President Reuven Rivlin on Monday indirectly voiced his displeasure Monday with the latest celebrity addition to the Likud party, far-right rapper Yoav Eliasi, implying that the artist did not represent the party he knew.
Rivlin’s comments on Eliasi, known by his stage name Hatzel — Hebrew for The Shadow — came as he fielded questions during the Education Forum conference marking the beginning of the new school year.
Asked for his opinion on said ‘Shadow’ joining the party that had been his home throughout decades of public service, Rivlin answered: “I was born to a Likud which had light, there were no shadows.”
Eliasi, a controversial rapper known for his far-right views, signed up as a member of the Likud party earlier this month under the auspices of Knesset member Oren Hazan.
In response to Rivlin’s comments, Eliasi stated that “I have respect for the President of the State of Israel, so it is better that I not respond. But it is a pity that Rivlin does not honor his position and is busy showing he can fill the big shoes of [former President Shimon] Peres. He causes half the population to feel that he does not represent them with his detached and self-righteous statements.”
Rivlin was also asked at the event as to his opinion on the core curriculum — including math, English and sciences — no longer being a requirement in ultra-Orthodox schools.
“Learning the core curriculum cannot come through coercion,” he said. “It must come through a recognition of the need to integrate with economic life.” He added that “the less they are forced the more they will realize the need for integration.”