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Posts Tagged ‘Ruby Rivlin’

Ruby Rivlin’s Victory: ‘Lu Yehi’ Defeats ‘Let it Be’

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

As a songwriter I want to congratulate the new president of Israel on behalf of all true lovers of Eretz Yisrael with the words “a new morning has come” (based on the title song of Bob Dylan’s 1970 album “New Morning”).

Presidential elections in Israel are decided by a Knesset vote. When no candidate managed to garner the required 61 votes in the first round of voting last week, the top two vote-getters, Reuven “Ruby” Rivlin and Moshe Sheetrit, faced off in a second round.

The leftists were already dancing in the Knesset hallways.They figured the Shas Party would prefer Sheetrit, a fellow Sephardi, and the center-left parties would give their votes to the left-leaning Sheetrit.

I, too, was sure Rivlin would lose, so the final result came as quite a shock: Rivlin 63, Sheetrit 53.

Who is Ruby Rivlin? I first met him in 1988, just after he became a Likud Knesset member. A violent Arab intifada was raging at the time, and Rivlin backed the tough stance of Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, who declared “There is simply no room for two states in such a small area.”

But Shamir was a “Let It Be” man who, while putting down the first Arab intifada, created no new facts on the ground.

During that time I was doing a one-hour radio program with talk-show icon-Barry Farber on WMCA in New York. Our guest one night, shortly after his election to the Knesset, was Ruby Rivlin. He told us he was a 14th-generation Jerusalemite descended from students of the Vilna Gaon who immigrated to Eretz Yisrael and formed the shtreimel-wearing Yerushalmi community.

I remember how good I felt sitting next to him. I could really feel his love for the land, especially Jerusalem, and his happy connection to the spirit of Judaism, though he didn’t appear particularly observant to me. I’ll never forget how much I liked and respected him, and to this day he has never let me down.

Years later, as a minister in Sharon’s government, he was an outspoken opponent of the “disengagement” from Gush Katif; and as Knesset Speaker he advocated the teaching of Talmud in public schools to keep the younger generation of Israelis connected to Yiddishkeit.

In musical terms I find him to be a “Lu Yehi” man – in Hebrew, a “May It Be” man, meaning “if only my aspirations could come true.”

The song “Lu Yehi,” written by Naomi Shemer, became an anthem of consolation in the fall and winter of 1973 for the thousands of children who’d lost their fathers during the Yom Kippur war (which claimed more than 2,000 Israeli soldiers).

The composer acknowledged being inspired by the Beatles song “Let It Be.” In fact, her tune for the chorus of “Lu Yehi” is remarkably similar to the tune for the chorus of “Let It Be.”

But while the phrase “Let It Be” implies doing nothing, “Lu Yehi” implies working toward a goal.

Benjamin Netanyahu has been a “Let It Be” man since he returned to the Prime Minister’s Office in 2009. The term “Let It Be” is equivalent to the Talmudic term “shev ve’al ta’aseh.” When the sages are not sure of a decision, the ruling is: Let’s sit and wait for Elijah the Prophet to arrive to tell us what to do.

Former National Union MK Yaakov Katz, “Katzeleh,” told me years ago, “You’ll see, Dov, Netanyahu is all talk but will do nothing.”

Katzeleh’s words have proven to be true. Netanyahu, giving in to American pressure, stopped all building in what the world terms the “occupied territories” for ten months. His doing nothing became a victory for him, as it caused PA President Mahmoud Abbas to become even more uncompromising and demanding, which left the peace talks in limbo. And so Netanyahu was encouraged to continue with his “all talk, do nothing” approach.

Newly-Elected Rivlin’s Emotional Acceptance Speech

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

With English subtitles, courtesy of the Yes! Israel Mission and Avi Abelow.

I’m So Glad Ruby Rivlin is Israel’s New President and Not Shitrit

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Thank G-d! Ruby Rivlin got 63 Knesset votes, and Shitrit didn’t make it.

Now in all honesty, I don’t expect miracles from Ruby. The position of President of Israel was created to be ceremonial, to free the Prime Minister from time consuming photo shoots with ambassadors and all. I trust that Ruby will be charming and not try to stretch the job into being a faux Prime Minister.

Shimon Peres tried to stretch stretched the position, because he really wanted to be Prime Minister and make policy to undermine Bibi Netanyahu. I had/have no doubt that if Meir Shitrit had been elected he would have attempted to continue Peres’s precedent.

So let’s wish Ruby Rivlin, Israel’s newest President a long, healthy and productive life.

Visit Shiloh Musings.  / Batya Medad

Mazal Tov, Mr. President: Peres Congratulates Rivlin

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

President Shimon Peres congratulated President-elect Reuven ‘Rubi’ Rivlin.

“Rubi, Your Excellency the next President of the State of Israel, you are right for this role. It is a position that brings with it responsibility, you have to consider your every word and every action, but you will do it successfully because you are, to your core, a good person. There is a handover period and I am at your disposal from this moment onwards with whatever you need. My team and I will do everything we can to ensure the handover is conducted is honorably and professionally and we do it gladly.”

President Peres continued and said, “I am at the end of my seven-year term as President and it is an incredible privilege to serve to our people. As President your role is to serve, not to rule and in my eyes there is no greater honor than to faithfully serve your nation and your people. You have all the qualities to do just that. I wish you luck and I am confident that you will succeed in your future, which is also the future of the State of Israel.”

President-elect Rivlin thanked President Peres and said, “I thank you on behalf of myself and my wife. I am stepping into big shoes, it won’t be easy to be the 10th President after your presidency in which you done a lot of good for humanity, thank you Shimon.”

Who is Ruby Rivlin, Israel’s President Elect

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

JERUSALEM –Reuven Rivlin was elected today by the Knesset as Israel’s 10th president.  One after the other, 119 Members of Knesset casted their confidential ballot for one of the five candidates. No one candidate received the required 61 votes, and so a second round between Rivlin who came in first, and Sheetrit, was required. After a second round of votes Rivlin was announced by Knesset Spokesman Edelstein as the winner with 63 votes. The left wing parties rallied around MK Sheetrit at the last moment, but Rivlin still gained the majority of voted his election.

Reuvin (Ruby) Rivlin was born in Jerusalem on September 9th, 1939. He is married to Nechama and has four children. He is a scion of a rabbinical family, a descendent of the students of the Vilna Gaon, the son of Yosef Yoel Rivlin and a member of the will known Jerusalemite Rivlin family.

Rivlin served as a Major in the IDF. He holds an LL.B. from Hebrew U in Jerusalem and practiced law.

Rivlin has been a politician since 1988, serving as a Member of Knesset for the Likud party. He has been most noted for his role as Speaker of the Knesset from 1988 – 1993. Rivlin has further served as Minister of Communications during the 15th Knesset.  Before joining the Knesset he served as Member of the Jerusalem Municipal Council.

Rivlin has been a presidential candidate in the past. He ran in the 2007 election for President as the Likud candidate. He withdrew after the first round of voting when it became clear that Shimon Peres had sufficient broad support to inevitably win in a run-off.

He has been a vegetarian since the late 1960′s. Rivlin is a well known of Beitar Jerusalem soccer fan, ever since he first saw a game of Beitar in 1946 when he was 7 years old. During every radio interview he “greets the listeners from Jerusalem.”

Who Will Pick Israel’s Next President, the Knesset, the Press or the PR Companies?

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

The 16th presidential elections will be held today, during which the Knesset will pick the 10th president in the history of the State of Israel. The president-elect will take up his new position by swearing an oath after the current president, Shimon Peres, concludes his term in office on July 27, 2014.

One could be forgiven for thinking that the official, ceremonial election campaign would have been managed more responsibly and with greater discretion, as one would expect for any presidential election campaign in Israel. In practice, however, this campaign was one of the dirtiest, most visceral campaigns in the history of the presidency. It was everything but diplomatic and statesmanlike.

This campaign was characterized by political intrigue, the hiring of private investigators, the leaking of damaging information, criminal allegations, and even police investigations. The candidates claimed that they were victims of “targeted liquidation,” the “settling of scores,” “character assassination,” and that they had turned into “punching bags.”

Never before has an Israeli presidential election campaign featured such a large number of individuals who saw themselves as worthy for the job. There was also the prime minister’s attempt to completely alter the face of the institution – and do away with it entirely. For a while, he even refused to declare his support for one of the candidates, even one from his own party. As if that weren’t enough, the Israeli public bore witness to the intense, incessant speculation by the Israeli press regarding the candidates’ past and their alleged transgressions.

It seems as if these elections were inspired by a script of a soap opera or a Bollywood film. The campaign was marred by a criminal investigation against a Likud candidate, Minister Silvan Shalom, who was alleged to have sexually harassed a former employee. That investigation was closed, and Shalom never did return to the race.

There were also other reports regarding Labor Party candidate Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and his supposed penchant for patronizing casinos in London while he was a minister in the Israeli government. Then, just four days before the election, the press reported that police were opening a criminal probe against Ben-Eliezer on suspicion of receiving illicit funds that helped him purchase a luxury apartment in Jaffa. The social networks also were used to put out damaging information about other candidates.

The viciousness of the campaign deterred a number of other potential candidates from throwing their hats into the ring. In the end, we were left with a field of just five candidates – MK Reuven Rivlin (Likud), MK Meir Sheetrit (Hatnua), former MK Dalia Itzik, Nobel laureate and Israel Prize winner Prof. Dan Shechtman, and retired Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner, who currently heads the Israel Press Council.

Maayan Nave - NOW-YOU PR

Maayan Nave – NOW-YOU PR

“This is one of the stormiest campaigns that have ever been held in Israel,” said Maayan Nave, a top strategist who heads the NOW-YOU public relations firm. “This is the most dignified, respected position in the state. What started out as an emotional, political race has become very negative, one filled with twists and turns and mudslinging. This simply amplifies the need for a public, preliminary vetting process.”

Ofer Golan - NOW-YOU PR

Ofer Golan – NOW-YOU PR

“The process of choosing a president is based on the decisions of 120 members of Knesset only, who vote in a secret ballot,” said Ofer Golan, a strategic advisor and partner in the NOW-YOU firm. “For this reason, despite the intense media attention, there is a degree of uncertainty regarding how the lawmakers will vote. It may very well be that in internal conversations the members of Knesset will decide one thing but in the vote they will announce something else, so it is very difficult not only for the press but also for the lawmakers themselves to get a general picture of how this is going to play out. We have heard private conversations in which members of Knesset say they are learning toward our candidate, and vice versa. So there are a lot of politics in this election, a lot of personal motives, scores to settle, personal favors, things that are lurking underneath the surface.”

Nave and Golan are the advisors who are helping Meir Sheetrit, one of the leading candidate for president, in his bid for the presidency. As professionals who know how to lead a campaign and shape public opinion, they cite the press as a major factor in this campaign.

Israel’s Presidential Elections

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Although Israel’s President is elected by the 120 Members of the Israeli Knesset, many polling companies have polled the public’s opinion anyway.

These are the results of the latest Panels Poll:

Reuven Rivlin 35%

Dan Shechtman 30%

Dalia Dorner 9%

Binyamin Ben-Eliezer 5%

Meir Sheetrit 4%

Dalia Itzik 4%

* Nominations:

The largest group was the 49 MKs that didn’t sign for anyone, that included coalition leaders Netanyahu, Lapid, Bennett & Liberman.

Rivlin received 16 signatures: 7 Likud, 5 BY, 2 YA, 1 Shas, 1 UTJ. Ben-Eliezer’s 13 signatures: All of them from Labor. Sheetrit’s 11 signatures: Livni 6, 4 YA, 1 Shas. Itzik’s 11 signatures: 4 Arabs, 2 Meretz, 2 YA, 2 YB, 1 Shas. Dorner’s 10: 5 YA, 2 Arabs, 2 Meretz, 1 Shas. Shechtman’s 10: 2 Meretz, 2 YA, 2 BY, Likud 1, Shas 1, Kadima 1, Arabs 1.

KnessetJeremy Take:

* The race in my eyes is who will meet Rivlin in the second round. There have never been six candidates on the ballot before, it is possible that some will drop out. It seem certain that there will be a second round. The new law states that a simple majority of votes will win, previously you needed to go through as many rounds as possible until a candidate won 61 votes.

* I’ll note that most MKs don’t take Shechtman or Dorner seriously, in order to obtain the 10 signatures necessary to make the ballot they had MKs who are supporting other candidates sign their registration forms. If they remain in the race they will receive single digits.

* I think it is too early to determine who will end up going head-to-head with Rivlin. It will be either Ben-Eliezer, Sheetrit or Itzik.

Many people think it will be Ben-Eliezer, but I don’t see anti-Rivlin YB or YA MKs voting for him, he couldn’t even get 1 signature from any other non-Labor opposition MK.

Others think it will be Itzick, but the only way she got on the ballot was with the support of 4 Arab MKs, not exactly the largest Knesset power base.

The key will be the 19 Yesh Atid MKs. In the nomination process they gave their signatures for 5 candidates (Rivlin, Shitrit, Itzick, Schectman, Dorner). No YA MK signed for Fuad. Lapid didn’t sign for anyone.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/knesset-jeremy/israels-presidential-elections/2014/06/02/

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