Monday, December 14, 2015

Who Is The President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin?

Nadene Goldfoot                                                              
We hear so much about the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.  Who is the president and what has he done?
Reuven Rivlin is the president of Israel.  He was born in Jerusalem when it was part of Mandatory Palestine because the British held the mandate then on September 9, 1939, a scary year for Jews living in Germany.  It's the year my uncle managed to get out of Germany, probably one of the last to do so.  He was elected as Israel's 10th president on June 19, 2014, so he hasn't been president very long.

Reuven was born into the Rivlin family who made aliyah to Jerusalem in 1809.  His parents were  Yosef Yoel Rivlin and Rachel "Ray" Rivlin.   Reuven  is said to be a descendant of students of the famous rabbi, the  Vilna Gaon AKA ELIJAH BEN SOLOMON ZALMAN (1720-1797) in Lithuania.  The Vilna had traveled through Poland and Germany, finally settling in Vilna, Lithuania where he taught about the Torah and had his own academy.  The Mitnaggedim regarded the Vilna as their spiritual leader.  They were against Hasidim.  Reuven  himself is a secular Jew.

His parents created the first Hebrew edition of the Koran and his father was a candidate to be the 3rd president of Israel.  Reuven received a law degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has been a lawyer.  He's fluent in Arabic, and of course, Hebrew, and also in English.  He is married to Nechama Rivlin nee Shulman  and has 4 children.  Reuven  is a vegetarian and has been since the late 60's.

Reuven and MK Meir Sheetrit had to have a runoff vote in 2014 and Reuven received the support of 63 MKs.  He also won support from both Arab legislators who appreciated his courtesy, and even from right-wingers like Naftali Bennett and Danny Danon.  Danny also had the desire to make Judea and Samaria part of today's Israel proper.  (The drawback I see to this, though I would like to have the land itself as part of Israel proper, is that it would bring in as citizens more Palestinian Arabs and would upset the balance.  Israel cannot go the way of Lebanon where the Christians were assassinated who were in power.  Right now it's 6 million Jews and 1.7 million Arabs.  Israel was created to be a Jewish state and is the only one in the world.  They must watch this balance.  Today we have IS creating a caliphate out of Syria and Iraq and we don't want any part of Israel to slip into that).  

Rivlin replaced Shimon Peres as President.  By March 2015, he officially gave Netanyahu the assignment of forming a new government which followed elections the week before.
A terrible event happened 4 months later  in July 2015 in Duma, Judea-Samaria.  A Palestinian home was firebombed and  toddler Ali, 18 month old, was killed, and Abbas  and other Arabs immediately accused Jews of doing it.   Rivlin also joined them in thinking this.   That's because "Hebrew graffiti was sprayed nearby.  “Revenge!” was written on one wall, next to a Star of David. They all thought this was reverse terrorism done by masked Jews.   I personally think the handwriting is more from an Arab writer than a Hebrew writer.  Was this a planted attack?  

"In the aftermath of the Duma arson in July, three right-wing activists were placed under administrative detention over suspected "price tag" and other extremist activities. But based on Yaalon's comments, it appears they are unconnected to the terrorist cell in question. 
The firebombing attack on the Dawabshe family home in July killed 18-month-old Ali and fatally wounded his parents. In addition to hurling molotov cocktails, the attackers also daubed the words "Revenge" and "Long Live King Messiah" in Hebrew on the wall of the house."   

For agreeing with Assad and others in believing it was Jews who were terrorists, Rivlin received death threats.  Now it's been over 4 months since the firebombing.   "Four months later, four months during which the Shabak did its best to pin the murders on “Jewish terrorists,” they still do not have enough evidence to charge anyone with the crime. Perhaps that’s because the real arsonists weren’t Jews?  It's still hard to accept that we have Jews who would do such a thing.

Now some people are worried about Rivlin's performance at a meeting in New York being held today by the extreme-leftist newspaper, Ha'aretz and the New Israel Fund people who will be attending this conference.  Rivlin is to be a speaker.  This group supports BDS.  Those attending oppose Israeli policy and advocate American intervention in its affairs.  Saeb Erekat of the Palestinians will be there, People like friends of Arafat and partisans of the Palestinian cause will be in the audience.  Who is going to back up Rivlin?  All they will be doing is giving false testimonies of "war crimes" or bad behavior.  They have never been able to show proof or document any of the lies they spread, and their reports are nothing but propaganda, not journalism.  

When questioned about the dangers of attending such a conference, Rivlin answered that since Avner Gvaryahu of Breaking the Silence (BTS)  would be on a different panel from Rivlin, there would be no connection between them, and that he thought his appearance at the conference would be harmless.   The worry is that New York Times will quote these speakers, especially since Rivlin is there speaking, and they are all BDS backing people.  Students on campuses in the USA will go out and say, "the state of Israel is an apartheid state and commits war crimes."  90% of the speakers will be attacking Israel's policies and many are professionally engaged to demonize and deligitimize the Jewish state and that Rivlin's presence will lend legitimacy to their anti-Zionist project.  Rivlin's friends don't want him to be exploited to further an agenda that is against Israel.  

He just attended  a Hanukkah party at the White House. Obama opened it up.  "Barack Obama
Hello, everybody! Well, welcome to the White House, and Happy Hanukkah! Before we begin, let's give a big round of applause to our musical guests, the Maccabeats. (Applause.) This is not the first time they have performed here, but they are more popular than ever. Their latest viral video is called "Latke Recipe." (Laughter.) So if the food is better than usual this year, you will know why."   While Rivlin  was enjoying himself, Susan Talve, a reform female rabbi there made a video of progressive principles that had little to do with Hanukkah or Judaism in the name of both that was nothing but silly and pointless.  It went over like a lead balloon in Israel.  Quickly she had called for the gates of the USA to be open for all immigrants, praised the Black Lives Matter movement and groups getting guns off the streets, urged the clean up of fires of toxic nuclear wastes, identified with the Women of the Wall and denounced islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, racism and anti-Semitism, and finally ended the video with telling everyone to do .everything to bring security for Israelis and justice for Palestinians as allies committed to a lasting peace for all peoples.  This party managed to offend both Jews and Catholics by Susan's group's attendance. They also are pushing for female Catholic priests, so her attendance was a very political statement arranged by Obama.     She said all this as a  "bizarre pre-Menorah lighting rant at the White House Chanukah party"  "Susan Talve was one of two members of the anti-Israel group T'ruah which promotes Charity BDS against Jewish groups, to be allowed to recite the invocation at the White House Chanukah party. A large number of T'ruah leaders were in attendance at the White House Chanukah party."

Rivlin replied, Insha'allah, insha'allah (if allah wills it) , and she repeated the phrase 4 more times, adding that no matter how much violence is in Paris or California, we will respond with more love, more understanding and more compassion.  Throughout the demonstration, Obama "stood with a sardonic half-smile."  "Approximately 1,800 American and Canadian rabbis are affiliated with T'ruah."

Israelis are feeling that Rivlin needs more of a highly developed political sense for his position. He may have been sandbagged.   Americans are feeling just that also about the future president to be elected of the USA.  They don't have a Prime Minister to fall back on.  Rivlin walked into doo doo at the party and didn't even see it coming.  Perhaps that was the best way such an incident could have possibly been handled, anyway.  His innocence was apparent-their BAD was noted.  

Update: 12/15/15, 1.27pm on Arabic fluency

Rivlin's Folly:  Posted on December 13, 2015 by Vic Rosenthal-Abu Yehuda-a blog about the struggle to keep the Jewish state

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