Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Israel Studies: Government and Politics, Zionism, and Foreign relations

Government and Politics

Resources at NYPL:

Searching our catalog using the subject heading Israel -- Politics and government returns more than 80 entries including dictionaries, encyclopedias,and periodicals. These are in addition to chronological subdivisions.
An important reference series is the Government yearbook / State of Israel (1949-1972).  Other useful resources are the Oxford handbook of Israeli politics and society, Moreshet, Tsiyonut ṿe-demoḳraṭyah: 100 muśge yesod, the printed and the online version of the periodical Tarbut demokraṭit, and the twelve volume set Mimshal u-poliṭiḳah bi-medinat Yiśraʼel.
The subject heading Arab-Israeli conflict among its many subheadings are Arab-Israeli conflict -- History, Arab-Israeli conflict -- Periodicals, and Arab-Israeli conflict -- Encyclopedias.  A valuable resource on this subject is the Encyclopedia of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (2010) 

Online resources:

The Israeli system of government is based on parliamentary democracy which comprises:

  • - The executive branch of the Government of Israel - includes the Prime Minister and the members of the Government. This site by the Knesset provides detailed extensive information on all the governments of the State of Israel, from the Provisional Government to the current government. The section also features nostalgic photographs which tell the story of each Israeli government.

  • The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs also provides information about previous governments

  • - The legislative branch of the Israeli government is The Knesset - their site includes historical records, press releases, information about current MKs and committee activities and a live feed from the Knesset floor (requires plugin). Content is available in Hebrew, Arabic, English, and in Russian.

- The judicial branch includes the Supreme Court who’s website includes previous court decisions and a history of the court, information about the justices and upcoming cases. It is available in Hebrew, English and Arabic

- Basic Laws of the State of Israel  published by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

- The site Political Structure and Elections by the Israel Ministry of Foreign affairs discusses  the presidency and its history, the Knesset and its committees, the government (cabinet of ministers, the judiciary with some basic laws, and the elections.

- The website Israel: Government & Politics by the Jewish Virtual Library provides information about the structure of the branches of the government, laws & liberties, elections, independence & recognition and political figures.

The Knesset Archives.


Resources at NYPL: 

Information about Zionism can be found in our catalog under the subject heading Zionism which identifies more than 2000 resources.  There are more than 440 additional subject headings. Among the main ones are Zionism and Judaism, Zionism --  congresses, Zionism -- controversial literature, Zionism -- History, Zionism -- Periodicals, Zionism - Songs and music, Zionism -- United States. 

Online resources:

- The Central Zionist Archives (CZA) in Jerusalem holds millions of documents and pictures that tell the story of individuals, and the joint story of a people, from the time that the dream of a "Jewish state" was woven, through the settlement enterprise, the absorption of immigrants, the strengthening of the Jewish settlement and the first years of the new State of Israel. The Archives' collections include: Correspondence Files, Printed Material,  Maps and Plans Collections, Photographs Collection, Posters and Flyers Collection, Newspapers and Periodicals Collection, Books Collection, Microfilm Collection, Artifacts Collection and Audio Collections.

- The main topics covered by the Jewish Virtual Library are: definition of Zionism, the types of Zionism, Anti-Zionism, the history Zionism, Zionist organizations worldwide, prominent Zionist figures, and literature about Zionism.

Foreign Relations

Resources at NYPL:

The subject heading Israel -- Foreign relations also includes Israel -- Foreign relations -- Bibliography. An additional subject heading is Israel and the diaspora.  An important periodical on this subject is Gesher : rivʻon li-sheʼelot ḥaye ha-umah. 

Online resources:

Israel’s Foreign Policy - Historical Documents - is a collection of basic documents on Israel's foreign relations since the pre-state period (1947). ​​​

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides its publication in Hebrew, English, Arabic, Russian, Spanish, and French.