[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: 26 Mary 2013 When President Shimon Peres replied
today to a Jordanian reporter who asked him if he represented the Government
of Israel in the proposals he makes, he essentially warned the reporter that
he had no authority.
He told the Jordanian reporter that he is an Israeli citizen and that he is
the president of Israel.
Both positions give him the authority to be a kibitzer.
But as can be seen by Section 11 of Basic Law: The President of the State
(see below), while he certainly has the authority to pardon all the
terrorist murderers in civilian Israeli prisons, he has no actual role
representing the Government of Israel. His role with regard to conventions
with foreign states is limited to ceremoniously signing the conventions
after they have been ratified by the Knesset.
Basic Law: The President of the State
1. A President shall stand at the head of the State.
Place of residence.
2. The place of residence of the President of the State shall be Jerusalem.
Election and period of tenure
3. (a) The President of the State shall be elected by the Knesset for seven
(b) The President will serve for one term only.
Functions and powers
(a) The President of the State -
(1) shall sign every Law, other than a Law relating to its powers;
(2) shall take action to achieve the formation of a Government and shall
receive the resignation of the Government in accordance with Law;
(3) shall receive from the Government a report on its meetings;
(4) shall accredit the diplomatic representatives of the State, shall
receive the credentials of diplomatic representatives sent to Israel by
foreign states, shall empower the consular representatives of the State and
shall confirm the appointments of consular representatives sent to Israel by
(5) shall sign such conventions with foreign states as have been ratified by
(6) shall carry out every function assigned to him by Law in connection with
the appointment and removal from office of judges and other office-holder's.
(b) The President of the State shall have power to pardon offenders and to
lighten penalties by the reduction or commutation thereof.
(c) The President of the State shall carry out every other function and have
every other power assigned to him by Law.
Departure for abroad
18. The President of the State shall not leave the territory of the State
save with the sanction of the Government.