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.”
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.