At the last minute of a possible political shift, the Israeli parliament elected former opposition leader Isaac Herzog as the country’s eleventh president. Today, the 60-year-old politician defeated teacher and activist Miriam Peretz (67) by 87 votes to 26.
Herzog declared that he would be “the president of all Israelis” and committed to unity in the divided country. “Now is the time to build bridges.” He will fight anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel all over the world.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Herzog on the election on Twitter. He wished him every success on behalf of all Israelis. Herzog will replace President Reuven Rivlin on July 9. The vote came shortly before a possible respite for right-wing conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been in power for many years.
Herzog has led the Labor Party since 2013. His father, Chaim Herzog, was already President of Israel. This makes Isaac Herzog the first head of state to be the son of a former president. In 2018, he became the head of the Jewish Aid organization, which deals with other matters, immigration to Israel.
In Israel, the president has a mainly representative job. His main duties are to pardon prisoners and order the formation of the government. He is elected to parliament every seven years by secret ballot.
In Israel today, much attention is paid to attempts by opposition parties to form a government without Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been in power for 12 years. It should be clear before midnight if this worked.
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