Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday met with President-elect Reuven Rivlin at the prime minister’s official residence in Jerusalem, congratulating him on being elected to the office.
According to a statement, at the end of their meeting, Netanyahu said, “We have known each other for several good decades. We are both from Jerusalem, the sons of professors who were educated in the philosophy of Jabotinsky and we have much more in common – such as our football team.”
“Joint work on behalf of all Israelis is before us,” he said. “We have gone through much together and I am certain that we will now know to put the less good aspects aside and work responsibly for the future of the State of Israel.”
Ahead of “Ruvi” Rivlin’s election, Israeli press had reported that Netanyahu was hopeful any other candidate would emerge to run for the “head of state” position, replacing President Shimon Peres. The newspapers argued that Rivlin, a former Speaker of the Knesset from Netanyahu’s Likud party, might be fine domestically, but not be complementary to the prime minister, who had hoped for an elder statesman with more international gravitas.
One report flagged the prime minister courting Elie Wiesel, Nobel Prize laureate and Chairman of The Algemeiner’s Advisory Board, to make aliyah and run for the office. The writer said he politely declined the prime minister’s offer.