(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
President Rivlin spoke at the opening of the fifth session of the 20th Knesset in a hard-hitting speech on the culture of public and political discourse in Israel.
The president expressed his concern about what he called ‘package deals’, according to which public discourse creates superficial similarities between the views held by individual citizens and then uses these ‘package deals’ to categorize people and require them to ‘toe the line’.“In the political discourse of ‘package deals’ it’s all or nothing and no-one can break ranks. Either you’re with us or against us. You fall into line or you are banished like a leper from the camp. And what does it matter that the Likud of the Nationality Law is the same party that took part in legislating the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Liberty? And what does it matter that the Labor party founded the settlements of Judea and Samaria? And that Begin believed with all his heart that there were judges in Jerusalem while Rabin said ‘Without the Supreme Court and without B’Tselem’?” Rivlin said.
“Real people can have several beliefs at the same time. That is their strength, not their weakness," he said and added that “our complex views are also what binds us together."