Analysis |

Rivlin Was the Best President Israel Could Expect in Such Fraught Times

The outgoing president served as a necessary reminder to Israelis that no matter what Benjamin Netanyahu said or did as prime minister, there was a better type of public discourse they could aspire to

Anshel Pfeffer
Anshel Pfeffer
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Anshel Pfeffer
Anshel Pfeffer

The best way to define an Israeli president is the national master of ceremonies. The president wakes up in the morning in the Rehavia residence and his day – it’s always been a “he,” and will continue to be for the next seven years at least – is a long succession of receptions he is expected to attend, encased in a suit and tie, make a few appropriate remarks and shake many hands. Sometimes the ceremonies take place in the Knesset, on Mount Herzl or at the Western Wall. But the protocol remains the same. Being head of state means your state of mind is of no interest to the public. You are a unifying figure who doesn’t figure in political debates.

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