• The primary difference is the same difference that separates Prime Ministers from other chiefs of state around the world. The two terms for the executive heads of state are, according to political scientists, "Chief (or Head) of State" and "Head of Government". In most Parliamentary systems there is an elected or appointed Chief of State, this person is usually styled "President" or some usual style. Under that country's constitution this individual usually has limited powers and is used as a figurehead to represent the nation and act as unifying force. True Executive power rests with the Head of Government, in this case the Prime Minister (as in Israel), who heads the cabinet, runs the legislative branch, and generally manages the day-to-day operation of the country. To give some figurehead examples, the President of Israel convenes the Knesset (parliament) and dismisses it (calling for new elections), receives and accredits foreign ambassadors, and ceremonially appoints outbound Ambassadors. He might also make "good will" trips around the world representing Israel, he can only do these things, however, with the Prime Minister's consent. He cannot veto legislation, introduce it, nor issue legally-binding executive orders. Those are the purview of the Prime Minister. These systems came about in Monarchies because the government needed to have some sort of stable continuity of government between when the Legislature was in session and the Prime Minister was running the show, and when Parliament was dissolved and the campaigns began. The ceremonial President serves this function by being a ceremonial head of state.
  • Israel's prime minister forms a coalition to achieve a majority in the Israeli parliament, the knesset. Representatives from the coalition parties are given ministerial roles in return for their support of the goverment. The prime minister is the primary decision maker in the country and governs everyday decisions. The president is mostly a symbolic figure whose main roles are visiting the sick and injured, conducting foreign 'friendly' diplomacy, granting clemency. Unfortunately, in rare cases, the president does things in his not supposed to (to say the least) and is then impeached.

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