Israel swore in Isaac Herzog as its 11th president on Wednesday, amid the sounds of a shofar and calls of “long live the president.”
“I thank you from the bottom of my heart in the faith you have placed in me,” Herzog said at the Knesset ceremony.
“I thank you for bestowing me with the privilege of being able to serve the entire Israeli public with loyalty and with love.”
Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy said: “You are entering the post during a difficult period, in which Israeli society is more divided than ever. This is an existential threat for the State of Israel, a greater threat than Iran’s nuclear program. I am hopeful you will be able to lead a new and different dialogue in Israeli society.”
Outgoing President Reuven Rivlin thanked Israelis “for the privilege to serve you.”
“My seven years as the tenth president were largely about encountering the majority, which is sometimes silent, of Israeli society. Up and down the country, all the tribes, across the spectrum of opinions. At the end of seven years, I can tell you, elected officials and civil servants, with certainty: there is one Israeli society and the vast majority of it wants and is committed to turn the vision of partnership into reality.”
“I’m going back to being a father and grandfather,” he said.
My fellow Israelis, you are the neshama hayetera, the additional soul, of the State of Israel. Thank you for the privilege you gave me to serve as the tenth President of Israel, for the countless moments of enormous excitement, of laughter and tears, of love, of vision and hope.
— Reuven Rivlin (@PresidentRuvi) July 7, 2021
Herzog‘s nomination marked the largest win in any presidential election in Israel’s history. He is also the first Israeli president with a father who served in the same role. Chaim Herzog was Israel’s sixth president in 1983-1993.