Rivlin calls for unity amid Yom Haatzmaut feud

Culture Minister Miri Regev and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein have been feuding in recent weeks over the format of the festivities.

April 8, 2018 10:51
1 minute read.
 President Reuven Rivlin at a Mimouna celebration in Ashkelon, April 2018

President Reuven Rivlin at a Mimouna celebration in Ashkelon, April 2018. (photo credit: MARK NEIMAN)


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Israelis are still brothers and sisters, despite our disagreements, President Reuven Rivlin said at a Mimouna celebration in Ashkelon Saturday night, with with Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein present.

Rivlin’s comment came amid a feud between Edelstein and Culture Minister Miri Regev over the format of the Yom Haatzmaut torch-lighting ceremony. Regev wants there to be addresses by the president, prime minister, Knesset speaker and a foreign leader - likely the President of Honduras - in honor of Israel’s 70th year, while Edelstein seeks to keep the traditional format in which only the Knesset speaker makes remarks on Mount Herzl.

Edelstein has said that the Knesset is the representative of all the citizens of Israel, and the legislature, including the Knesset guard, which marches in the ceremony, will not participate in the event if it is changed.

Rivlin directed his remarks to Edelstein, calling him: “Knesset Speaker, representative of the sovereign in Israel and the nation.”

The President invoked one of the themes of Mimouna, of opening one’s doors and welcoming neighbors in, and called for a cooling-off of disputes, a possible hint towards the one in which Edelstein is involved.

“Opening a door means opening the heart. Why should we open our hearts only once a year? Let’s open our hearts even in times of dispute. We can argue, but know that we are brothers and sisters,” Rivlin stated.

Edelstein said: “I wish that these days will go by without disputes, with true unity.”

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