Rivlin Disavows Support for Anti-Corruption Protests

YERUSHALAYIM -
Rivlin
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin speaking at a conference on Educational Challenges for the Democracy in Israel, on Tuesday. (Flash90)

President Reuven Rivlin claimed on Wednesday that approving comments he made about anti-corruption demonstrations were taken out of context, The Times of Israel reports.

On Tuesday, Rivlin told an education conference: “We have some wonderful examples of the influence of the social networks on reality…[including] the demonstrations for and against in the recent months that went from the square in Petah Tikva to Tel Aviv and from there to other squares…” he said, a reference to the weekly demonstrations calling for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s resignation over corruption allegations.

On Wednesday, Rivlin said that’s not what he meant at all.

“To remove any doubt, I will say as clearly as possible, I never called on anyone, nor would I consider calling on any Israeli citizens to join in this, or any other, protest,” he said in a statement. “It is inconceivable. I only regret that at this sensitive time my words were taken out of context in order to add fuel to the fire.”

It was not clear what prompted his recant, though the president is not supposed to involve himself in politics, and Rivlin, an old political foe of the prime minister, was probably criticized for siding with the anti-Netanyahu groups.