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Photo: Hillel Meir/TPS
President Reuven Rivlin
Photo: Hillel Meir/TPS
I guess Netanyahu isn't my friend, Rivlin says
Asked whether he believes prime minister should resign in case of an indictment, president says: 'I have heard people say a lot of things; I have an opinion of my own, and I will say it in three and a half years.'
President Reuven Rivlin on Monday addressed his chilly relations with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying: "Netanyahu is the prime minister and I'm the president. He does his job and I do my job. I guess he's not my friend."

 

 

One of the prime minister's associates said in response: "Out of respect for the presidency, and in a bid to leave the state's symbols out of the political game, we shall not be dragged into this kind of discourse."

 

Rivlin, who participated in the B'Sheva weekly's Jerusalem Conference, was asked whether he believed the prime minister should resign in case of an indictment.

 

Rivlin at the B'Sheva weekly's Jerusalem Conference  (Photo: Hillel Meir/TPS)
Rivlin at the B'Sheva weekly's Jerusalem Conference (Photo: Hillel Meir/TPS)

 

"I only know I have heard a lot of things. I have an opinion of my own, and I will say it in three and a half years. I just want to say that I have heard a lot of people in other affairs, which happened I don’t remember when, and they said it much better and made an impact," Rivlin said, implicitly referring to Netanyahu's comments against former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert when the latter was indicted.

 

Asked why he wasn't meeting with Netanyahu, Rivlin replied: "In any event, before I travel anywhere in the world, to Russia or to any other country, I always consult him."

 

The president went on to address Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh's interview to investigative television program "Uvda" ahead of the publication of the police's recommendations in the investigations against Netanyahu.

 

"The rule of law is the air every society breathes," Rivlin said. "When there were reports that my public activity was flawed, it was the police's duty to investigate and I had no complaints about it. I believe that about 20 minutes later, the investigators realized there was nothing to it. I was angry and criticized the State Attorney's Office for postponing the decision on the case for three and a half years."

 

Rivlin said he believed Alsheikh's appointment as police chief was appropriate, and added with a smile that he knew Netanyahu had been responsible for the appointment and that "the prime minister is always Netanyahu."

  

Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh. 'An appropriate appointment'  (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh. 'An appropriate appointment' (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)

 

As for the Right's disappointment with him and claims that he "changed side," Rivlin said: "All my life, I have been on the right side. I have always stuck to my principles, which were often subject to a dispute even within the right-wing camp. I believe that as president, after being elected, I must clarify that there is no contradiction between Israel being a Jewish state and a democratic state.

 

"I haven’t changed my opinions and I make sure to repeat it again and again," Rivlin added. "We are becoming people who only believe in their own faith and aren't even aware of the other side's fate.

 

"People may think I was elected to deliver what they want, but I was elected by the Knesset, which has Jews and Arabs, rightists and leftists, and I must ensure that we all talk and engage in a dialogue. We must know that there are people with different opinions, and it has always been clear to me that a person who doesn’t share my opinion isn't necessarily against me."

 


פרסום ראשון: 02.12.18, 16:21
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