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Israeli President Reuven Rivlin Answers the Twitterverse with #AskRivlin Hashtag

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who has referred to himself as an “analogue president in a digital age,” took to Twitter to answer questions about politics and religion in Israel on Sunday, September 25.

The 77-year-old statesman fielded questions with the hashtag #AskRivlin. Unlike Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s online question and answer session in May, which was flooded by Israel critics who asked about Israeli forces killing innocent Palestinian civilians and Israel’s status as an “apartheid state,” Rivlin’s session was relatively subdued.

Rivlin has a reputation as a bridge-builder between Jews and Arabs, decrying anti-Arab racism in Israel. He also an ardent one-stater, believing that Israel should ultimately control the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, which would prevent a Palestinian state.

Rivlin took a few political questions, some of which he answered via short videos.

A Twitter user in Germany, Furkan Bumm, wanted to know about the chance of ending Israel’s international isolation in the Middle East, which Rivlin used as an opportunity to repeat his signature phrase that Israelis and Arabs are not doomed to live together, but “destined to live together”:

Journalist Jacob Kornbluh asked Rivlin if he would be more likely to accept a medal of honor from a future American president Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Rivlin answered rather diplomatically, saying “any American president” would continue the tradition of the strong U.S.-Israeli relationship.

The Israeli president also answered questions about food. One Twitter user wanted to know what would be served at his table at Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.

He also answered one Twitter user’s burning question about which kind of Krembo — the Israeli marshmallow treat — he prefers, chocolate or mocha? Rivlin lamented that his diet prevents him from eating them.

Among the unanswered questions were a few that touched on hot button issues now roiling Israel:

Haya Eytan, an English teacher in Israel, asked whether Rivlin would consider pardoning Elor Azaria, the Israeli soldier who faces manslaughter charges for shooing a prone Palestinian assailant in Hebron, and whose trial is now the subject of hot public debate:

Women of the Wall, the feminist prayer group that advocates for equal prayer rights for men and women at the Western Wall Jewish holy site, wanted to know what Rivlin could do to further its cause now that a government agreement for an egalitarian prayer space has stalled:

Rivlin has 19,800 Twitter followers.

Contact Naomi Zeveloff at [email protected] or on Twitter @naomizeveloff


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