MembersPresident Rivlin’s Hope and the End of the State

The role of Israel’s president is largely ceremonial, but depending on the weight of his personal influence he can still shape social and cultural trends.

By Tsvi Sadan |

This, of course, is to be done in a spirit of conciliation. As the official website of the president expresses very clearly, he “will be above political strife and will stand for national unity.”


A year ago, our current president, Reuven Rivlin, delivered his “Four Tribes” speech, in which he divided Israel into four sectors hostile to one another: secular Jews, religious Jews, ultra-Orthodox Jews and Arabs. This year, he went one step further by endorsing the right of every “tribe” to adhere to its own narrative.


“Each tribe has its own cities,” he said in a recent speech. “Tel Aviv is a city of a tribe just as [the northern Israeli Arab town of] Umm al-Fahm is a city of a tribe.”


This tribal division is a reality, Rivlin insisted, which is why instead of holding to an unrealistic vision of shared culture and nationality, each tribe should be called upon to strive for mutual...

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