President Reuven Rivlin (L) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R).
(photo credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO/REUTERS)
President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for election day comments in which he tried to get out the vote for his Likud party by warning of droves of Arab citizens being bussed to the polls.
"The President's Residence put out a call for all of the citizens of Israel to come and vote. Everyone must be careful in their comments, especially those that the entire world hears," Rivlin said.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest addressed Netanyahu’s comments about Arab voters on Wednesday, saying that the US and the Obama administration were “deeply concerned”
about rhetoric that “seeks to marginalize Israeli citizens.”
Rivlin's comments on Sunday came while he was meeting with representatives of the Joint (Arab) List for consultations on who they would recommend that the president task with forming the next coalition.
The Joint List expressed staunch opposition to the possibility that Netanyahu would be tasked with forming the next coalition "after his declarations showed that he will work toward establishing a government whose face will not be turned toward peace."
Joint List leader Ayman Oudeh said, "We came today to the president with a clear statement that Netanyahu has lost all legitimacy to continue to serve as prime minister. The prime minister cannot be someone who chooses to use election tactics to incite against an entire population and to undermine their very citizenship. He cannot be someone who chooses to base his whole leadership on scare tactics, despair and incitement against citizens of a state that he proposes to rule over."