WJC welcomes choice of new president

June 11, 2014 by J-Wire
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The head of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald S. Lauder, on Tuesday welcomed the election of Reuven Rivlin as tenth president of the State of Israel. “In electing Reuven Rivlin to succeed Shimon Peres, the Knesset has made an excellent choice. Mr. Rivlin is a man of conviction, and he personifies the values of the Jewish state,” Lauder said in a first reaction. 

Reuven Rivlin

Reuven Rivlin

Israeli lawmakers on Tuesday elected the former Knesset speaker to succeed Shimon Peres as head of state by a clear margin. Rivlin beat Meir Sheetrit by 63:53 votes in the second round of voting. He will take office in late July.

Ronald S. Lauder declared: “Undoubtedly, President Peres has elevated the office of President of the State of Israel to the highest possible level. His tenure was exemplary, and he has probably been the best head of state Israel has ever had. His appeal in the entire Jewish world was unsurpassed, and his departure from front-line politics will be the end of an era.

“Nonetheless, we are confident that the Rivlin presidency will be, albeit different in style, equally successful. As Knesset speaker, Reuven Rivlin has proved that he can act across party lines and reach out to the wider world. One of the new president’s key tasks will be to strengthen Israel’s links with the Jewish Diaspora, and we look forward to continuing the close collaboration which the WJC has had with Shimon Peres with President Rivlin.

“Mazel Tov, Mr. President.”

Rivlin, 75, received 63 of 116 valid votes in the runoff, while Sheetrit received 53. In the first round, of the 119 ballots cast (MK Meir Porush was overseas), Rivlin got the most votes, 44, followed by Sheetrit with 31.

The retiring President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, called and congratulated the President-elect of Israel MK Reuven ‘Rubi’ Rivlin who will serve as the 10th President of the State of Israel from the end of July, “Rubi, Your Excellency the next President of the State of Israel, you are right for this role. It is a position that brings with it responsibility, you have to consider your every word and every action, but you will do it successfully because you are, to your core, a good person. There is a handover period and I am at your disposal from this moment onwards with whatever you need. My team and I will do everything we can to ensure the handover is conducted is honorably and professionally and we do it gladly.”

President Peres continued and said, “I am at the end of my 7 year term as President and it is an incredible privilege to serve to our people. As President your role is to serve, not to rule and in my eyes there is no greater honor than to faithfully serve your nation and your people. You have all the qualities to do just that. I wish you luck and I am confident that you will succeed in your future, which is also the future of the State of Israel.”

President-elect Rivlin thanked President Peres and said, “I thank you on behalf of myself and my wife. I am stepping into big shoes, it won’t be easy to be the 10th President after your presidency in which you done a lot of good for humanity, thank you Shimon.”


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