President Reuven Rivlin said that "an Israel that initiates is an Israel that is victorious." Speaking at the opening session of the annual conference of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), Rivlin discussed the threats currently facing the Jewish state.Pointing to Iran, Hamas, and the upcoming April elections, Rivlin chose two words "escalation and complexity," to define how he sees the strategic future of the state of Israel.
"The Iranian challenge is not to our north," he said, "but in the sphere of international diplomacy.” Both Iran and Lebanon were discussed during his meeting with French President Emanuel Macron last week, and Rivlin said he believes the Iranian decision to continue missile testing and carrying out assassination attempts in Europe are leading EU member states to change course in their policies toward Tehran and to align closer to Israel.
Lamenting the grave humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, Rivlin pointed to how "the politics of hatred and division" fuel not one but two conflicts, the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel and the one between Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and Fatah, which is in control of much of the West Bank.
Despite the success of shared Israeli-Egyptian diplomatic efforts in maintaining calm on the southern border, Rivlin expressed his concern that the spirit of radical Islam will seep from the Gaza Strip into the West Bank.
Rivlin also commented on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who continues to release videos in which the Attorney General is said to be under intense pressure from the Left to indict him on corruption charges. Rivlin said that organs of the state "have become elections issues" and that this is a dangerous trend for the security of Israel as well as its society.
The Israeli legal community was shocked to learn two weeks ago that former head of the Bar Association Efi Nave allegedly aided in placing judges on the bench in exchange for sexual favors. The information regarding these sexual relationships was discovered on a used mobile phone owned by Nave and the legality of using it against him had been contested.
Rivlin suggested in his speech to a historical relationship between Israeli success and daring to try new things and argued that "now is the time to initiate."