Excursions to the Knesset the Parliament of the State of Israel, the main legislative body, are conducted by the Parliament's Public Relations Service. Guided tours are available for individual visitors on Sundays and Thursdays in seven languages. The length of the tour is an hour and a half. To book an excursion, to inquire about the dress code and safety rules, please contact the Parliament Press Service of the Invitations and Permits Department: Phone: 02-675-3337 Fax: 02-649-6589 E-mail: Tours@knesset.gov.il or on the Parliament website: https : //main.knesset.gov.il/EN/activity/Pages/Visit.aspx
The Knesset namely “gathering” or “assembly” is the unicameral national legislature of the State of Israel. The Knesset passes all laws, elects the president and prime minister, approves the cabinet and controls the work of the government.
Ceremonies and official meetings are held in the central lobby of the parliament. It is decorated with three tapestries by Marc Chagall. He worked 8 years to create them. They are woven from 144 multi-colored threads. The middle tapestry symbolizes the past. Left symbolizes the present and right one the future. King David is depicted in a red robe. Colors resemble desert and Exodus. Moses is also shown here in a white robe with the tablets of the covenant. But in fact, two images are depicted twice. That is, according to the plan of Chagall, the leaders should be not only in front and above the people, but in them and with the people. King David is also depicted on the right tapestry, followed by a female image. Perhaps this is Bella Rosenfeld's wife and the only love of Chagall's whole life. Below is an inverted violinist - Chagall himself. Right tapestry depicts the return to Zion. Multi-coloring is the multifaceted nature of the Jewish people. Holidays unites people and preserves tradition. Tapestries were made in the 60s - the years of the great wave of immigration. On tapestries we can see two dates. The year when the sketch was created and the year when the tapestries were created. The year 1964 is the time when Chagall created the sketch, and the year 1968 is the creation of the tapestry. Between those dates, in 1967, Jerusalem was liberated and united into one city - the capital of Israel. The right tapestry is the future - the prophecy of Isaiah the dream of Jacob and the story of the wise judgment of Solomon or of the virgin Mary and the baby.
This mosaic panel, as well as mosaics on the floor, are also the work of Marc Chagall. The menorah in the center is the symbol of the Knesset and the emblem of Israel. Above it is depicted the Western Wall and an angel inviting the scattered tribes to return to Zion. All the stones used in the mosaics are natural stones of Israel. Only for the lights of the menorah Chagall used the Moran glass. Chagall's signature is in Yiddish. He put such a signature only in his early work, he considered it is necessary to put it here.
This is the Declaration of Independence of Israel. Its original, already for 20 years, is stored in the archive. 37 members of the people's council put their signatures on it. First is the signature of Ben Gurion, then signatures in alphabetical order. Due to corrections and changes that were made until the last moment, there was no time left for creating a clean, calligraphic text, write by a special scriber on parchment. They decided to put the signatures on a blank sheet, and then the text itself was written in calligraphy. The declaration does not have the signature of the first president of the country, Chaim Weizmann. This story is full of rumors and is shrouded in hundreds of gossip, even to the point that Weizmann was offended by Ben Gurion for signing first, and was forced to sign like everyone in alphabetical order. However, if we look at the historical events of that time, we will understand that on the day of signing the declaration of independence, Weizman was not a member of the people's council.
The Conference hall. On the balcony there are places for guests and above them are for the public. Each deputy is assigned his place for years of cadence. All rows of seats are made in the form of Hanukkiah. The seats of deputies are immovable and unchanged, while the seats of ministers are movable and subject to change.
At a large table at the head of the hall are places for the speaker of parliament and the stand for speakers.
Above the stands and the chair of the speaker is a place of honor for the president of the country.
The modern parliament building was built in the 60s. Before that, the parliament was located in the so-called Frumin's house in the city center. The building was named after the Frumin family, which began the construction of this house before the War of Independence, as a residential building with rows of shops on the ground floor. There, in 1957, a hand grenade was thrown into the meeting room. Monday Tuesday and Wednesday plenary meetings are held. You can attend them.
Next to the plenary room are the modern premises of the parliament, intended for the work of parliamentary commissions. Here in the corridor presents and gifts from different countries are exhibited. They are presented to the speaker of the parliament during state visits.
All the rooms for the parliamentary commissions are located on three floors and open to the city, as if emphasizing the element of transparency. There are permanent commissions and there are temporary ones. In total, the Knesset of the current convocation has 20 commissions, 12 permanent and 8 temporary. We visited the constant commission room - the financial one.
On the square in front of the parliament, is a memorial of the eternal flame in memory of the soldiers of Israel, as well as three high flags and 12 lower. Three high flags symbolize 3 hands of government, and 12 small symbols 12 tribes of Israel.
The Menorah is a bronze menorah with a height of 4.30 m, a width of 3.5 m and a weight of 4 tons. It was created by Benno Elkan (1877-1960), a Jewish sculptor who escaped from the Nazis, having left Germany for Great Britain. This menorah was presented to the Knesset as a gift from the Parliament of the United Kingdom on April 15, 1956 in honor of the eighth anniversary of the independence of Israel.