Reuven Rivlin

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Reuven Rivlin
Reuven Rivlin 2011.jpg
Date of birth (1939-09-09) 9 September 1939 (age 74)
Place of birth Jerusalem, Mandatory Palestine
Knessets 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Party represented in Knesset
1988–1992 Likud
1996– Likud
Ministerial roles
2001–2003 Minister of Communications
Other roles
2003–2006 Speaker of the Knesset
2009–2013 Speaker of the Knesset

Reuven "Rubi" Rivlin (Hebrew: ראובן ריבלין‎, [ʁeʔuˈven ʁivˈlin] ( ); born 9 September 1939) is an Israeli lawyer and politician currently serving as a member of the Knesset. He belongs to the Likud party. A former Chairman of the Knesset, he ran in the 2007 election for President as the Likud candidate. He withdrew after the first round of voting when it became clear that Kadima MK Shimon Peres had sufficiently broad support to inevitably win in a run-off.


Reuven Rivlin was born in Jerusalem. He received an LL.B. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and worked as a lawyer. He is a descendant of the students of the Vilna Gaon, the son of Yosef Yoel Rivlin and a member of the Rivlin family. He is married to Nechama (born June 5, 1945) and has four children. He has been a vegetarian since the late 1960s.[1] Rivlin is well known as a supporter of Beitar Jerusalem, sometimes described as "The-Most-Seasoned-Beitar-fan", ever since he first saw a game of Beitar in 1946 when he was 7 years old.

Political career[edit]

He was first elected to the 12th Knesset in 1988, and served as Likud chairman from 1988 to 1993. He lost his seat in the 1992 elections, but returned to the Knesset following the 1996 elections. Reelected in 1999, he was appointed Minister of Communications in March 2001, serving until February 2003, when he was elected Knesset Speaker following the 2003 elections. During his term as speaker, he was criticized for breaking the tradition of political neutrality of the post; he was one of Ariel Sharon's harshest critics regarding the disengagement plan, and had a public confrontation with Aharon Barak, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, concerning the court's authority to declare legislation illegal.

Rivlin was reelected in 2006 and 2009.

On 30 March 2009, the Knesset voted Knesset Member Rivlin as speaker with a majority of 90 votes of the 120.[2]

In June 2010, Rivlin found himself in the center of a controversy after ignoring the advice of a committee that recommended the removal of Balad MK Haneen Zoabi for having participated in the Gaza flotilla earlier that year. His actions were criticized by many MKs and the Israeli right, but Israeli and foreign liberals praised Rivlin for his courage in defending Israeli democracy.[3]

For his first official visit as Knesset Speaker, he chose the Arab-Israeli town of Umm el-Fahm, just south of the Galilee. He was accompanied by MKs Uri Orbach (Jewish Home) and Afu Agbariyah (Hadash), a resident of the city.[4][5]

Citing Pope Benedict XVI's previous service in the Nazi German military service, Rivlin berated the Pope over his address at Israel's Yad Vashem memorial.[6]

On 29 April 2010, he said that he "would rather accept Palestinians as Israeli citizens than divide Israel and the West Bank in a future two-state peace solution".[7]

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