Israel’s presidency passed from Shimon Peres to Reuven Rivlin in July. For the next seven years President Rivlin will greet (and host) foreign dignitaries, sign every new law, appoint ambassadors, and more. Although the role of President is more ceremonial while the Prime Minister holds the executive reins, it nevertheless is the face of the nation to many. Ruby Rivlin brings a major shift to the right. He is as far right as Shimon Peres is left. It would be hard to see how a greater gap could exist between two such respected statesmen.
Ruby Rivlin was born and raised in Jerusalem and often refers to himself as a Jerusalemite. He believes in upholding classic liberal values of democracy and freedom together with a commitment to strong defense and to the Land of Israel. He opposes the formation of a Palestinian state and advocates giving Israeli citizenship to Palestinians.
As Knesset Speaker he was not shy about making his views known. For instance he spoke out against former prime minister Ariel Sharon’s plan to disengage from the Gaza Strip. His outspoken nature has not endeared him to all, but as we can see, he also has the respect of the Members of Knesset since they voted him into office.
A recent Facebook post (The Temple Institute, June 12) captured his words concerning the Temple Mount:
“I had the privilege of taking part as a reserve soldier in the liberation of the old city of Jerusalem in the Six Day War. I saw how so many of my friends, people who were completely secular, who barely kept thirteen [let alone 613] commandments, ran to the Western Wall with tears in their eyes, clinging to the wall. The longing for the Temple Mount wasn’t a religious or cultural thing. It emanated from a total identification with the Temple Mount as our connection to this land.
“I have never required any kind of proof, whether it be pot shards or ancient coins or other archaeological finds in order to feel the connection of the Temple Mount to our Israeli experience. For us, the Temple Mount isn’t a story or legend. The Temple Mount is the place in which the pulse of Jewish history can be felt beating and breathing on your face. On this Mount you can search the dirt or the walls and uncover the story of our people in its most inspiring and most difficult moments.
“The [archaeological] treasures discovered at the foot of the Temple Mount stir every Jewish heart. But it is not in the [archaeological] evidence of the historians that our attachment to Jerusalem or even the entire land of Israel is found. The Zionist venture doesn’t derive its raison d’etre from the archaeological competition that we engage in with our neighbors. There is not an archaeological find that can prove my faith, just as there is no archaeological find that shake my faith.
“We live in a place in which the voice of our brothers calls us from the past in every step we take and every move we make. The story of our lives as a nation is revealed before us, every stage of our history, our successes and failures, our trials and tribulations, teaching us that we are a nation that will never waver from our return to the land of Israel and the resurrection of our living homeland.”
We pray that God will bless Israel’s new president.
Source: By Rebecca J. Brimmer, International President and CEO
Photo Credit: Click on photo to see photo credit
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