Rivlin: Israel democracy facing an emergency

President Reuven Rivlin addresses lawmakers as the 22nd Knesset is sworn in with no new government in sight.

Rivlin acknowledges criticism of his efforts to broker a unity government between Likud and Blue and White after both feel short of winning enough seats with their allies to form a coalition after last month’s elections. “It is legitimate and contains some truth,” he says.

Though his position is largely ceremonial, Rivlin says are times when a president is required to intervene “as part of carrying out his official role,” such as when no party has a clear path to forming a government.

“I know this — we are facing a time of crisis for the House of Jacob, an emergency for Israel’s security and for Israeli society, an emergency for Israeli democracy: all that is dear to us,” he says.

“Forming a government is not only the wish of the people. More than ever, in times like these, it is an economic and security need the likes of which we have not known for many years,” he adds.

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