Israeli leaders elect former Speaker of the Knesset as its new President. Shimon Peres steps down after long tenure.


Reuven Rivlin, 74, was elected today as Israel's 10th President.

Reuven Rivlin, 74, was elected today as Israel’s 10th President.

Reuven Rivlin, 74, has been elected by the Members of the Knesset — Israel’s parliament — to be the next President of the State of Israel.

The long-time Likud parliamentarian and former Speaker of the Knesset, will be Israel’s 10th President, replacing Shimon Peres, 90, who is retiring. Rivlin won on the second round of balloting.

Congratulations are in order. Let’s be praying for the new President as he takes office, that the Lord would give him great favor and wisdom in this challenging times.

“Born in Jerusalem in 1939, Rivlin is married and has four children,” reported Haaretz. “A lawyer by training, he served as director and chairman of the Beitar Jerusalem Sports Association, as a member of the Jerusalem city council for a decade and as chairman of the Institute for Occupational Safety and Hygiene. He also served as Minister of Communications in the Sharon government at the start of the previous decade.”

“I have earned your trust as Speaker of this house, as one responsible for overseeing the proper and fair swinging of the pendulum of debate,” Rivlin wrote the MKs during his campaign, “Now I wish to make the President’s Residence a house of partnership, dialogue and understanding.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Rivlin, despite years of political tensions between the two. According to the Times of Israel, Netanyahu told the president-elect that “you come from a deep and rich well” of Jewish and Israeli tradition. “You are a man of Jerusalem and a man of the land of Israel,” Netanyahu says, noting that the president has two missions: uniting the people of Israel and representing Israel abroad.

“Outgoing President Shimon Peres speaks to President-elect Reuven Rivlin on the phone after the latter’s election victory and says that he stands ready to help with the transition,” the Times reported on its live blog. “Peres congratulates him and wishes him the best of luck, and Rivlin says he will have a hard time filling Peres’s shoes.”

“The Knesset chose the candidate that all public opinion polls showed was most popular,” said Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar, congratulating Rivlin on his election.