Likud Party Knesset Member Reuven (Ruby) Rivlin has been elected Israel’s 10th president, following a vote by members of the parliament. Rivlin defines himself as a ‘man of Jerusalem’ and a ‘student of Ze’ev Jabotinsky.’
A former speaker of parliament, Rivlin won the cereomonial position in a runoff against Meir Sheetrit by 63 to 53 votes. Outgoing president Shimon Peres will step down next month.
“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,” Peres told Rivlin in a phone conversation. “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.”
Rivlin said he was “stepping into big shoes,” and thanked Peres for his support.