It was a modest swearing in ceremony for the 10th president of Israel, as the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict rages. Reuven Rivlin officially took the ceremonial role from his predecessor Shimon Peres, who had summed up a seven-year term.
Rivlin and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein announced earlier in the week that the affair would be toned down in light of Operation Protective Edge.
“When our IDF soldiers are in battle and Israeli citizens are under rocket fire, we decided to make the swearing-in ceremony a more modest affair,” they said in a statement.
Rivlin’s initiation speech referred to the IDF operation in Gaza.
“We are gathered here today with a very clear message to our enemies: You have not overcome us and you will not do so,” he said. “We are not fighting against the Palestinian people, and we are not at war with Islam; we are fighting against terrorism.”
Rivlin spoke about his hope for peace for Israel and its neighbors.
“The day will come when we will dwell here in peace and harmony with each other; the day will come when there will be peace between Israel and all its neighbors,” he said.
Rivlin also thanked Peres for being “the shepherd of our hopes, and the poet of a vision.”
Peres wished Rivlin success.
“With your great heart, with your face full of light you already have what is expected from a president. I am sure you will succeed in our way and strengthen the future of the State of Israel,” Peres said.