Oren Hazan [Likud] supporting President Rivlin .
(photo credit: MAARIV)
President Reuven Rivlin has received strong support from the Likud Central Committee despite being heavily criticized on social media for his decision not to pardon Hebron shooter, Elor Azaria.
The hostility and insults directed at him via social media over the past day and a half would suffice to break the spirit of a lesser man, but fortunately for Rivlin, there are still people on the right side of the political spectrum on whom he can count for support – not the least of who is his friend and neighbor in his private residence, MK Bennie Begin.
Despite the angry outcry on social media, Rivlin’s office said on Monday that he had received many calls of support and encouragement from members of the Likud Central Committee who concurred with the explanation that he had given for not pardoning Azaria.
On Sunday, Rivlin stated that in passing sentence, the military court had taken into account all the circumstances raised by Azaria in his letter to the president, plus the fact that the IDF Chief of Staff, for reasons of compassion had seen fit to reduce the punishment by four months from the period to which Azaria had been sentenced.
The Chief of Staff had also taken Azaria’s exemplary record as a soldier into account. Even so, Rivlin was convinced that any further easing of the sentence would be harmful to the IDF’s resilience and values. Rivlin also took note of the fact that Azaria is due to meet with the parole board in three months time to have his release considered.
The most atrocious social media comments called for the president’s death and for Azaria to shoot him in Hebron.
Other comments accused Rivlin of betraying the right and licking the backside of the left, saying that he was even worse than his predecessor Shimon Peres. Rivlin was also called a Nazi and a piece of garbage. In this vein, one person wrote: “Shame on you Mr. President, you’re the wet rag of the left.”
There were many calls for his resignation, and the bereaved brother of a fallen soldier wrote a message telling Rivlin not to come and comfort the bereaved on Remembrance Day for the Fallen.
Recently, Rivlin was also depicted in an SS uniform and as an insert into the Palestinian flag.