Reuven Rivlin to become the 10th president of Israel
Israel’s parliament Knesset has elected a right-wing hard-liner president in Reuven Rivlin. He pipped Meir Sheetrit by 63 votes to 53, in a tightly-contested secret runoff presidential vote.
- Earlier, three other candidates were eliminated in a first round of voting in the 120-member Knesset.
- The post of president in Israel, much like India, is largely ceremonial with occasional influence-weilding opportunities.
- The 74-year old Likud Party veteran is a long-time supporter of Jewish settlements in occupied lands claimed by the Palestinians
- He is also opposed to Palestinian independence.
- He will replace Shimon Peres for a single 7-year stint, after the former term ends in late July.
- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu initially tried many tricks to thwart his candidacy but fell in line when he realized the certainity of his Likud-rival victory.
- The replacement of the incumbent Shimon Peres - outspoken proponent of peace - with a man with diametrically opposite views may not be a good news to those seeking a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.