President Issac Herzog on Wednesday, called for unity among Israelis.
Speaking at the opening ceremony for the newly elected Knesset, Herzog urged "unity, cohesion, and the enhancement of what we have in common.
"Deepening our recognition and understanding that we disagree on many issues, and often adhere to different lifestyles, opinions, and beliefs from each other, yet despite and above it all—sisters and brothers we remain, sharing not only a covenant of fate but also a covenant of destiny. To live here together. To deal with our challenges, together. To build ourselves here, together.
“Sisters and brothers, conscious of what this Plenum has known and reflected for decades: that arguments have value, and there is a way of managing these arguments—with listening, with respect, with openness. Not arguments of boycotts, not arguments of negating and erasing the other, not heavy-handed disagreements that become destructive disagreements.
The president said Israelis were "exhausted from the infighting and its fallout."
"Now, the responsibility lies first and foremost with you, the public’s elected representatives, Herzog said. "Responsibility to try to wean us off this addiction to never-ending conflicts and of the excessive enslavement to ‘what will they write and what will they say?"
The president then addressed the threatening assaults on the judicial system that had been under attack by the right-wing, primarily since incoming prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was indicted for corruption.
Herzog said that Israel has a democratic regime, in which all citizens have equal rights, and in which there are limitations on power, and authorities are separated and balanced.
"This was how we built a state and a society here prosperous beyond imagination; this was how we lay the foundations of governance and law; and this, as I have said, was how we created powerful authorities that operate, as required, separately from each other. We must strictly safeguard these important foundations."
Herzog said that not only is change possible; there are places where change is proper and desirable.
"It is allowed, and sometimes even required, to reopen for debate the division of powers and authorities between the various branches of government, which balance each other. But we must do so through listening, through open dialogue, through respectful discourse—and fairly. This is of course a mission that confronts all three branches of government—legislature, executive, and judiciary—which must be attentive to each other while at the same time remaining committed to our collective vision as a people and as a state.