(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
A supplement on “Sovereignty” that was inserted into several Israeli newspapers, including The Jerusalem Post, on Friday contained a full page of head shots and quotes by political figures among them various ministers and Knesset members who support the concept of the whole of the Land of Israel coming under Israeli sovereignty.
Heading the list was President Reuven Rivlin who, by law, is an apolitical figure.
According to a spokesman for the president, Rivlin was not consulted about being included in what was headlined “The Sovereignty Team.”
The statement attributed to him was: “I, who believe that Zion is all ours, believe that the sovereignty of the State of Israel must be everywhere, with all that it implies.”
The spokesperson confirmed that Rivlin had made such a comment in an address to the 14th Jerusalem Conference in February, but not exactly as it appears in the Sovereignty supplement.
What he said was that he believes “Zion is entirely ours” and that “the sovereignty of the State of Israel must be in all the bloc.”
However, the publishers of the supplement omitted the continuation of Rivlin’s remark in this context, which was: “It must be clear: If we extend sovereignty, the law must apply equally to all.
Sovereignty to an area gives citizenship to all those living there. There are no separate laws for Israelis and for non-Israelis.”
Rivlin voiced similar sentiments during his period as a legislator and Knesset speaker, but since taking up the presidency, in his conversations with diplomats, visiting heads of state, prime ministers and foreign ministers, he has taken a more compromising tone, listing all the possible options for a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, including the two- state solution and a federation with Jordan.
He also has repeated at almost every opportunity that Israelis and Palestinians “are not doomed to live together on the same territory, but are destined to live together.”