order to park free of charge at the HaLeom parking garage, please bring your parking ticket with you and have it stamped after your tour at any one of the parking validation machines located at the usher desks in the various entrances to the Knesset Building (Palombo entrance, entrance for Members of Knesset, Weil entrance and Kedma entrance). Visitors who will not stamp the ticket at the Knesset will have to pay prior to exiting the parking garage, according to its price list.