Today, the Israeli people are going to the ballot box for the fifth time since I was sworn in as president, and after the vote I will be required for the sixth, or possibly the seventh, time to decide who to entrust with forming a government.
In its 73 years of independence, the State of Israeli has not experienced a political crisis like the one we are currently in. I have not yet completed my seven years as President of the State of Israel, and I am already level with President Chaim Herzog who served for over ten years. During those years, the State of Israel went to elections three times, and President Herzog was called upon five times to decide who should form the government.
In the days after the elections, I will meet the people’s representatives in the Knesset that you are voting for today, and I will ask them which candidate they recommend should be entrusted with forming a government. These people are your representatives. They speak on behalf of you. They are the voice of the public, the voice of the Israeli people. Only you, citizens of the State of Israel, determine the allocation of seats, according to which I can decide.
There were times when the candidate who led the largest party in the elections to the Knesset was the one with the best chance of forming a stable government in Israel, and so they were the ones to get the mandate from the President of Israel. Yet the bitter experience of the last elections has shown us that this is not necessarily the situation. The person entrusted with forming a government will have to form sensible and responsible connections that will save us from this political roundabout and lead us to political stability so that we can get back to restarting processes in this country that is so dear to us all.
Citizens of the State of Israel, I am committed to you.
I want to hear your voice.
In order for me to understand what you would like me to do, what you think is right and proper for the State of Israel, you must exercise your right to vote. There is no room for despair and we must not surrender this fundamental right, of such enormous value, that we have as citizens of a democratic state. I call on you, implore you, not to relinquish the right to have your voice heard.
Go and vote, for our children and our grandchildren, for us all.
The writer is president of the State of Israel.