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Rivlin says election stalemate ‘a red card for populism’

Despite last month’s elections prolonging Israel’s months-long political gridlock, President Rivlin sees signs for optimism in the results of the September 17 vote.

“Along with the frustration at the political deadlock we are in, the election results are also a badge of honor for Israeli society. They are a red card from Israeli citizens to their elected officials. A red card for populism, for a political system that feeds on picking away at the differences between us and that sees all our fears, each of the other, as something to exploit,” he says.

Rivlin says a unity government will allow Israeli politicians to “put the disagreements between us to one side” and focus on the “wide range of challenges that we can all agree to tackle.”

“Honorable Members of Knesset, the eyes of the nation are on you, small parties and large. Elections are the most expensive reality show in town — NIS 1.7 billion. You must remember that each season, the ratings are likely to drop, while the result remains the same. As I have said before, I have no magic solutions. But this people does not need solutions of that kind, it needs leader,” he says.

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