Reuven Rivlin

Reuven Rivlin

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Reuven "Rubi" Rivlin is an Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i lawyer, politician, currently serving as a speaker of the Knesset
Knesset
The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.-Role in Israeli Government :The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister , approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government...

. He belongs to conservative Likud
Likud
Likud is the major center-right political party in Israel. It was founded in 1973 by Menachem Begin in an alliance with several right-wing and liberal parties. Likud's victory in the 1977 elections was a major turning point in the country's political history, marking the first time the left had...

. A former Speaker of the Knesset, in 2007 he ran in the election for President
Israeli presidential election, 2007
Shimon Peres, a former Prime Minister and a member of the Kadima party, was elected by the Knesset as the next President of Israel on 13 June 2007. His opponents were Reuven Rivlin, a former Knesset speaker, of the Likud Party, and Colette Avital, of the Labor party...

 as the Likud candidate. He withdrew after the first round of voting when it became clear that Kadima
Kadima
Kadima is a centrist and liberal political party in Israel. It was established on 24 November 2005 by moderates from Likud largely to support the issue of Ariel Sharon's unilateral disengagement plan, and was soon joined by like-minded Labor politicians...

 MK Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
GCMG is the ninth President of the State of Israel. Peres served twice as the eighth Prime Minister of Israel and once as Interim Prime Minister, and has been a member of 12 cabinets in a political career spanning over 66 years...

 had sufficiently broad support to inevitably win in a run-off.

Biography


Born in Jerusalem, he received an LL.B. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem ; ; abbreviated HUJI) is Israel's second-oldest university, after the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. The Hebrew University has three campuses in Jerusalem and one in Rehovot. The world's largest Jewish studies library is located on its Edmond J...

 and worked as a lawyer. He is a descendant of the students of the Vilna Gaon
Vilna Gaon
Elijah ben Shlomo Zalman Kramer, known as the Vilna Gaon or Elijah of Vilna and simply by his Hebrew acronym Gra or Elijah Ben Solomon, , was a Talmudist, halachist, kabbalist, and the foremost leader of non-hasidic Jewry of the past few centuries...

 and a member of the Rivlin family
Rivlin
Rivlin is the name of a primarily Ashkenazi Jewish family with origins in Eastern Europe, which became established in what is now Israel already long before the advent of Zionism and is spread in numerous other countries.-The Family:...

.

He was first elected to the 12th Knesset
Israeli legislative election, 1988
Elections for the twelfth Knesset were held in Israel on 1 November 1988. Voter turnout was 79.7%.-Results:1 Five members of the Likud left to form the Party for the Advancement of the Zionist Idea; after two returned, the party was renamed the New Liberal Party...

 in 1988, and served as Likud chairman from 1988 to 1993. He lost his seat in the 1992 elections
Israeli legislative election, 1992
Elections for the thirteenth Knesset were held in Israel on 23 June 1992. The result was a victory for the left, led by Yitzhak Rabin's Labor Party, though their win was at least partially due to several small right-wing parties narrowly failing to cross the electoral threshold and thus effectively...

, but returned to the Knesset following the 1996 elections
Israeli legislative election, 1996
Elections for the fourteenth Knesset were held in Israel on 29 May 1996. Voter turnout was 79.3%.The 1996 elections included two new changes, both designed to increase the stability of the Knesset. First, the Prime Minister was to be elected on a separate ballot from the remaining members of the...

. Re-elected in 1999, he was appointed Minister of Communications
Communications Minister of Israel
The Communications Minister of Israel is the political head of the Israeli Ministry of Communications and a relatively minor position in the Israeli cabinet. The post was established in 1952, and until 1970 was known as the Minister of Postal Services...

 in March 2001, serving until February 2003, when he was elected Knesset Speaker following the 2003 elections. During his term as speaker, he was criticized for breaking the tradition of political neutrality of the post; he was one of Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon is an Israeli statesman and retired general, who served as Israel’s 11th Prime Minister. He has been in a permanent vegetative state since suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006....

's harshest critics regarding the disengagement plan
Israel's unilateral disengagement plan
Israel's unilateral disengagement plan , also known as the "Disengagement plan", "Gaza expulsion plan", and "Hitnatkut", was a proposal by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, adopted by the government on June 6, 2004 and enacted in August 2005, to evict all Israelis from the Gaza Strip and from...

, and had a public confrontation with Aharon Barak
Aharon Barak
Aharon Barak is a Professor of Law at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya and a lecturer in law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Yale Law School, and the University of Toronto Faculty of Law....

, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
Supreme Court of Israel
The Supreme Court is at the head of the court system and highest judicial instance in Israel. The Supreme Court sits in Jerusalem.The area of its jurisdiction is all of Israel and the Israeli-occupied territories. A ruling of the Supreme Court is binding upon every court, other than the Supreme...

, concerning the court's authority to declare legislation illegal.

Rivlin was re-elected in 2006 and 2009
Israeli legislative election, 2009
Elections for the 18th Knesset were held in Israel on 10 February 2009. These elections became necessary due to the resignation of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as leader of the Kadima party, and the failure of his successor, Tzipi Livni, to form a coalition government...

.

On March 30, 2009 the Knesset
Knesset
The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.-Role in Israeli Government :The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister , approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government...

 voted Knesset Member Rivlin as speaker with a majority of 90 votes of the 120.

In June 2010, Rivlin once again found himself in the center of a controversy after ignoring the advice of a committee that recommended the removal of Balad MK Haneen Zoabi
Haneen Zoabi
Haneen Zoabi, also spelled Hanin Zoubi, , is a member of the Knesset representing the Balad party. She is a Palestinian Arab, who is also an Arab citizen of Israel...

 for having participated in the Gaza flotilla
Gaza flotilla raid
The Gaza flotilla raid was a military operation by Israel against six ships of the "Gaza Freedom Flotilla" on 31 May 2010 in international waters of the Mediterranean Sea...

 earlier that year. His actions were criticized by many MKs and the Israeli right, but Israeli and foreign liberals praised Rivlin for his courage in defending Israeli democracy.

Rubi Rivlin, for his first official visit as Knesset Speaker, chose the Arab-Israeli town of Umm el-Fahm, just south of the Galilee. He was accompanied by MKs Uri Orbach (Jewish Home) and Afu Agbariyah (Hadash), a resident of the city.

Citing Pope Benedict XVI's previous compulsory membership in the German military service, Rivlin berated the Pope over his address at Israel's Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem is Israel's official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, established in 1953 through the Yad Vashem Law passed by the Knesset, Israel's parliament....

 memorial.

On 29 April 2010 he said that he "would rather accept Palestinians as Israeli citizens than divide Israel and the West Bank in a future two-state peace solution".

Personal life and family


Rivlin is a descendant of the students of the Vilna Gaon
Vilna Gaon
Elijah ben Shlomo Zalman Kramer, known as the Vilna Gaon or Elijah of Vilna and simply by his Hebrew acronym Gra or Elijah Ben Solomon, , was a Talmudist, halachist, kabbalist, and the foremost leader of non-hasidic Jewry of the past few centuries...

, the son of Yosef Yoel Rivlin and a member of the Rivlin family
Rivlin
Rivlin is the name of a primarily Ashkenazi Jewish family with origins in Eastern Europe, which became established in what is now Israel already long before the advent of Zionism and is spread in numerous other countries.-The Family:...

.He is married and has four children. He has been a vegetarian since the late sixties
1960s
The 1960s was the decade that started on January 1, 1960, and ended on December 31, 1969. It was the seventh decade of the 20th century.The 1960s term also refers to an era more often called The Sixties, denoting the complex of inter-related cultural and political trends across the globe...

.

External links