Reuven "Rubi" Rivlin (Hebrew: ראובן ריבלין, [ʁeʔuˈven ʁivˈlin] ( listen); born 9 September 1939) is an Israeli lawyer and politician currently serving as a member of the Knesset. He belongs to the conservative Likud party. A former Chairman of the Knesset, in 2007 he ran in the 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.
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 and a member of the Rivlin family.
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. Re-elected 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 re-elected in 2006 and 2009.
On March 30, 2009 the Knesset voted Knesset Member Rivlin as speaker with a majority of 90 votes of the 120.
In June 2010, Rivlin once again 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.
Rubi Rivlin, for his first official visit as Knesset Speaker, 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.
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.
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".
Personal life and family 
Rivlin 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.
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