President Rivlin: All of the Land of Israel belongs to us

President Rivlin says Israel can be both Jewish and democratic, says he's 'concerned' when Haaretz writes good things about him.

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Ido Ben Porat,

Reuven Rivlin
Reuven Rivlin
HIllel Meir/ TPS

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Monday morning spoke at the fifteenth Jerusalem Conference, and gave an interview to Channel 2.

Answering Channel 2's question of why much of the public believes he is a leftist, Rivlin said, "All my life, I have been on the side that is correct- or as you'd say in English, the right side. I always stood up for my values, even when they weren't agreed upon by the right. I believe that as president, after I have been chosen, I must make it clear that there is no contradiction between Israel being a Jewish country, and its being a democratic country."

"I continue to say it again and again....we are turning into people who only believe in our individual beliefs, and have no idea what the other side believes.

"It could be that people think I was elected only in order to provide them with what they want. But I was elected by the Knesset, which has Jews and Arabs, left and right, and I must make sure that we speak to each other, that there is dialogue. We need to know that there are people who don't think the way I do. It was always clear to me that not everyone who doesn't think as I do is against me."

When asked about his support for the left, Rivlin said, "When the Haaretz newspaper writes good things about me, I am very concerned and I start examining my actions." However, Rivlin also said that he will not change his mind, and blamed "others" for changing theirs.

Regarding the tension between himself and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Rivlin said, "He is the prime minister, and I am the president. He does his job, and I do my job. Obviously, he's not my friend."

"Regardless, whenever I travel anywhere in the world, whether to Russia or any other country, I will always ask his advice."

Rivlin expressed support for annexing Judea and Samaria to Israel.

"All my life, I have believed that all of Israel belongs to us. In my opinion, the only solution is to be as an iron wall, and I believe that the right must be more democratic than it is anything else."

"Everyone should know that if we apply sovereignty to all of Israel, all the Arabs who live in those areas will have to receive full citizenship and rights, like every other citizen of Israel."