President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday called for calming the tone of the disagreements on the question of annexation, noting: “We do not flinch at the critics or the questioners, but we must beware of those who silence the conversation. We must not prevent questions, doubts or criticism from any political side.”

President Rivlin’s remarks in full (see the original Hebrew version in the video above):

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“We are brothers and sisters, I want to remind us today, and not in an abstract or distant way. In recent days, the question of annexation is once again the subject of difficult conversations. Us and them. Are you with us or against us? We all suffer from this kind of discourse.

Discussing fateful questions – and the question of annexation is indeed a fateful one – must take place. It must take place in every country that wants the best for its people. Each person has their own view of e world. This is the stuff of Israeli democracy.

We do not flinch at the critics or the questioners, but we must beware of those who silence the conversation. We must not prevent questions, doubts or criticism from any political side. Disagree – yes. Argue – absolutely. But the verbal violence, the name-calling, the ridiculing, and the contempt must stop. I, who remember well the attempts to silence the critics at the time of Oslo and the disengagement and remember how hard we worked to recover from that shut-down, make this request of you – enough.”

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