Tensions Between Netanyahu and Rivlin Apparent in Meeting
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL (Worthy News)– Tensions surrounded when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, met with Israel’s President-elect Reuven Rivlin at his official residence in Jerusalem to congratulate him on being elected to office.
Tensions between Netanyahu and Rivlin were obvious in Rivlin’s body language as he barely took a moment to turn his head and look at Netanyahu during their press conference.
Netanyahu did all he could prevent Rivlin from becoming president, including attempts by the Prime Minister to abolish the presidential institution through a special law. He even went so far as to offer the job to Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel, who doesn’t even have Israeli citizenship.
“Joint work on behalf of all Israelis is before us,” Netanyahu said. “We have gone through much together and I am certain that we will now know to put the less good aspects aside and work responsibly for the future of the State of Israel.”
However, members of his own party, as well as his coalition, were insulted by Netanyahu’s moves to exclude Rivlin, as Rivlin is a unifying figure in a divided coalition.
While Rivlin has never wavered in his positions, and maintained his ideology throughout his political career, he’s maintained to garner friends to those who even oppose his views.
Rivlin has advocated throughout his career in the belief of a “one-state” concept that negates the establishment of a Palestinian State next to the State of Israel.
While opponents say, the Palestinian demographic threat could destroy the “Jewish” state; he has maintained his position, not even moving an inch to the left.
However, when Rivlin served as Knesset speaker for two terms, many ideologues who are against his beliefs voted for him because of his sterling reputation of being fair.
During his tenure as speaker, Rivlin never involved his personal political views in his conduct as speaker and espoused a “fair game” policy at all costs and didn’t discriminate against the left, even the radical left, in political conflicts.
During his two terms as Knesset speaker, Rivlin earned the reputation as a “liberal and a true adherent of the rule of law” and integrated his ideology with democratic principles.
As a testament of his fairness, he was gracious to Arab Knesset members when he was speaker, and despite their obvious differences, some of them even voted for him in the recent presidential campaign.
Likud’s interior minister, Gideon Sa’ar, campaigned hard on Rivlin’s behalf, and Sa’ar is seen in political circles as the heir apparent to Netanyahu.
Netanyahu fears that an axis formed by Rivlin and Sa’ar could muster enough political power to replace the prime minister.
Since the president holds the power to pick who will have a chance to build a coalition during election cycles, Netanyahu knows his job may be in jeopardy if Rivlin and Sa’ar join forces.