Israel’s 10th President: Reuven Rivlin

Following Shimon Peres, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has been in office close to one year- he is a short background of Israel’s 10th president

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On June 10, 2014, Israel appointed it’s 10th President to office, Reuven Rivlin, replacing former President Shimon Peres, who served not only as Israel’s President from 2007 until 2014, but was also twice as Israel’s Prime Minister. He received 64 Member of Knesset votes in his run against HaTnuah’s MK Meir Sheetrit.

Rivlin previously ran for president with Shimon Peres in 2007, but withdrew following overwhelming support for Peres.

Rivlin began his seven-year term as President in June, just a few weeks before the most recent conflict with Gaza, Operation Protective Edge, which took place over the summer of 2014.

Israeli presidents are elected by an absolute majority by the Israeli government (The Knesset). Their positions include many responsibilities, mainly those of overseeing the Knesset, signatories of laws passed within the State of Israel, overseeing international and domestic relations, treaties and agreements as well as promoting and working on social issues facing the State of Israel.

Reuven Rivlin was born in Jerusalem in September of 1939 during the British Mandate of Palestine. He is related to the Vilna Gaona, also known as Elijah Ben Solomon, who was a famous Jewish teacher and Kabbalist of the 18th century.

President Rivlin became a lawyer after studying at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and began his political and legal career as a member of the Jerusalem Municipal Council in 1978. In 1988 Rivlin was elected to the Knesset through the Likud party, the current majority party run by Prime Minister Netanyahu, as chairman for the party, a position he held through 1993.

In 1999 Rivlin was appointed as Israel’s Minister of Communications in March of 2001 where he served for close to three years before elected as the Knesset Speaker, where he served two terms until 2013.

Rivlin is married to Nechama Rivlin with four children.