One would welcome the opening of relations between Israel and various Arab states if it did indeed spell a more peaceful future for the region. That, however, is not the case. Despite hostility and boycott, these states, UAE, Bahrain, the Sudan and perhaps Oman and others to follow, were not at war with Israel nor even close to the country territorially. There are other conflicts still raging in the Middle East, and the only conflict Israel was involved in, and which periodically threatened escalation in the area, is that of the conflict with the Palestinians.
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Israel is a parliamentary democracy, based on a number of Basic Laws. It has no formal constitution. Religious political parties have in the past blocked all efforts to create a constitution. They hold the opinion that the Jewish state’s constitution must be based upon the Torah (the Five Books of Moses) and the Jewish law (halakhah) that arises from it.
Israel has a technologically advanced free market economy. Cut diamonds, high-technology equipment and pharmaceuticals are among its leading exports. Its major imports include crude oil, grains, raw materials and military equipment. Israel usually posts sizeable trade deficits, which are offset by tourism and other service exports, as well as significant foreign investment inflows.
Born in 1975, Odeh grew up in the city of Haifa. The only Muslim in a Christian school, he speaks fluent Hebrew as well as Arabic, English and Romanian. He became politically engaged at a young age, attending his first demonstration on 30 March 1988, Land Day, aged 13. The next three years “were the most beautiful of my life”, he told The New Yorker. “I felt completely identified with the struggle.”
The law may seem clear: a minister who has been indicted must resign. However, there is no such stipulation for a prime minister. The reason, according to most interpretations, is a practical one: if a prime minister were to resign, this would bring down the government and make a new coalition or elections necessary. Therefore, a sitting prime minister has automatic immunity.