Israel’s parliamentarians have elected Isaac Herzog as Israel’s new president on Wednesday, which will succeed Reuven Rivlin, whose seven-year term expires on June 9 without him being able to stand for reelection.
Herzog, a 60-year-old former leader of the Labor Party, has obtained 87 of the 120 votes of parliamentarians and thus has imposed on his rival, the activist Miriam Peretz, according to the newspaper ‘The Times of Israel’.
The politician, who has an important influence in the country and started out as his favorite, is the son of former President Chaim Herzog, as well as the grandson of Israel’s first chief rabbi. Also, he is the current president of the Jewish Agency of Israel.
The 67-year-old Moroccan-born Peretz aspired to become the first woman to be elected president of Israel – Dalia Itzik held office for several months in 2007 following the resignation of Moshe Katsav on rape allegations. The activist herself lost a son during the war in Lebanon and her brother in an operation near the Gaza Strip in 2010.
After the vote, Herzog has opted to “build bridges” between Israeli society and Jews abroad, “fight anti-Semitism and hatred against Israel” and “safeguard the pillars of democracy” in the country.
“I accept the great responsibility they have placed on me. I accept the privilege of serving all the Israeli people,” said Herzog, who has said that he hopes “to be able to work with any government and prime minister”, amid the talks. for the formation of the new Executive in the country.
Peretz, who has recognized her defeat, has highlighted that she has fulfilled a childhood dream by running for office. “A suitable president who honors us has been elected. I will pray for his success, because his success is our success,” she argued.
For his part, the acting prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, congratulated Herzog and wished him “luck”, while he applauded the “honorable candidacy” of Peretz, who he said “will continue to contribute to Israeli society, as he has done all his life. “
The leader of the opposition Yesh Atid, Yair Lapid – who at this moment has the mandate to try to assemble a government coalition – has also congratulated Herzog, whom he has described as “a wonderful man who has always focused on the good for the country and the Jewish people. ” “Good luck, President,” he added.
Rivlin was added to the congratulations, who stressed that the responsibility of the position “is not like anything else he has done so far.” “The Jewish and democratic system that we established here, in the land of our ancestors, has body and soul,” he said.
“If the Knesset is the place of discussions, as we have seen recently, the residence of the president is a place of speech, society and the State,” he explained, according to the Israeli daily ‘The Jerusalem Post’. “I have no doubt that he will perfectly assume these responsibilities. I am proud to pass him the baton (of command) in a month,” he has settled.
The figure of the president is fundamentally ceremonial in Israel, although he has the authority to give the mandate to form a government. The president is elected every seven years through a secret ballot among the 120 members of Parliament.
Rivlin, who gave Netanyahu the mandate to form an executive after the March elections, later transferred him to the leader of Yesh Atid, after the prime minister failed to reach an agreement in the 28-day deadline.
The talks to form the new Executive have made progress in recent days, although at the moment a majority has not been closed that could remove the acting prime minister, popularly known as ‘Bibi’, from power.
The last minute contacts revolve around a possible agreement between Lapid and the leader of the right-wing Yamina, Naftali Bennett, who could agree to rotate in the post of prime minister with the aim of removing from power Netanyahu, the person who has longest held the position in the history of the country.