Former US president Barack Obama reemerged on Wednesday to send a letter to Israel President Reuven Rivlin as he leaves office.
In the letter, Obama praised Rivlin for his efforts to protect democracy in Israel.
“The work of the United States and Israel in pursuit of peace, security, and democratic progress is never done, but your leadership on behalf of unity and democracy within Israel and partnership abroad set a positive example for those who will follow in your footsteps,” Obama wrote, according to The Times Of Israel.
This could be seen as a dig at former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was in office during nearly all of Rivlin’s term and whom Obama has accused of potentially undermining Israel’s democratic traditions.
“Congratulations on a remarkable career and thanks for your friendship over the years,” Obama continued in the letter. “You have always been a staunch supporter of the close friendship between the United States and Israel, and during my time as President I could always count on you as a source of advice and partnership.”
Prince Charles also spoke out to thank Rivlin for “all you have done to ensure that the relationship between our two countries has developed in so many ways, especially in the fields of technology and scientific collaboration, during your time in office.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas personally called Rivlin to express his hope that Israel and Palestine can find peace. Last week, Rivlin gave a speech in which he called on the two sides to put aside their differences and move forward. Rivlin described Abbas in this speech as “my neighbor and my partner.”
After pointing out that the conflict has been ongoing for 120 years, he continued, “Let’s forget about the past. We are not doomed to live to together, we are destined to live together. It’s our role to end conflict.”
Isaac Herzog is succeeding Rivlin as the eleventh president of Israel, and he’s taking office later today.
This piece was written by James Samson on July 8, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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