Vaad Leumi

   Under the terms of the British mandate, Jewish and Arab quasi governments were established in Palestine in the 1920s. As early as 1920, the Jewish community of Palestine (Yishuv) elected by secret ballot an Assembly of the Elected, or parliament in waiting. Between sessions, its powers were exercised by the National Council appointed by the Assembly of the Elected from among its members. The National Council, in turn, selected an executive from among its membership to exercise administrative executive power over the Jewish community. Its role was tantamount to that of a cabinet, and its authority was generally accepted in the Yishuv and was recognized by the mandate authorities. At first, its jurisdiction was confined essentially to social and religious matters, but by the 1930s, it also functioned in the fields of education, culture, health, and welfare.
   Through administration of the Jewish community's affairs, the members of the National Council and the Assembly of the Elected gained valuable experience in self-rule. The council's departments, staffed by members of the Jewish community, provided a trained core of civil servants for the postmandate period of independence. Political experience was also gained as political parties developed to contest the elections for office. When Israel became independent, many of the ministries of the provisional government were transformations of departments and bureaus that had functioned under the auspices of the National Council. The National Council formed the basis of Israel's provisional state council (which exercised legislative authority as the predecessor of Israel's Knesset, or parliament), and the executive of the National Council formed the basis of the provisional government, or cabinet.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

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