President Rivlin Expresses Support for Expansion of Government Coaltion

The president made the remarks Sunday as Netanyahu struggles to finalize his plan to bring Yisrael Beiteinu into the coalition and to appoint Lieberman defense minister.

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President Rivlin, center, at Hebrew Univ. convocation ceremony on May 28, 2016.
President Reuven Rivlin, center, at the convocation ceremony of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where he received an honorary doctorate on Sunday, May 29, 2016.Credit: Amos Ben Gershom / GPO

Amid continuing efforts to finalize Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party's entry into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition government, President Reuven Rivlin expressed his support Sunday evening for the expansion of the coalition.

Speaking at a convocation ceremony of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he received an honorary doctorate, Rivlin called the efforts to broaden the government "correct and justified."

Saying that the public had expressed itself in Knesset elections in March of last year, he added: "I hope and believe that the government will act cautiously, responsibly, and with consideration for the benefit of all the citizens of Israel."

The current stumbling block that Netanyahu faces in broadening his coalition beyond the barest of majorities in the Knesset is that Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who heads the Habayit Hayehudi party is withholding is support for the expansion, which calls for Yisrael Beiteinu's Lieberman to be appointed defense minister, unless changes are made how the inner security cabinet functions. As this point, the matter remains unresolved.

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